Dog trainer arrested, charged with animal cruelty

Rapides Parish, La. (KLFY) — A dog owner and her attorney are responding to the arrest of two local dog trainers. The arrests come after animal rights activists called for justice after seeing videos of trainers allegedly abusing dogs at Cypress Arrow K-9 Academy.

That Rapides Township Sheriff’s Office Tina Frey, 52, and Victoria Brimer, 21, arrested Thursday morning. Both are charged with two counts of serious animal cruelty. Frey owns the academy.

The owner of one of the dogs in the viral videos told KLFY News 10 that today is a win.

“I am definitely happy and more motivated to continue this process and this fight. We stopped on the way home from school and bought the dogs hamburgers and had a little victory celebration,” said Kayci Gonzales.

Gonzales, the owner of the chocolate lab featured in one of the viral videos, said the trainer’s arrest was a step toward victory.

“I’m happy with that. I’m glad you got arrested. I’m glad they have mugshots. I was able to tell my children that justice is being done, that we are on the right track and that people are supporting us,” she said.

Last Friday, the Rapides Township Sheriff’s Office searched the academy. MPs confiscated security records and numerous items.

Gonzales’ attorney, Lauren Ventrella, said it was not clear at this time what the two women were arrested for. However, she said her charges of aggravated animal cruelty were not misdemeanors. They are criminals.

“This means that this is more than just torturing, cruelly beating or unjustly hurting an animal. This is actually something about torture, mutilation, mutilation, unjustified pain and suffering for them,” Ventrella told News 10.

She says the case will now go to the prosecutor’s office and then to the prosecutor’s office, which can be lengthy.

“Following this, I urge the public not to forget this case as we must remain vigilant. During this time she is only arrested. She was not convicted of these crimes. So the alleged perpetrators could still have animals in their care,” Ventrella said.

However, she added that if the women are convicted, a judge can order them not to have any animals in their care for a period of time.

“It’s definitely not over yet, but it’s definitely a positive step. We’re very happy,” she said.

Both the K-9 Academy website and Facebook page have been taken down. It’s unclear if the academy currently has any dogs in its care.

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