The owner of Pampered Poodles, a Silver Spring-based pet grooming salon, was convicted of 17 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found that multiple dogs in her care had gotten anemia from flea bites, and found unsanitary conditions. Credit: Photo from Montgomery County government

This story was updated at 9:40 a.m. on July 27, 2022, to include comments from Thomas Koenig

The owner of a Silver Spring pet grooming salon was convicted last week of 17 counts of animal cruelty after authorities found in 2020 that multiple dogs in her care had gotten anemia from flea bites, the Montgomery County Office of Animal Services announced Tuesday.

Carrie Seek, the owner of Pampered Poodles in Silver Spring, was convicted of 17 counts of failure to provide veterinary care and adequate space, according to a press release. Seek is 68, according to court records.

Seek was sentenced by Montgomery County District Court Judge Victor Del Pinto to more than four years in jail, but the entire sentence was suspended, according to a press release. She will serve two years of supervised probation and will be prohibited from having any animals during that time. She was also ordered to undergo mental health treatment.

According to the Office of Animal Services, officers responded to a complaint about Seek’s business from the Metropolitan Animal Emergency and Specialty Center in Rockville in October 2020. At Seek’s business on Williamsburg Drive, officials found “unsanitary conditions,” including an infestation of fleas, according to the office. The fleas had caused the dogs to become anemic, and one Maltese-type dog died as a result.

Officers seized seven Maltese-type dogs, two Shiloh Shepherd-type dogs and a turtle, according to the office.

Anemia is a condition in which people or animals do not have an adequate supply of red blood cells, which is often caused by blood loss, according to VCA Animal Hospitals, a national chain of animal hospitals. Bites from flea bites and other blood-sucking insects are among the causes, it states.

The other seized dogs were taken to the county’s animal shelter in Derwood, where their skin healed and missing fur grew back, according to the county. The dogs are still in the custody of the Office of Animal Services.

Thomas Koenig, the director of the Office of Animal Services, told Bethesda Beat on Wednesday that Seek operated a business out of her home and had a license.

“Once we found out about what was going on and we saw it, we revoked her commercial license immediately,” he said.

Koenig said prior to October 2020 they had not received any complaints about Pampered Poodles, but after the dogs were seized they started to hear similar accounts.

“We later heard from neighbors whose dogs were groomed over there that every time they took their dogs over there to get groomed, [the dogs] would come back with fleas,” he said.

A phone number listed for Pampered Poodles was not functional Tuesday. An employee at the office of defense attorney Andy Jezic, who is representing Seek, said they would pass along a reporter’s information to him.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

Dan Schere

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com.