Florida dog groomer arrested after breaking service animal's tail off in 'horrific' incident, police say

A Florida dog groomer has been arrested after allegedly breaking off the tail of a disabled veteran's German Shepherd -- an act so 'horrific' that a local sheriff is calling it 'one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch.'

James Cordell Doughty Suthann, who has since been fired from his job, is now facing a felony charge of cruelty to animals. Police say a surveillance video taken on Feb. 6 at a Brevard County facility showed Suthann getting angry as the dog, known as “TT”, moved around during the grooming process.

“The video is so graphic that I will not post on Facebook,” Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey said in a post. “But trust me when I tell you that it is one of the most difficult things I have ever had to watch in my 39 years of Law Enforcement because of the horrific and cruel way the pet was treated.”

Ivey says the recording shows Suthann squeezing the dog’s head and, at one point, lifting the animal off the ground by tugging on its tail, causing it “to be twisted a full 360 degrees and to be broken to the extent it could not be reattached."


“To make matters worse at the end of the incident Suthann had the audacity to strike the dog in the back of the head with the nozzle from the hose he was using to bathe him,” he added.

The owner of the 8-year-old service dog is a veteran with PTSD who has been left devastated by the incident, police say. The dog is now recovering after undergoing emergency surgery to amputate its tail.

Suthann was arrested yesterday following a joint investigation between the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office Animal Cruelty Unit and the Satellite Beach Police Department.

“Unfortunately, the maximum bond that could be placed on Suthann was $2,000.00, because they don’t let me personally set the bond amounts for criminals like this guy!!” Ivey wrote.

Ivey also offered a personal warning to anyone thinking of committing a similar act.


“If you harm an animal in Brevard County, we will take your butt straight to jail!!”

Fox News' Michael Sinkewicz contributed to this report.