Groomer charged in maiming of Florida veteran's service dog

Authorities say video shows the man breaking the German shepherd's tail

By Garrett Pelican - Digital executive producer
Brevard County Sheriff's Office

Suthann was booked into the Brevard County jail on Monday.

SATELLITE BEACH, Fla. - A central Florida pet groomer was arrested Monday after authorities say he abused a veteran’s service dog to the point that its tail had to be amputated.

The maiming was caught on video. It happened when the groomer got upset that the dog, known as TT, would not stay still during a Feb. 6 appointment, according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office

James Cordell Doughty Suthann, 68, of Satellite Beach, was released from custody Monday night after posting $2,000 bail on a felony charge of cruelty to animals, Brevard County jail records show.

Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said video of the incident was too graphic to share. But he noted that it shows Suthann lift the 8-year-old German shepherd by the tail, twisting it so badly that it broke.

“Trust me when I tell you it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch in my 39 years of law enforcement because of the horrific and cruel way the pet was treated,” Ivey wrote on Facebook.

“To make matters worse at the end of the incident Suthann had the audacity to strike the dog in the back of the head with the nozzle from the hose he was using,” he added.

Injuries to the dog were so severe that they required emergency surgery to amputate its tail. Ivey said TT’s owner, a disabled veteran who has PTSD, was devastated when he found out what happened.

Suthann, who worked as a contractor for the unnamed grooming facility, was immediately fired after his employer learned of the incident, the sheriff said.

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