Former Georgia kennel owner pleads guilty to cutting puppies’ tails off

A now-former Georgia kennel owner has been sentenced to five years probation for cutting the tails off at least eight puppies, one of which died.

According to a news release from the Gwinnett County Solicitor’s Office, Leslie Ayo pleaded guilty Monday to five counts of animal cruelty and one count of practicing veterinary medicine without a license. In addition to probation, she was sentenced to pay a $3,500 fine, perform 240 hours of community service, surrender all kennel-related licenses and have no contact with animals.

Ayo was operating Heaven’s Gate Kennels when, in November 2013, a Lawrenceville family hired her to dock the tails and remove the dewclaws of their eight rottweiler puppies, officials said. Ayo reportedly charged $150 for the service and used scissors to perform the procedures.

“All of this was done without anesthesia or pain medication,” the Gwinnett solicitor’s office said in an emailed statement.

The 10-day-old dogs began hemorrhaging, officials said, and their owners took them to a veterinarian. One of the puppies later died.

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Ayo did not have a veterinary license. Under Georgia law, only licensed veterinarians can perform docking procedures, and even then dogs must be between three and five days old.

Ayo was arrested in the case on March 13, 2014, and released the next day on $11,700 bond.

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