MIRAMAR, Fla. – The owner of a South Florida pet grooming business has been arrested in connection with the deaths of three dogs that were in his care.
Charliston Seixas, 51, was arrested Tuesday on three counts of cruel death and suffering of an animal. His arrest comes after three dogs under his care at The Pet Club in Miramar died after being left in the back of a van for hours.
When Seixas left jail Tuesday night, he said had forgotten that the dogs were still in the car and that what happened was an honest mistake.
"It's a disgraceful mistake," Seixas said. "I'm a pet lover. That's my calling. I've been doing it for 30 years."
Seixas picked up Danielle Trentin's three dogs in March. Trentin's Shih Tzu, sheltie and mixed breed were placed in the company's van as part of a regular grooming appointment that had been kept over the last three years.
"He came around 10, he picked up all three of them, put them inside the car and took them to the pet store, to The Pet Club, to groom them," Trentin told Local 10 News animal advocate Jacey Birch last month.
Trentin became concerned when Seixas failed to return repeated calls to pick up the pets. When Trentin arrived at Seixas' personal home, he told her that he had returned the dogs, then said he had left them at The Pet Club.
When they went to the business to retrieve the dogs, Seixas came out crying.
Seixas had left the dogs in the van and all three were later found dead. Necropsies confirmed the cause of death for all the dogs was heat exhaustion.
"My husband called me and said, 'They are here. They are inside the car,'" she said.
The police investigation says Seixas drove the van from his home to the business with the dead dogs inside. Police said there was "a lot of feces and the smell was unbearable."
Seixas said Trentin lives a few hours down from him, so when he got the dogs, he thought he would go home and parked in his driveway.
When asked if he just forgot about the animals at that point, Seixas answered, "Yes."
Trentin said she is hurt by the loss of her animals.
"That's what hurts me most, because I couldn't do anything to save them, you know," Trentin said in a previous interview. "I keep thinking, like, they were there thinking, 'Where is my mom? Why is she not here saving us?'"