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KFOX14 Investigates: Unlicensed dog groomers charged with animal cruelty

No license is required for dog groomers in El Paso or the state of Texas. (KFOX14)

There could be new rules coming to El Paso to protect your pet from animal cruelty.

KFOX14 Investigates has discovered dog groomers are not required to be licensed by either the state or city.

That has led to some recent cases of animal cruelty.

Now, the City of El Paso is considering some changes to how dog groomers, conduct business.

The owners of a cocker spaniel named Precious said she was full of life until they took her to Jireh Pet Grooming on Montwood.

"After (Precious) was picked up after the service, (Precious) was lethargic and (Precious) was hurt,” said El Paso Police Detective Michael Vaughan, with the department's animal cruelty unit.

Soon after, she died.

Vaughan investigated this case.

“(The owners) believe the groomer was responsible,” Vaughan said.

The detective said the shop owner's son, David Gonzalez Sifuentes, admitted to being rough with Precious.

He was arrested in February, charged with animal cruelty.

This wasn't the first animal cruelty case involving the family.

“We learned that the mother, the owner of the business on Montwood, her daughter had a warrant for animal cruelty that stemmed from a case in May,” Vaughan said.

While working at a different groomer last May, Lucia Gonzales Sifuentes was arrested for allegedly hitting a dog named Za on the head and squeezing her face and nose.

KFOX14 Investigates obtained reports showing Sifuentes was charged with animal cruelty.

Zia died a few months later. Her owners tell KFOX14 that Zia was never the same after the alleged abuse, which was caught on camera.

“Because of the that video recording, it was able to bolster their report,” said City Representative Claudia Ordaz-Perez, who is now working to change local rules for dog groomers.

KFOX14 Investigates has learned there are no licensing requirements in the City of El Paso or state of Texas to be a dog groomer.

To help protect other pets, Ordaz Perez. is proposing changes.

“The city has made a commitment to improve welfare of animals,” Ordaz-Perez said.

The first step is to require all grooming salons to have a video recording device

“Thhis is hopefully a good step to prevent this from happening again,” Ordaz-Perez said.

Council members will discuss changing the city ordinance to require cameras in grooming shops Tuesday morning. They're also expected to discuss the licensing aspect.

The animal cruelty unit says those who suspect abuse should report it by calling 311.

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