Celeste Rainone, a Baltimore groomer and owner of Grooming by Celeste, has been ordered to a 90 day prison sentence in the death of a poodle while she was grooming him.
Rajah, a 14-year-old apricot-colored miniature poodle, was always brought to Rainone’s grooming salon to get shampooed and have his nails clipped.
But Nancy Pine, Rajah’s owner, knew that there was something wrong when Rajah had been at the groomer for a lot longer than usual. Two hours after Pine called to check on Rajah, Rainone’s fiance dropped off the poodle at Pine’s home.
Pine said that when she first saw her poodle, he couldn’t even hold his head up and was barely conscious.
Rajah died ten hours later at an animal hospital, and a necropsy showed that the poodle suffered acute liver injuries, broken ribs, and internal bleeding, and he may have been strangled.
Baltimore County District Judge Barbara Jung sentenced Rainone to 90 days in jail for animal cruelty and animal mutilation. She was also ordered to surrender her grooming license and pay $2,371 to cover Rajah’s medical expenses. The judge added that the amount paid to Pine will never compensate for the loss of her dog.
Rainone apologized in court and said she had no intention to hurt Rajah and that she suddenly snapped. She said that when the poodle bit her while she was grooming him, she went out of control.
Her attorney stated that after Rainone had surgery for a cerebral hemorrhage three years ago, she has suffered seizures and has been diagnosed with a panic disorder. The attorney added that Rainone was overcome by the situation and did not mean to harm Rajah.
Rainone is also scheduled to go to trial later this week in another incident of animal cruelty. She is accused of injuring Chesney, a four-year-old Maltese, in June 2006. The dog’s owner said that Chesney was limping and covered in urine, feces and blood when she picked him up.
The owner stated Rainone said that Chesney had bit her and “needed to be put down.”
Source: Baltimore Sun