- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 13, 2019

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - Prosecutors are bringing nine additional charges of animal cruelty against the owner of a pet grooming business in Washington state who is accused of abusing and strangling customers’ pets.

The additional charges were brought Tuesday against Michelle Burt in Franklin County Superior Court. She was previously charged with three counts of animal cruelty, and is now facing a total of 12 charges.

KEPR reports that Burt owns two pet grooming businesses called Paw Spa in Pasco and West Richland.

Police say at least one dog and a cat died due to Burt’s actions at her Pasco location. Former employees told police that Burt said she controlled animals by cutting off their air supply.

Burt previously pleaded not guilty to the first three charges, and she has been ordered to stay away from all pets while awaiting her trial.

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