Animal welfare protesters on Tuesday targeted a Virginia pet-grooming business where a video was secretly recorded of an employee's rough handling of a dog, prompting a criminal conviction.
The employee, Mironda Henning, no longer works at the Williamsburg business, called The Fuzzy Butt Stops Here.
In July, she was arrested and charged with animal cruelty, KTLA sister station WTKR in Norfolk reported. At that time, Henning was described as an owner of the business.
A former employee captured video in May of Henning abusing a white cockapoo named Gidget, with the video showing her roughly jerking the dog around and flipping the pooch during grooming, WTKR reported.
Henning was found guilty in August and forced to pay a $1,000 fine, with a six-month jail sentence that was suspended for five years.
Another woman at the business has repeatedly asked news reporters investigating the incident to leave the establishment.
Henning "does not work here anymore," the woman told WTKR on Monday. "I want my business to survive," she said.
Animal lover Barbara Morris said she didn't feel Henning's punishment was severe enough, so she organized a protest outside of the business. She was joined by a handful of people who stood in the rain Tuesday, WTKR reported.
"Close your doors! Guilty of animal cruelty," one protester's sign read.
The video of the dog's abuse was not made public when Henning was charged, according to television station WAVY in Portsmouth, Virginia.
But the eight-minute video was shown in court, and Henning could be heard complaining and swearing about Gidget’s owner having brought the dog in with matted fur, WAVY reported. The video was recorded from the former employee's back pocket, according to WAVY.
The dog vomited and defecated after the harsh handling, prosecutors said in court.
Gidget’s unidentified owner told WAVY she didn't want Henning to get in trouble, but hoped the defendant would have more compassion.
The full video was shared on Facebook last week. WTKR's Facebook post of the video has been viewed more than 450,000 times since Monday afternoon.
The business' Facebook page has apparently been deleted. Its Yelp page has myriad negative comments related to the video.