Two women were arrested and charged with animal cruelty charges after videos from a dog training academy went viral on social media.
Tina Frey, 52, and Victoria Brimer, 21, were booked into Rapides Parish Detention Center on Thursday, one week after the Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation after receiving one complaint from a dog owner.
The viral videos were shot at Cypress Arrow K9 Academy in Louisana.
Both women have since been released on a $10,000 bond, but the case is “still a very active and ongoing investigation,” and additional charges could still be possible.
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Frey’s attorney Brad Drell, in a statement to People, denied his client has ever hurt an animal at her dog training facility. He noted that she is “an expert” in handling the Cane Corso breed.
“I want to unequivocally state that Tina Frey has never hurt or injured a dog in her care,” he said. “She is a respected dog trainer and is qualified to train other trainers.”
“They have the potential to be very dangerous to human beings if not trained properly.” He also said the video that originally sparked controversy for the pair, which features a dog named Fenixx, is misleading and that it “creates a false impression that dogs are being injured.”
“While the video is disturbing for many to watch, what needs to be understood is that Fenixx at the time was attempting to chew through a leash, which would have allowed Fenixx to bite either Ms. Frey or her daughter,” he said.
The clip shows the women holding a leash and pulling it in opposite directions, while one of them uses a short whip on the dog. Drell noted that the tool is “flexible and not painful.”
“While I understand that many people feel, and some quite strongly, that the use of the quirt is not what they would do to correct a dog, the use of the quirt is not inhumane under the law. Fenixx was in no way injured, as is shown in the video,” Drell said. “Tina Frey is innocent of any claim of animal cruelty.”
The owners of the Cane Corso ‘Fenixx’ Carmen Cloute and her husband, Jared, sent their dog to Cypress Arrow for advanced training on July 15. While the dog was still at the training facility, the couple said they were sent a video of Fenixx being hit with an object like some sort of a whip multiple times.
“When I opened that email and that video, my blood ran cold,” Carmen said. “We called Tina. I said ‘Tina, what is this’ and she said ‘oh, that’s the correction training.’ We gave Cypress Arrow permission to make any corrections to any behavior that she was exhibiting. We would have never agreed to that method. The thing that’s just going on in my head is why, if she is a professional, didn’t she say ‘hey Mr. and Mrs. Cloute, I’m going to use this method. It’s going to look controversial. Do I have your permission?’ We would’ve never said yes to that.”
After seeing the video, the couple then drove from Texas to pick Fenixx up early from training at Cypress Arrow.
Currently, other dog owners are still coming forward.
The original article appeared on Baton Rouge WAFB.