Pet groomer faces more animal cruelty charges

Michelle Louise Root
Michelle Louise Root

A Forsyth County pet grooming business owner is now facing an additional charge of animal cruelty as well as an investigation into other possible incidents, police said.

Michelle Louise Root, owner of Paw’sh Paws in Cumming, turned herself in Wednesday night at the Forsyth County jail, Cumming Deputy police Chief Aletha Barrett told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She was released on bond. The most recent arrest stems from a 2016 incident, Barrett said. No details were released on that case.

Earlier Wednesday, investigators searched Root’s business and residence after police received reports of other possible victims dating to 2003, Barrett said.

The first set of charges and allegations began earlier in October, when Root allegedly kicked, dragged and choked a customer’s dog, which later died at an animal hospital, according to a Cumming police incident report.

Root, of Gainesville, “bounced (a dog named) Meko off the wall and a tub before slamming him on the table,” police said.

After more alleged abuse, the dog was taken to a local animal hospital, where it was pronounced dead, police said.

The investigation into the new allegations could take weeks, Barrett said.

“Something like this is hard to prove,” she said, “because you have to prove the animal wasn’t injured before it arrived at the facility.”

The investigation will also include Root’s work at PetSmart as well as a facility that is not in the Cumming police jurisdiction.

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The push comes after an animal groomer was charged with a dog died under her care