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Heavens Gate Kennels "dog guru" charged with animal cruelty

Leslie Ayo, "dog guru"
Leslie Ayo, "dog guru"

38 year old Leslie Ayo, of Fairburn, is accused of cutting off the tails and dewclaws of eight Rottweiler puppies, the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

She was arrested and charged with eight counts of cruelty to animals for the November incident, Deputy Shannon Volkodav said. Ayo was also charged with giving false information, Gwinnett County jail records show.

Ayo was hired to de-claw, cut the tails and give heartworm medication to eight newborn puppies, according to a police report obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Vanessa Speed, of Lawrenceville, told police she had hired Ayo previously and believed Ayo’s business, Heavens Gate Kennels, was reputable, the report states.

On her company’s website, Ayo calls herself a “dog guru,” but she does not have a veterinary license, according to the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office.

On Nov. 18, 2013, Ayo arrived at Speed’s home and took the puppies into the kitchen, the police report states.
“She (Speed) advised that she left the room because she could not stand to see blood,” the report states. “…Speed advised while in a separate room she could hear the puppies screaming excessively.”

Speed’s grandson, who was in the kitchen with Ayo and the dogs, said it appeared Ayo was using a tool similar to scissors to cut the animals, according to police.

“Speed advised all of the dogs were extremely bloody and it appeared that nothing had been placed on the open wound to protect from foreign objects and to stop bleeding,” the report states.

Speed told Ayo the dogs’ tails were cut too short, and Ayo allegedly apologized, according to police.

One of the dogs later died, and a veterinarian contacted Animal Control.

Deputies served Ayo with warrants Thursday and she was transported to the Gwinnett County jail, where she was booked in Thursday afternoon. Her bond was set at $11,700.

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