Two Audrain County residents who were employees of Downtown Pet Stop, 115 S. Washington St., were arrested and released July 18 with a court summons after an incident of alleged animal abuse July 8 at the business.
Taylor Haden Stout, 24, of Mexico was charged with the class E felony of animal abuse – intentional torture while alive, and James Kevin Johns Jr., 23, of Rush Hill was charged with animal abuse – first offense. The two have no other offenses or pending cases, according to court documents.
Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller visited the dog grooming business at about 10 a.m., July 17, at owner Nancy Buck’s request. She provided Oller with surveillance footage of the alleged incident, according to a probable cause statement.
Buck had been informed a dog was ill July 8 and said she had reviewed surveillance video to determine why. She called Oller after reviewing the footage.
Stout worked as a groomer and was working with a Yorkshire Terrier, according to the statement written by Oller. Stout was recorded slamming the dog onto a grooming table in an effort to control the animal.
Stout reportedly also shook the dog’s head violently after grabbing one of its ears.
During one of the alleged slamming incidents, the dog reportedly went limp and Stout began chest compressions on the dog out of fear she had killed the dog.
Oller contacted the dog’s owners to inform them of the incident. They were told by employees that their dog had a seizure during its grooming, according to the report. The owners took their dog to the University of Missouri Vet Clinic on July 9 because it was reportedly lethargic and vomiting after the alleged grooming incident.
Johns also allegedly shook the dog by the neck, pulled it by the ears and hindlegs, and used his body weight to restrain the animal.
Stout was interviewed July 18 by Oller. She said she’d been trained as a dog groomer and suspected the dog had a seizure, Oller wrote. Oller reportedly showed her the portion of surveillance footage in which the dog was allegedly rendered unconscious and asked her if, in her training, such behavior was acceptable. She said no and requested an attorney, according to the probable cause.
Johns also was interviewed July 18 and allegedly admitted his actions would not be considered acceptable and would be considered abusive. Stout and Johns were arrested and released with a summons for an Aug. 20 court date.