Pet groomer accused of abusing animals pleads innocent

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A Tri-Cities business owner accused of abusing and strangling her customers’ pets has pleaded innocent.

The Tri-City Herald reports 28-year-old Michelle L. Burt is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with first-degree animal cruelty.

She owns two pet grooming businesses called Paw Spa in Pasco and West Richland.

Police say at least one dog and a cat died due to Burt’s actions at her Pasco location.

Court documents say several other animals required veterinary visits for broken bones and injuries, including chemical burns from a flea bath given without the owner’s permission.

Former employees told police that Burt said she controlled animals by cutting off their air supply.

Burt pleaded innocent to the allegations Tuesday.

She has been ordered to stay away from all pets.

Her trial is set for November.


Information from: Tri-City Herald,