VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A Virginia Beach couple who owns a pet grooming business is accused of mistreating their animals, and several of their dogs have been seized.
Vicki Piva is facing 15 charges of failing to provide adequate care, treatment, and transportation. This includes 12 counts of failure to provide adequate care under 3.2-6503, a Class 4 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $250 fine.
She also faces three counts of failure of a dealer to provide adequate care under 3.2-6511, a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to a $500 fine.
Her co-owner, Jeffrey Piva, is facing the same charges, and if they are found liable, their permit to operate could be revoked.
This is the result of a January 17 incident, after officers with the Virginia Beach Animal Control seized four dogs from the couple. The Pivas also surrendered 12 puppies, three birds, and one tortoise.
13News Now has spoken to several former employees and clients of Blue Dog Pet Grooming, who allege the Pivas abused their own dogs and have on occasion abused their clients' pets.
Brandon Fellers, the attorney for Vicki Piva, has refuted this and provided the following statement:
"The seized dogs are being cared for at Animal Control and Adoption Center. The 16 animals that were surrendered have either been transferred to other facilities (Norfolk SPCA and Reptile Education of VA) or adopted."
The Pivas are expected to be in court on February 13 in regard to their seized dogs. They are also expected in court on March 27 for the charges of inadequate care.