Pet owner learns her cat was abused at local grooming shop after video surfaces on social media

Charleston County News

WARNING: Some may find the contents of this story disturbing and upsetting.

WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCBD) – A video showing a disturbing act of animal abuse is circulating on social media.

Surveillance video, recorded in May of 2019 according to the time stamp, shows a man throw a cat against a wall at Carolina Grooming in West Ashley.

In the video, you can see two individuals working with animals inside the business when a man enters the room and begins holding the cat down for another groomer.

A little past seven minutes into the video, the cat becomes upset and the man attempts to restrain the animal before grabbing it by the back and slamming it against a wall and onto the floor.

“You can’t do that,” said one of the other groomers in the video. “I said let him go,” she said.

“I’m just sick to my stomach,” Marcia Alfaro, the cat’s owner, told News 2. “I can’t even watch it, I can’t see my baby hurt.”

Alfaro learned about the incident after her daughter called her about the viral video around 8 p.m. Wednesday night. Alfaro said she does not plan on watching the video.

News 2 spoke to Carolina Grooming’s owner, Daryl Kornickey. He said he learned about the video after it surfaced on social media. Kornickey said the man who posted the video is a manager he recently fired last month.

“I had to let him go, Kornickey said. ” He made some bad hires and because of him being fired, now he wants to try to take down my business.”

Kornickey did not tell News 2 the name of the alleged disgruntled employee. However, he did say he allowed him to take control over the shop after he suffered from a collapsed lung three years ago. Due to his health issues, Kornickey was not heavily involved in the day-to-day operations at the salon. Now that Kornickey is on the mend, he said he realized several employees were not properly doing their jobs, so he fired everyone, including all three people in the video and the manager.

“No one was fired because of the video because the video was kept a secret,” Kornickey said. “I fired them for different reasons like being late, not showing up and just not being good employees.”

Alfaro said an ex-employee reached out to her months ago about this video, but she didn’t think anything of it.

“I was contacted back in July or so by somebody who claimed to have worked there and said they had a video of my cat being hurt and they were going to send it to the news station, but I never heard anything more of it,” Alfaro said.

That was all until Wednesday.

“If he was so concerned, he would have called the police,” Kornickey said. “It would have been handled seven months ago when it happened.”

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office confirmed there is no police report regarding this incident.

Kay Hyman with Charleston Animal Society said she is appalled by the situation.

“It was really disturbing,” Hyman said. “My stomach and my gut hurt. To us that is such blatant cruelty.”

Hyman said if an animal ever bites a groomer there is a proper way to handle the situation.

“Take a minute, breathe,” Hyman said. “Let the dog or the cat have moment to recoup. You may very well not be able to do what you need to do with this animal and that’s okay. Look at the signals and make sure you are listening to them.”

Hyman said the most important lesson in this situation is learning to always report animal cruelty when seen.

“When people see cruelty or hear about animal cruelty they need to report it to the Better Business Bureau and the animal control in their area.”

Alfaro told News 2 May 2019 was her first and last time going to Carolina Grooming.

“I will never use that business again,” Alfaro said.

When News 2 asked Kornickey if he has a message for Alfaro, he got choked up.

“Please forgive us, please forgive me,” Kornickey said. “I should have never stepped away, this is on me. I should have never gave control of my business to anybody and now it looks like I may not have a business.”

The company acknowledged the video in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

“Attention all customers. It has come to my attention that there is a video of a cat being mistreated at Carolina Grooming,” the post reads. “The owner of this cat lost his temper and flung The Cat when it bit him.”

The post went on to say the manager tried to hide the video and was fired once it was seen. “Now he’s using this video to ruin the shop’s reputation when he, in fact, was the one running the shop. He is also used fake Google accounts and has gotten friends to leave fake reviews,” the company posted.

Carolina Grooming has received hundreds of comments regarding the video.

You can watch the full video on YouTube by clicking here. Viewer discretion advised.

Kornickey says he has an entire new staff.

Alfaro said she does not plan on pressing charges at this time.

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