Oshkosh pet groomer arrested for defying stay-at-home order

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 23:33:02-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) -- The owner of an Oshkosh pet grooming business was taken into custody Monday over violations of the Governor's stay-at-home order, Oshkosh Police said.

Governor Tony Evers recently extended the so-called "Safer At Home" order to stop the spread of coronavirus in the state. The order closes most businesses deemed non-essential.

The Oshkosh Police Department said it received a call on Friday from the Winnebago County Health Department advising that The Dog Depot on South Main Street was open and that they were in violation of the Governor’s order. Police said The Dog Depot was deemed a non-essential business and that they needed to close immediately.

When a police sergeant went to the business and spoke to the owner, police said the owner disagreed with the Winnebago County Health Department and that she would not comply with the order to close her store.

The Oshkosh Police Department said it consulted the Winnebago County District Attorney’s Office and they agreed that the business owner was violating the Governor’s orders.

Police said the owner was warned several times and was told that each day that her business continued to stay open would result in another charge.

According to Oshkosh Police, the owner was taken into custody on Monday after again refusing to close her business.

"This is the first time that we have had a business owner or citizen who defied the Governor’s order and continued to not comply numerous times," Oshkosh Police stated in a news release.

NBC 26 talked with Lisa Binning the owner of The Dog Depot Monday afternoon after she was released from custody.

"After I got out, which I didn't have to pay a bond or anything, they just let me go and came back to work," said Binning.

She said she doesn't feel that she violated the order.

"After the April 16th statement that was made about the non-essential services and stuff, I was like, 'Ok, well, we will wait until the original day which is the 24th and that's when we'll open," added Binning.

She said they also were taking precautions like wearing masks and gloves, social distancing, and doing curbside drop-off and pick-up of pets.

"I'm not hurting anyone, and I'm keeping people safer than what they would be going into a big store or something like that. Like I said, we're staying six feet away from people. We got the gloves. We got the masks. We're doing the right thing here," said Binning.

Winnebago County District Attorney Christian Gossett said Binning will not face criminal charges given the change in the governor's order.

"Technically she was in violation of the order as it stood, but as this was all unfolding, the governor changed the order and so the Oshkosh Police Department went back and met with her and sorted out a way that she could operate her business in compliance with the governor's new order," said Gossett. "Nobody's goal in this has been to try to come down and turn this into a strong arm tactic or anything. It's been a lot of very positive communication with community members and business owners and law enforcement."

The Winnebago County Health Department issued a statement Monday evening. stating it suspended the grooming salon license of The Dog Depot after this incident. It went on to say the license will be reinstated Wednesday morning at the start of the new order.

"The Winnebago County Health Department does not condone willful violation of the Governor’s Safer at Home order," the health department said in a press release. "Businesses that violate that order are exercising an unfair competitive advantage over other businesses that are following the law and supporting the health of our community."