Louisiana mom-daughter dog trainers charged over viral video of them 'abusing' Cane Corso
Their lawyer said they were trained professionals just trying to control the dog and not hurt it
RAPUDES PARISH, LOUISIANA: A mother and daughter from Louisiana have been charged for allegedly abusing animals at their dog training centre, Cypress Arrow Kennel & K9 Academy. Owner Tina Frey, 52, and her daughter Victoria Brimer, 21, have been charged with two charges of aggravated animal abuse, the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office announced on Thursday.
After cops received complaints against them for animal cruelty, they were taken into custody. A popular social media video this month showed Frey "hitting a Cane Corso dog on the head with a riding crop," according to the Sheriff's Office, prompting authorities to open an inquiry.
The mother and daughter were detained and charged after police verified the footage and found "probable cause that corroborated the initial complaint." Although the case is "still a very active and continuing investigation," and further charges may be brought, they were each freed on a $10,000 bail.
Brad Drell, Frey's legal representative, insisted on her innocence in a statement to PEOPLE. "I want to unequivocally state that Tina Frey has never hurt or injured a dog in her care. She is a respected dog trainer and is qualified to train other trainers," he says, adding that she is "an expert" in handling the cane corso breed.
He added of the breed, "Weighing over 100 pounds, they have the potential to be very dangerous to human beings if not trained properly." He mentioned recent instances of cane corsos attacking people.
Drell told PEOPLE about the video in question, "The video circulating of Ms Frey using a squirt [a short whip] on [the dog called] Fenixx 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."
In the video, the two can be seen tugging in different directions while holding a leash, one of whom Dreel claims to be his customer whipping the dog.
He claims that Frey used a squirt to stop the dog from biting through the leash and points out that the video shows both Frey and Fenixx's owner using the squirt on themselves while "experiencing no pain."