A Tri-Cities business owner pleaded innocent Tuesday to allegations she strangled and abused customers’ cats and dogs.
Michelle L. Burt, 28, is charged in Franklin County Superior Court with first-degree animal cruelty.
Her trial on the felony is set for Nov. 14.
Burt has two Paw Spa location on Road 68 in Pasco and South Kennedy Road in West Richland.
Police allege that Burt’s actions at the Pasco pet grooming business led to the deaths of at least one dog and a cat.
Several other animals required veterinary visits for broken bones and injuries, including chemical burns from a flea bath given without the owner’s permission, court documents said.
Former employees told police that Burt talked about dominating animals by cutting off their air supply. It was reported that some dogs would pass out from being strangled, documents said.
Burt, who lives in Richland, has been ordered to stay away from all pets, like dogs and cats.