EL PASO, Texas – A dog groomer in El Paso is now behind bars after he aggressively groomed a 16-week-old Shi-Poo puppy, leading to its death, according to El Paso Police Department.
The incident happened July 7 at Happy Paws Dog Grooming in El Paso, located in the 12300 block of Edgemere Blvd.
El Paso police were notified by Animal Services of the incident and the EPPD Animal Cruelty Unit launched an investigation. Authorities said they later found evidence that the puppy was handled roughly during his grooming.
Officials said the dog groomer, 31-year-old Leobardo Nava, allegedly grabbed the puppy forcefully by the neck and it went limp. The puppy also “demonstrated signs of pain and lethargy upon being picked up,” authorities said.
In addition, the puppy was unable to eat or drink and cried in pain when he attempted to walk, according to police. He died shortly after returning home from the groomer’s.
As the investigation furthered, officials conducted a necropsy and found the puppy’s lungs were “full of blood and he had died of a pulmonary edema, caused by the stress of the incident,” police said.
Nava was booked and charged with one count of Cruelty to Animals. He’s also charged with possession of marijuana and outstanding traffic warrants, police said.