Pet groomer arrested
Michelle Louise Root was charged with second-degree animal cruelty on Wednesday (11 October).Forsyth County Sheriff's Office

The owner of a pet grooming store in Georgia has been arrested for allegedly causing the death of a dog by choking, kicking and then dragging the animal against objects, including a washing machine.

Michelle Louise Root, the owner of Paw'sh Paws was charged on Wednesday (11 October) with second-degree animal cruelty, Cumming Police said. According to Fox5 Atlanta, an employee told authorities they witnessed Root kicking a dog named Meko which was running to the back of the store on 7 October.

Root stopped Meko and proceeded to choke the dog until he was unconscious, the police record states. As she dragged the dog to the front of the store, Root banged the animal against a washer and other objects, Fox5 Atlanta reported.

The employee said Root then threw Meko on a table and attempted to finish his grooming, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

The police report states the dog was taken to the animal hospital after a friend of the dog owner came to pick him up and saw what state he was in. Root and her husband reportedly told the man who picked up Meko that he "must have had a seizure".

Meko was unresponsive and taken to Crestview Animal Hospital, where the dog was pronounced dead. A veterinarian told the dog owner and her friend that Meko had been dead between 10 and 30 minutes and placed him into refrigeration storage for an autopsy.

The dog was taken to the University of Georgia's Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory for a necropsy, Fox5 Atlanta reported.

Another witness told police on 9 October that Meko had been compliant during his bath. She told investigators that Root had kicked Meko in the head, bounced the animal off a wall and tub before slamming him on the table.

The two witnesses said they had witnessed Root abuse animals in the past but it was the first time she had caused the death of an animal as far as they knew.

Root was released from the Forsyth County jail Wednesday (11 October) on a $5,630 (£4,244) cash bond.