Dog Grooming Business Owner Responds To Employee's Arrest For Animal Cruelty

The owner of Doggy Doodles Grooming said even though she was nearby, she didn't see what was happening and didn't know - until she saw the video of a groomer beating a dog that ultimately died.

Thursday, September 14th 2023, 6:37 pm



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The owner of a Tulsa dog grooming business is responding after one of her employees was arrested for animal cruelty.

That employee is accused of beating and choking a dog that died.

The owner of Doggy Doodles Grooming said even though she was nearby, she didn't see what was happening and didn't know - until she saw the video of a groomer beating a dog that ultimately died.

“I don't know how to fix it, I can just change the policy and start all over,” said Becky Rutherford.

Rutherford, who cried as she described seeing a video of the beating, said she didn’t know what happened until she watched it.

The groomer, 41-year-old Diego Angel, was arrested and charged with felony Cruelty to Animals. He has bonded out of jail. The dog, a 4-year-old poodle named "Atlas," died about 10 minutes after the beating.

“He passed away, I tried to save him, I tried everything I knew to do,” said Rutherford.

The staff tried to resuscitate Atlas, but it was too late.

The video shows Angel hitting the dog over a ten-minute span as Atlas becomes agitated during grooming. Several of the punches happen just as the owner turns away or just before she returns, and the other groomer in the room doesn't intervene.

“She was so distraught and felt like he deliberately did that, but I did not see that part,” Rutherford explained.

The business remains open with customers, but there has been a backlash online and in person. During an interview Thursday, a former customer pulled up to criticize Rutherford for not stopping the beating.

Rutherford at first defended the groomer.

“I trusted that he was telling me the truth,” said Rutherford.

But after seeing the tape, she regrets trusting his word.

“So what he did for his anger to progress to hit him like he did, I have no idea,” she said.

Animal Welfare officers have the full video showing everything that happened.

Rutherford said her work now is to ensure it can never happen again.

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