15 cats and a dog seized from N. Smithfield pet groomer; owner wanted by State Police

NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WLNE) – 15 cats and a dog were seized from the North Smithfield pet spa “Doggy Styles” on Friday, June 19th, according to the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA).

A search warrant was secured by the RISPCA after officials received a complaint that there were several animals in the building that had been without adequate care for several days.

Upon arrival, the Rhode Island SPCA found the cats in a communal living environment with litter boxes overflowing with feces. Due to the high ammonia content in the room, caused by the accumulation of urine, the air quality was an immediate hazard to humans and animals.

The one dog at the location was found secured in a kennel with accumulated feces and urine, as well as found to be lacking access to food and water.

The animals were taken into custody and treated.

This is the second search warrant served at the business this month. On June 9th, authorities removed a litter of French bulldog puppies from the facility. Following this seizure, the Attorney General’s office issued a warrant for the arrest of the pet spa owner, John Froais, for violating the terms of his bail.

Froais was arrested in January on animal cruelty charges after nine French bulldog puppies died while in his care. He was charged with four counts of cruelty to animals, four counts of inadequate care of dogs, and five counts of unlicensed practice of veterinary medicine.

Following his arraignment, Froais was released on personal recognizance and ordered by a judge to have no care, custody, or control of any animals.

Officials also accuse Froais of breaking his bail requirement in May.

“He walked into a veterinary in Rhode Island with a pregnant female French bulldog,” said Joe Warzycha, President of the RISPCA.

Officials then seized a French bulldog and her three puppies. Warzycha reports the animals were not in good health.

The RISPCA is offering a $500 reward for any information leading to the location and arrest of Froais. Anyone with information is asked to contact Rhode Island Special Agent Earl Newman with the Rhode Island SPCA at 401-438-8150 ext 2.

The 27 animals seized from Froais will not be available for adoption until Froais’ case is settled.

“The animals get stuck in the middle of this and it’s just not fair,” said Warzycha.

He said his team is working on finding foster homes for the animals. He also said the addition of 27 animals is putting a strain on the RISPCA’s resources.

“They’re taking up kennel space and cage space that could potentially be filled with adoptable animals,” said Warzycha.

If Froais is found, he will face additional charges.

©WLNE-TV/ABC 6 2020

Categories: News, Regional News, Rhode Island