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Dog groomer gets 3 months in poodle’s killing
by Luke Broadwater, The Examiner

Dog groomer Celeste Rainone told a Baltimore County judge Monday that she likely beat a 14-year-old poodle to death because she was having a “panic attack.”
“I’m sorry that I snapped, but I just can’t control it,” Rainone, 53, said in Baltimore County District Court. “There was no intent to hurt Rajah or no malice.”

But Judge Barbara Jung said she couldn’t believe Rainone, a Shrewsbury, Pa., resident, was still grooming animals after the judge convicted her of animal cruelty and mutilation in the Feb. 17 death of poodle Rajah.

“I’m sure [Rajah’s owner] wakes up at night thinking about Rajah’s last day on Earth,” Jung said before sentencing Rainone to three months in jail. The judge also ordered Rainone to stop grooming other animals. The Baltimore County government has not revoked her grooming license, despite the conviction.


Rajah’s owner, Nancy Pine, a Baldwin resident, said she was tired of hearing Rainone’s “constant excuses.”

“This dog was beat to death, and she needs to be held accountable for that,” Pine said. “She took a life.”

The groomer is charged with a second case of animal cruelty against a 4-year-old Maltese named Chesney. That case is set for a Nov. 27 trial in Baltimore County District Court.

Rainone’s attorney, James Farmer, said that publicity about the case destroyed the groomer’s business.

At noon on Feb. 16, Pine took her poodle to Grooming by Celeste at 5235 Hydes Road in Baltimore County in “completely healthy” condition, according to Pine.

But the dog was noticeably different when he returned home at 7 p.m. He was “cold, wet and minimally responsive,” according to a report by veterinarian Patti Brennan of Falls Road Animal Hospital. Rajah died soon afterward.

According to an anima necropsy conducted on Rajah, the dog suffered from blunt trauma to the head, face, liver and other organs.

A neighbor of Rainone’s testified in court she heard a loud noise the day Rajah was injured and rushed to check on Rainone, who was acting upset and irrational.

Rainone testified that Rajah bit her twice while she was grooming the 14-year-old poodle.

During the October trial, prosecutor Matthew Breault played a recorded cell phone message Rainone left for Pine after the incident.

In the message, Rainone threatened to sue Pine for defamation.

“I’m going to put your phone number on every bathroom stall in Baltimore County,” Rainone said on the message.
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...and I thought I heard it all ....

Just horrible : (((... do not even know what to say ....
 

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It is a lot of trust we who don't groom our own dogs put in our groomers. We're dropping them off for hours at a time and just hoping they don't get away or get hurt while we aren't there. I worry every time I drop off Tate until the second I pick his wagging little booty up. What if there were a fire in the shop and they couldn't save all the dogs? What if a car runs into the building? What if my dog gets out the front door? I have a lot of what ifs run through my head when he's gone.

Anything could happen and when your pet isn't in your care, it is easy to blame someone else (in this case, it is correct to!) It's just the same as leaving your child with a babysitter. You hope for the best.

It is disgusting that this woman would do this to other people's dogs, and dogs in general. Being a groomer, I would think you would prepare yourself for bad days and dogs that aren't particularly in the mood to have their hair cut... this dog was most likely treated as a family member, and not a pet... possibly even this woman's child (more and more people are replacing kids with dogs... I mean... when the dog doesn't talk back after you take away their toys... it's kind of a win/win!)

Ugh, absolutely terrible.
 

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Oh man.. that makes me sick. What a horrible person. She testified that the dog bit her twice? Oh boo hoo. You're a groomer! It's gonna happen! It's no reason to beat a 14 year old dog to death... what a psycho.

Thanks for sharing that Wishpoo. It helps me appreciate the groomers I know that much more :)
 

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This is only about 30 min from me. :faint:

This is the first I've heard of this. Thanks so much for sharing!

I am glad I have a groomer who I trust, and who Loves my dogs!
 

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Just horrible. :scared: That poor dog.

This is one of the reasons I feel groomers should not get offended because the owners want to stay the first few times. :rolffleyes: Sh*t like this happens to children!!! Its always broadcasting on Nancy Grace. What if she had a child with her that pissed her off?? She would have killed the child too........and she get 3 months SICK BIOTCH!
 

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I agree w/ you guys. It takes a lot of trust and I don't get some groomers' reluctance or defensiveness about owner's questions and requests to stay. No one would ever drop off a young child for a haircut and say, "I'll be back in 4 hrs!" And if you did, children are at least capable of telling you that they were mistreated. W/ a dog, if there is no physical evidence, you have no idea. It's also not easy to see the evidence an a fluffy or dark colored dog. (I'm not one who likes to compare dogs to children but I think it works in this case.) Anyone w/ an anxiety issue that leads them to lash out violently, has no business working w/ animals. That excuse wouldn't fly if she worked in a daycare or nursing home.
 

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Oh holy crap!:doh:
I groom a lot of old dogs, and sometimes I do worry about them dying, but not because I have beaten them!!!
I mean geriatric grooming has its risks, and I am always scared that I will walk back to get an old dog out of its kennel and it will have passed away.

So the dog bit her twice? muzzle it or ask the owner to please pick up if you can't groom it, don't beat it to death.
grooming professionally can be stressful, and it is easy to get burned out. put the dog up for a few minutes and do something else.
 

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that makes me sick. If you can't handle the "handle with care" types of dogs then don't accept them as clients. If you can't handle your own emotions then maybe you are in the wrong business. Poor dogs and poor people. It's no wonder that so many people out there have a hard time trusting groomers or other pet care pros. When stuff like this happens it makes you wonder if little fluffy is safe when you leave them for grooming or boarding or at the vet. :(
 

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This is just so disturbing...Having been a groomer for over 30 years I have seen for myself several groomers that should never be allowed to groom.I at one time stayed and talked to a person who had a dog mistreated while i was present. I saw the groomer hit a toy poodle with the clippers!!! I yelled at her to stop and told her i was going to tell the owner or the authorities... I cant believe she thought it was ok to do that in front of me!! It was like it was standard procedure... I was there to see if she could handle some of my overflow as I was cutting back the big dogs I groomed.. that didnt happen!!! I am happy to say that most groomers are doing it because they love grooming , the dogs and their people clients. It IS difficult to have a client stay sometimes depending on the dog.. maybe better for the person to come before and watch the groomer grooming someone elses dog ? I can tell you that in my shop everything was open. you could see the dogs being bathed , dried and groomed... no secrets...if a dog was being given a mild correction it was out in the open... I was amazed to find the our local big box grooming shop was supposed to have all grooming done in full view... that is except for the ones they did in the back room!!! LOL! Not that they were treating them badly but they werent allowed to give the dogs any sort of correction on front of clients so people thought that all the dogs they groomed were perfectly behaved... thanks to the expertise of the groomers! :) I did on some occasions have the owner come and observe while doing a really "bad" dog so they would understand what was going on. I can understand how hard it is to leave your pets with a groomr you dont know well...
 
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