Two dogs have died and one suffered a serious injury following groomings at a PetSmart location in New Jersey, their owners allege.
Danielle DiNapoli posted on Facebook last week after her healthy 8-year-old bulldog Scruffles passed away after a routine grooming. She claims she had dropped him off at the Flemington PetSmart at 9:45 a.m. on December 29, and less than an hour later, was told her beloved pup was at the Flemington Veterinary Hospital. By the time she arrived, Scruffles was dead.
"PetSmart refuses to answer any questions regarding her passing and only states it's under investigation," she wrote on Facebook. "We have asked to speak to the groomer and a report of what happened during her last hours on earth. They refuse to give us information."
Tara Feit saw the post and couldn't believe it. "I messaged her and said, 'My dog went there Friday and died Sunday. Is that a coincidence or could something have happened?'" she told NJ Advance Media.
Feit's pet Ranger visited the Flemington PetSmart on December 22 and returned home lethargic, she says. But when Feit called the franchise asking if anything had happened during the appointment, they "said nothing." Ranger died two days later on Christmas Eve. When Feit's children woke up on Christmas morning, she had to break the horrible news.
David Bolduc told NJ Advance Media another harrowing story. He also dropped off his Shih Tzu George at the Flemington PetSmart on December 22. He claims the store later called him; George had apparently tried to bite the groomer, and Bolduc needed to come pick him up.
But by the time he'd collected the dog, Bolduc noticed something was very, very wrong. George was in such extreme pain that he couldn't put any weight on his hind legs, Bolduc claims, and a visit to the veterinarian uncovered a back injury. The doctor then prescribed steroids and cage confinement for 10 days.
While initial attempts to reach PetSmart management allegedly failed, Bolduc says they ed him and offered to cover medical expenses after the NJ Advance Media inquiry.
"We are saddened to learn of these concerns and have reached out to the pet parents to express our sympathy," PetSmart said a statement. "We take the health and safety of pets in our care very seriously, and we are working to fully understand the circumstances related to the issues raised by these pet parents."
The brand added that they're conducting an ongoing internal investigation but their initial findings "indicate the associates involved followed all policies and procedures consistent with care and services provided to breeds such as bulldogs."
GoodHousekeeping.com reached out to PetSmart via phone and did not receive a response. We will update this post if an additional statement becomes available.
(h/t NJ Advance Media)