VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The owners of a Virginia Beach grooming business have pleaded guilty to multiple charges of “inadequate care of animals.”

According to the Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Vickie and Jeffrey Piva, the owners of Blue Dog Pet Grooming, pleaded guilty on Monday to 15 criminal charges for inadequate care.

According to court documents, three standard poodles and one chihuahua mix were seized from the owners’ Virginia Beach home in January. Claims from animal control allege the couple “didn’t provide care for the four dogs.”

The couple initially faced three additional charges relating to the grooming shop, but those charges have now been amended.

Under the plea agreement, the Pivas agreed to never own a pet for two years except for the four dogs which were returned to their ownership Tuesday. After two years, the Pivas will be allowed to own pets again in addition to the four.

Additionally, animal control officers will be allowed to search their home or businesses once a month for two years.

Vickie Piva issued a statement following the plea agreement. Read the full statement below:

“After careful consideration, I chose to enter into a plea agreement with the Commonwealth in order to retain possession of our four family dogs. If you know me, you know my love for dogs has no bounds. I think of them the same as my two-legged family members. In this circumstance, I became overwhelmed with health issues, the demands of my successful business, and three momma dogs that had a total of nine puppies in my home. To clarify, the criminal charges did not stem from any cruelty to my personal dogs or dogs being cared for at my business, Blue Dog Pet Grooming. I fully cooperated with the investigation and will ensure proper welfare for my dogs at home and at my business. Thank you for your understanding in this difficult time. We hope you will continue to allow us to love and care for your dogs in the future.”

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