2 dogs die, 1 injured after groomings at same PetSmart, owners say

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(Credit: Danielle DiNapoli, Tara Fiet) (Credit: Danielle DiNapoli, Tara Fiet)

FLEMINGTON, N.J. (AP/Meredith) — Two dogs died and one was injured after they went in for grooming appointments at a PetSmart in New Jersey, according to a recent report.

Danielle DiNapoli said she was shocked when employees at the Flemington PetSmart told her that her bulldog was dead an hour after she dropped the pooch off on Dec. 29.

"I was in shock. You know, you expect to see your dog happy and healthy and groomed, and I got a dead dog," a grieving and frustrated DiNapoli told NJ.com

An investigation by the outlet found that between Dec. 22 and 29, two dogs had died and a third was injured at the store. 

Tara Fiet, said her dog named Ranger died two days after his Dec. 22 appointment. In a separate case, David Bolduc said his Shih Tzu had a back injury after his grooming. The Shih Tzu reportedly had to be confined to a cage for 10 days to keep from injuring himself more. 

Bolduc said he did not hear anything back from the store about what may have caused the injury. Meanwhile, the other two dog owners are also searching for answers.

"We have asked to speak to the groomer and a report of what happened during her last hours on earth," DiNapoli said in a Facebook post, sharing her story. "They refuse to give us information."

She also created a page for her dog, titled "Justice for Scruffles," where people have divulged similar experiences at different groomers. 

PetSmart said in a statement that the company is saddened by the loss of the two dogs and the other dog's injury. The company says an internal investigation found that associates followed all proper procedures.

PetSmart says it believes the episodes are unrelated.

The company's full statement is as follows: 

We are truly saddened by the loss of Scruffles. We immediately conducted a comprehensive internal investigation and found the associates involved followed all policies and procedures consistent with care and services provided to breeds such as bulldogs. The outstanding piece of the investigation is the result of the necropsy report, which will likely assist in understanding the overall circumstances leading to Scruffles’ unfortunate passing. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Scruffles’ family, and we continue to be in contact with them during this difficult time.

We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Ranger, and of George’s injury, and reached out to the pet parents to express our sympathy and support. Consistent with our practice, we immediately investigated each incident and found that our policies and procedures were followed. Based on our investigation, and the individual circumstances, we believe these incidents to be unrelated. Our thoughts remain with the pet parents during this difficult time.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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