Dogs have been mysteriously dying during and shortly after being groomed at PetSmart.
NJ Advance Media launched an investigation into the mystery of the dying dogs. They were able to document 47 cases across 14 states since 2008 in which a dog would be taken to PetSmart for a grooming, or a nail clipping, and then during or after being groomed the dog would pass away.
32 of the 47 cases happened after 2015. When PetSmart was asked about the deaths they declined to disclose the actual number of deaths and basically said “yeah, that wasn’t our fault”. As any big corporate company usually does.
I guess to them the customer is always right… until they’re conveniently wrong.
When a ton of dogs are dying after being groomed at your company… hard to believe it’s not your fault. Not that many people are THAT bad at taking care of their dogs. So NJ Advance Media was determined to find out what the hell was going on.
Reporters talked to over 100 pet owners, veterinarians, PetSmart employees, lawyers etc. etc. So after all those freaking interviews here’s some of what they found out.
English bulldogs and similar breeds known as brachycephalic dogs, or those with short noses and smushed faces, accounted for 20 of the 47 documented deaths. Those dogs can have trouble breathing, especially in stressful environments or areas that get hot.
Kind of sounds to me that the employees aren’t educated on certain dogs needs. Hey bulldogs will die if you stress them out and put them in the “drying cages”
NJ Advance Media also found: Some former employees allege PetSmart’s groomer training — which the company touts as the industry’s very best — can fall short of what’s advertised. They say they have seen unprepared trainees rushed into stores because of short-staffing, putting dogs at greater risk of injury.
So they’re not really caring who they’re throwing into the ring. Here’s a pair of scissors… good luck!
According to PetSmart, trainees spend the first 3 months bathing 125 dogs, then need 160 hours of in store training & classes, then have a supervised in-store period of 640 hours.
But according to one employee: “On the first day at academy, there was a dog for me,” Douglas said. “They gave me clippers and shears and kind of just said, ‘Go for it.’ I was like, ‘Oh, I’ve never held these before.’ … They said, ‘Well, just don’t hurt the dogs.’”
In addition they found on multiple occasions, PetSmart has offered out-of-court payments for as little as a few hundred dollars to owners who suffer pet deaths. In return, some owners must sign non-disclosure agreements that require them to delete social media posts and negative comments.
This is some conspiracy theory shit!
So you might be wondering. Why hasn’t PetSmart been shut down. All these people have come forward with their stories. Why aren’t they being sued?!
Essentially it’s because deaths are hard to prove. One of the owners who lost his pet after a grooming said ““There has to be accountability, but it won’t bring what I miss back. It won’t bring Capone back and that’s what I want,”“What can I do? They say they didn’t do anything”
Weird to have a company that makes its money from dogs… but essentially you’re killing off your customers because of carelessness. Very gross.
During this investigation, NJ asked 4 different petsmart locations if they could tour the grooming areas but all the stores responded with a shocking “no”. PetSmart claims they’re going to install cameras in the grooming areas by 2019, and hopefully that means changing their practices. But not too many people are confident that will change.
Also this month on September 23rd they’re allowing tours of all their salons, so people can watch their dogs die right in front of their eyes. Sorry, was that too harsh?
But not everyone has a problem with PetSmart. And not everyone’s dogs are passing away. 69 year old Sue Conti says her 15 year old Maltese has been groomed at PetSmart it’s entire life, and one of the current groomers at a PetSmart says “I feel like it’s a witch hunt. Everyone is looking for the slightest thing. … I feel like they’re out with their pitchforks trying to take down PetSmart.”
And a former groomer had this to say: “How many PetSmart locations are there? How many dogs are they grooming per day? Of course the numbers are going to look bad. It’s basically an unfair look simply because they’re large and more people use them.”
She also mentioned that not all pet owners are 100% transparent about the health their dog is in.
But still PetSmart isn’t taking any responsibility.
There’s still not one exact clear answer as why these dogs are passing away during or right after being groomed at PetSmart but according to the research it appears it’s mishandling animals, being rough with the animals, and a lack of training and dogs being put in kennel dryers where they overheat.
PetSmart is probably not be the only groomer that this is happening at either, but definitely the most talked about.
What do you think though? Are you going to risk going to PetSmart or is it better to really go to any other dog groomer? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.