South Florida dog groomer facing 2 counts of animal cruelty

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A South Florida dog groomer is accused of abusing animals at the business he co-owns in Boca Raton, authorities said.

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Plinio Roberto De Camargo Jr., 47, of Boca Raton, was arrested Friday and charged with two counts of cruelty to animals, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office online booking records.

According to the sheriff’s office, a Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control officer received five videos from a customer that allegedly showed De Camargo abusing dogs, WPTV reported.

De Camargo and his wife, Alessandra Bresciani Barreto, of Deerfield Beach, are the co-owners of the dog grooming business, the Boca Post reported.

An arrest affidavit alleged that the videos showed De Camargo striking some dogs with a closed fist, twisting a dog’s hair, picking up another canine by only holding its hair, and pulling a dog’s hair “in a cruel and inhumane manner.”

Stephen Spiegel, a customer at De Carmargo’s business, said he has been taking his dog to the shop since 2020.

“We really like the people that run it and we’ve been happy with the service,” Spiegel told WPTV. “I don’t think I’ll be running anywhere else. They seem like nice people so I like to support them, but I’d like to find out more because our dog is very important to us.”

De Carmargo was released Saturday evening after posting $4,000 bail, online records show.