Owner of Slidell pet salon charged with animal cruelty

Slidell, La. - Police in Slidell have arrested the owner of "A Jazzy Dog" pet salon and charged her with one count of Aggravated Cruelty to Animals.

Investigators say 42 year-old Christina Stewart, who is the owner, has been the center of a joint investigation conducted by the Slidell Police Department and the City of Slidell's Animal Control Division.

In January, two employees came forward to file a complaint against Stewart citing severe animal cruelty allegations.  The employees told police that Stewart would frequently slam the dogs onto the grooming table and choke them with a leash.  During one occasion, Stewart allegedly hung a dog in the air causing the animal to go into a seizure.  In other instances, Stewart would grab a dog's face and slam it into the grooming table, or would strangle the dogs.

While the allegations against Stewart were being investigated, another witness came forward who worked for Stewart less than a day.  The witness stated she applied for a groomer's position and was asked to demonstrate her grooming skills on an elderly dog.  The potential employee was attempting to groom the dog, but the dog refused to stand up on the grooming table.  Stewart interjected and said, "Watch this.  If they won't stand, this is what I do."

Stewart then picked up the elderly dog and slammed him on the grooming table multiple times.  Stewart then slapped another dog off the grooming table causing the animal to dangle from the leash for at least twenty seconds.  When the potential employee tried to help the struggling dog, Stewart pushed her back and said that she would handle it.  The girl, who initially wanted the job, walked out and never returned.

Detectives attempted to question Stewart about the animal abuse allegations.  Stewart stated she would simply discipline the animals if they refused to listen, but never abused them.

She refused to answer any further questions. Slidell Police obtained a warrant for Stewart's arrest and arrested her Friday afternoon.

Slidell Police is asking anyone who suspects their animal was a victim to contact the Slidell Police Criminal Investigations Division at 985-646-4347