Pet grooming

Silver Spring pet grooming salon owner found guilty of 17 counts of animal cruelty

This story was updated at 9:40 a.m. on July 27, 2022 to include comments from Thomas Koenig

The owner of a Silver Spring pet grooming salon was found guilty last week of 17 counts of animal cruelty after authorities discovered in 2020 that several dogs in her care had contracted anemia from flea bites, the Montgomery County Office of Animal Services announced Tuesday.

Carrie Seek, the owner of Pampered Poodles in Silver Spring, was found guilty of 17 counts of failing to provide veterinary care and adequate space, according to a news release. Seek is 68, according to court records.

Seek was sentenced by Montgomery County District Court Judge Victor Del Pinto to more than four years in prison, but the entire sentence was suspended, according to a news release. She will serve two years of supervised probation and will be prohibited from having animals during that time. She was also ordered to undergo mental health treatment.

According to the Office of Animal Services, officers responded to a complaint about Seek’s business from the Metropolitan Animal Emergency and Specialty Center in Rockville in October 2020. At Seek’s business on Williamsburg Drive, officials found ” unsanitary conditions,” including a flea infestation, according to the office. The fleas had made the dogs anemic and one Maltese-type dog died.

Officers seized seven Maltese-type dogs, two Shiloh Shepherd-type dogs and a turtle, according to the office.

Anemia is a condition in which people or animals do not have an adequate supply of red blood cells, which is often caused by blood loss, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, a national chain of animal hospitals. Bites from flea bites and other blood-sucking insects are among the causes, he says.

The other seized dogs were taken to the county animal shelter in Derwood, where their skin healed and the missing fur grew back, according to the county. The dogs are still in the custody of the Animal Services Office.

Thomas Koenig, the director of the Bureau of Animal Services, told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday that Seek operates a business out of his home and has a license.

“Once we found out what was going on and saw it, we immediately revoked its business license,” he said.

Koenig said that prior to October 2020 they had not received any complaints about pampered poodles, but after the dogs were seized they started hearing similar stories.

“Later we heard from neighbors whose dogs were groomed there that every time they took their dogs there to be groomed, [the dogs] would come back with chips,” he said.

A phone number listed for Pampered Poodles was not functional on Tuesday. An employee of defense attorney Andy Jezic’s office, who represents Seek, said they would pass information to him from a reporter.

Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]