SLIDELL, LA — A dog groomer in Slidell was arrested yesterday for serious allegations of animal abuse. Although she admitted to using discipline, she denies being abusive.
The Slidell Police Department reports that a witness came forward with the allegations against Christina Stewart, 42, who is the owner of A Jazzy Dog, located on Pontchartrain Drive. The witness reported that Stewart frequently slammed the dogs onto the grooming table and choked them with a leash. The witness claims that on one occasion she hung a dog in the air and caused it to have a seizure. In other instances, she would grab a dog’s face and slam it on the table or strangle it.
During the course of the investigation, another witness came forward. This person claimed to have worked for Stewart for less than a day. She says she applied for an open groomer’s position and was asked to demonstrate her skills on an elderly dog.
The employee attempted to groom the dog, but the animal would not stand up. She reported that Stewart picked up the dog and slammed him on the table multiple times and said “Watch this. If they won’t stand, this is what I do.”
Stewart allegedly placed another dog on the table and slapped it, causing it to fall off the table and dangle by the neck from its leash. When the potential employee attempted to help the dog, she claims Stewart pushed her away and said she would handle it.
Detectives questioned Stewart about the allegations. She stated that she disciplined the animals if they refused to listen, but never abused them. However, detectives believed there was enough evidence to support the accusations.
Stewart was arrested on Friday, Feb. 22 and was charged with Aggravated Cruelty to Animals. The case is still under investigation and more charges could be filed at a later date.
Slidell Police is asking anyone who suspects their animal was a victim to contact the Slidell Police Criminal Investigations Division at (985) 646-4347.