NORTH SMTIHFIELD – A North Smithfield-based pet groomer was arrested this week for animal cruelty following the deaths of four puppies in his care.
John Froais, owner of Doggie Styles Pet Spa, failed to get proper medical treatment for the animals, according to the Rhode Island State Police, who worked in conjunction with the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on the case.
Froais has been charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, a felony, along with four counts of care of dogs, five counts of unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine, obstructing a police officer and simple assault.
The shop, which was previously located in North Providence, opened in North Smithfield in 2018.
The RISPCA reportedly began investigation the groomer, located on Sayles Hill Road, after a customer complained that her dog had been stolen. The woman said that she gave Froais her pregnant French bulldog with an agreement that the store owner would return the pet after the litter was born.
According to officials with RISPCA, five of those puppies were deceased upon birth, and four were alive, but became ill. Froais did not seek medical attention for the animals, but instead tried to treat the puppies himself, according to reports.
All four later died, and the mother was never returned to the owner.
A spokesman from the RISPCA said Froais also assaulted an agent during their investigation of the matter.
Reviews of the business on the website Yelp review numerous accounts of dogs being injured during the grooming process.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has revoked the business’s license, but Froais has the right to appeal the decision, and can keep the shop running through the appeals process.
The state Division of Agriculture is also reportedly investigating several violations of regulations related to the kennel and grooming business.
Froais was arraigned in Kent County District Court and released on $5000 personal recognizance and ordered to have no care, custody or control of any animals.