Ex-owner of Las Vegas dog grooming facility faces judge, banned from contact with animals

The former owner of a Las Vegas pet boarding and grooming facility was sentenced after he was charged with attempt of animal cruelty.
Published: Aug. 18, 2022 at 11:55 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A former owner of a pet boarding and grooming facility in Las Vegas was ordered to stay away from all animals, take a class on humane and proper treatment of animals, and sentenced to 11 days in jail.

The now-former owner of Pawzazz, Victor Garcia-Herrera, was charged with attempt of animal cruelty for the death of Mora in July 2021 and harm to a Chow Chow on Christmas Eve of that same year.

According to court records, Garcia-Herrera agreed to plead guilty to a count of attempt of animal cruelty tied to Mora’s death and will stay away from all pets and pet-related work for a period of five years.

“If you’re at a park and somebody has dogs, just stay away from them,” the judge said, ordering Garcia-Herrera to avoid pets, animals, and even wild animals at all costs, even if it means avoiding visiting relatives.

Garcia-Herrera’s wife still owns the business.

“I’d like you to complete a class on the appropriate treatment of animals,” the judge also ordered, noting the circumstances must be approved by a parole officer. He also faces a year of probation.

“I’m sorry about the situation. I didn’t mean to… it’s something that happened,” Garcia-Herrera said in court.

FOX5 spoke by phone with Garcia-Herrera earlier in the week, who said he has documents to prove his side of the story but would not elaborate. He declined to answer questions on why he pled guilty to a charge.

Animal advocates who pushed for an investigation, necropsies and charges noted the irony in the sentencing. They are pushing for reforms in pet-related businesses, inspired by the circumstances surrounding Mora’s death.

FOX5 told you about the push for a Clark County ordinance, requiring workers at various pet and animal-related businesses and services to have certification to prove their skills and safety knowledge.

Businesses such as boarding facilities, grooming salons, pet-sitting services or training may require workers to have prior education or certification. However, they are not required to have any background training, due to the lack of Nevada regulations or any supervising agency.

The push for regulations comes in part from Nevada Voters For Animals, which has lobbied various local and state officials after the death of a husky named Mora.

“That’s why this such is such a betrayal of trust. People trust these boarding facilities. They trust these groomers. They trust these trainers to take care of their babies,” activist Gina Grieson said on Monday.

“What we hope to do is create a greater awareness of and maybe a bit of expertise, when it comes to the care of the animals and the handling of the animals,” Chair Jim Gibson said. “But we don’t want to do it in a way that puts people out of business or unemploys people. We want to do it in a way that strengthens what they’re able to offer in the way that they take care of the animals,” he said, noting concerns from various business owners over costs.

Chair Gibson took the proposal off of the county agenda, to meet more closely with business owners.