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What pet owners should know before hiring professionals

VENICE, FL (WWSB) - An undercover video of a Venice dog groomer handling a small dog in her shop has enraged a community of animal lovers online.

Phyllis Lucca, owner of the Happy Puppy Pet Spa, has over 50 years of experience grooming dogs, but she is now under investigation by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office for animal abuse after at least one pet in her care was returned with a broken jaw and bruised ribs.

In a video shot by a former employee, Lucca can be seen grabbing another small dog by the neck, which she has since said was an effort to revive the dog after it had passed out.

Now, other local pet groomers say this should be a warning to all pet owners to do extensive research on the professionals you use.

"The issue of pets being abused while grooming is far more common than you think," says Cheryl Keenan of Pawprint Essentials, also located in Venice.