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Baltimore groomer a suspect in dog fighting case

Shocking many who knew her as a groomer at a Locust Point dog day care and salon, Nicole Marie Caruso was arrested this week as part of a drug and dog fighting case in Baltimore County.

Caruso works as a groomer at Sobo Dog Daycare and Spa. Before that, she was a vet tech at Animal Medical Clinic in Timonium.

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Sun reporter Peter Hermann writes extensively about the situation, here.

At a townhouse on Lange Street in North Point, police found blood smeared on walls and three aggressive pit bulls that showed signs of injuries. They seized photos of dogs fighting and injured; a collar with bite marks; an address book with names of owners and dogs; leg irons with a 2 1/2-pound weight; bulk amounts of animal medicine; and vaccines that authorities said had been obtained from Caruso's current and former workplaces.

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At the SoBo Dog Day Care, owner Bill Link told Hermann that customers, including many from the luxury Silo Point condo tower next door, raved about her work.

"She has a fantastic following," Link said, noting that her resume shows seven years of professional experience with animals. The shop's Web site shows Caruso grooming dogs and telling customers, "I give clients the confidence they need when leaving their pet with me." She says on the site that she owns three dogs "that mean the world to me."

"It's a huge shame, very heartbreaking," said Nancy Jolle, the office manager of Animal Medical Clinic, where Caruso did everything from answer phones to prep dogs for surgery.

"We're kind of in shock. We don't know what to think until they sort out the facts."

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