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.
According to Virginia Beach police, Jeffrey and Vicki Piva, the owners of Blue Dog Pet Grooming, could be charged with animal cruelty after reports of "not adequately caring for" their animals.
Neither could be contacted for a statement, but Vicki Piva's attorney, Brandon Fellers, released one on behalf of her.
“Ms. Piva is passionate about animals and has dedicated her 27-year career serving the community in the dog grooming business. Dog grooming is an intensely demanding profession, both physically and emotionally. Nevertheless, over the course of her seven years as a business owner, Ms. Piva has earned the trust of her clients and, most importantly, her four-legged ones. The allegations of neglect and abuse by former disgruntled employees are false and defamatory. Ms. Piva maintains her innocence and looks forward to clearing her name in court.”
However, court documents show four dogs, consisting of three standard poodles and one chihuahua mix, were seized by an animal control officer because of the alleged abuse.
The couple also surrendered 12 puppies, three birds and one tortoise.
According to a Virginia Beach police spokesperson, the exact allegations and the conditions of the dogs are still under investigation.
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 couple is expected in Virginia Beach Court on Feb. 13.