Dog groomer facing second animal cruelty charge after new allegations

- A Cumming dog groomer charged with animal cruelty for allegedly kicking, choking and killing a dog in her care is facing a second animal cruelty charge for allegedly killing another dog last year.

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Michelle Root turned herself into Cumming police last night and has since bonded out of jail.

Police tell FOX 5 they believe there could be a third felony charge and several misdemeanor charges. Police say they've received more than 100 calls from possible victims.

Authorities say the cases they're looking into date back to 2003 when Root worked at another pet grooming company.

MORE: Police: Grooming store owner accused of choking, kicking, and dragging dog, leading to its death

"It's like losing a family member," said Eric Francis earlier this month, after his dog Meko died while in the care of Paw'sh Paws grooming service.

Police arrested store owner Michelle Root, saying she kicked, dragged and choked Meko until he died. News of Meko's death launched a massive investigation by Cumming police.

"It's been overwhelming. We've received hundreds of phone calls from victims," said Deputy Chief Alethea Barrett.

Barrett says two days ago, another victim came forward. According to the arrest warrant, while in Root's care, a dog suffered a ruptured spleen and eye trauma, causing the dog to have to be euthanized.

This incident happened in March of 2016. Barrett says this victim didn't come forward in the beginning because she liked Root.

"She was a very liked woman in the community. They trusted her with their animals," said Barrett.

Barrett says that trust has dated back to 2003 when Root worked at another pet business. Barrett told me investigators believe other abuse cases could have taken place then, which makes their investigation even more complicated.

"That's an extensive period of time. So getting the victims to get all the veterinarian records, also proving it, proving employee records, and getting those employees to come forward and talk to us," said Barrett.

This afternoon, FOX 5 spoke to Roots' attorney, who did not want to comment at this time. Root is free on bond on the new charges. Police say the store has closed.

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