Silver Spring pet salon owner found guilty of animal cruelty

The owner of a pet grooming salon in Silver Spring, Maryland, has been convicted on charges of animal cruelty for neglect that led to one dog’s death.

Carrie Seek, owner of Pampered Poodles, was convicted Thursday on 17 counts of failure to provide veterinary care and adequate space, Montgomery County said in a statement Tuesday.

Seek was given a suspended sentence of over four years in jail, in addition to two years of supervised probation and an order to receive mental health services.

In October of 2020, the Montgomery County Office of Animal Services seized seven Maltese-type dogs, two Shiloh Shepherd-type dogs and one small turtle from Pampered Poodles, which was located in a residence near the intersection of University Boulevard and Williamsburg Drive.

All dogs in Ms. Seek’s care were found anemic due to extreme flea infestation. One of the Maltese-type dogs died from medical conditions exacerbated by the anemia. (Courtesy Montgomery County Office of Animal Services)

Officers found unsanitary conditions there, including an infestation of fleas. All dogs were found to be anemic due to the extreme flea infestation. And one of the Maltese-type dogs died from medical conditions exacerbated by the anemia, according to the county.

Animal Services searched Seek’s pet salon after complaints from a veterinarian at the Metropolitan Animal Emergency Specialty Center.

The rescued dogs were treated at the county’s animal shelter in Derwood, where officials say damaged skin and fur has healed. The animals remain in the county’s custody, pending any appeals of the legal case against Seek.

Among Google reviews for the salon, one customer who left their dog with Seek in 2020 said, “I HAVE BEEN PICKING FLEAS OFF HIM SINCE BRINGING HIM HOME.”

Pampered Poodles was shut down soon after the raid last fall.

“Watching the remarkable transformation these dogs experienced after confiscation is the reason we do what we do,” said Gregory Lawrence, chief veterinarian for the Office of Animal Services. “The entire Montgomery County Office of Animals Services team did a fantastic job.”

Seek has 30 days to appeal the ruling.

During her sentence, Seek will be prohibited from owning, residing with, possessing or controlling any animals.

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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