IOWA CITY, Iowa — A groomer at a veterinarian’s office is accused of kicking a dog in his care, breaking its ribs and bruising its lungs.
Lucas Van Orden V, 22, told police that he kicked the dog while grooming it July 9, according to a police complaint. The dog’s injuries include rib fractures and lung tissue damage.
In a conversation on reddit, the owners, whom police did not identify, said that their dog, a corgi named Jasper, indicated he was in pain immediately after being picked up from the groomer. He walked slowly with his ears down, wouldn’t jump in the car as usual and screamed in pain when his owners tried to pick him up.
They immediately took the dog to a pet emergency center where Jasper was kept under observation for multiple nights after the incident, the police complaint said.
Jasper will need four to six weeks to heal from his injuries, the owners indicated.
Van Orden was arrested Thursday and charged with animal neglect, a simple misdemeanor, and was issued a citation. He could face up to 30 days in jail and $625 in fines.
He is scheduled to appear Aug. 25 in 6th Judicial District Court.
“Any animal injury is of paramount concern and is not tolerated in any respect,” according to a statement from Creature Comfort Veterinary Center in Iowa City, where Van Orden worked. “Immediately upon learning of this incident, the groomer was discharged from his employment.”
Lucas Van Orden IV calls himself practice manager at the veterinarian’s office for almost 20 years, according to his LinkedIn listing.