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Groomer charged with animal cruelty after 13-year-old dog taken to emergency vet

A James City County Police car
(WYDaily photo/Courtesy JCCPD)

An animal groomer has been charged with animal cruelty after a customer reported to police that their 13-year-old pekingese-poodle mix had to be taken to the emergency veterinarian after being groomed.  

On Aug. 1, a homeowner reported that Kimberly Martin, 30, of York County, visited their Kingsmill home around 7 a.m. to groom their two dogs, James City County Police spokeswoman Stephanie Williams said.

Martin works for GroomZ, a mobile grooming business, Williams said.

About an hour after being groomed, the dog’s owner told police that the animal was having trouble breathing and its tongue was turning purple.

The dog was taken the same day to a emergency veterinarian, who determined the dog had broken ribs, bruising, a hemorrhage in one eye and a swollen larynx, Williams said. The dog survived its injuries.

The pet owner reported the injuries to the police the following day. Martin was charged with animal cruelty and arrested Aug. 9.

Police said the veterinarian took photos of the dog and its injuries, but declined to release the photos to the media.

Williams said Martin reported the dog had bitten her, and she was not able to complete the grooming.

Barry Heuser, Martin’s employer and owner of GroomZ, said he is “100 percent certain” Martin did not hurt the dog, and he supports his groomer completely.

Customer reviews on GroomZ’s Facebook and Google give the business ratings of five and 2.5 stars, respectively. Each page has eight reviews.

Several five-star reviews mention a “Kim” or “Kimberly” and praise that employee for her good work.

“We love Kim! She is the absolute BEST!!! My dogs have always been nervous and anxious with groomers until we met her. #customersforlife#loveourkim,” one commenter posted.

Martin is scheduled to appear for a court hearing at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 21 in Williamsburg-James City County General District Court.

Online court records do not list an attorney for Martin.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

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