Thursday, August 14, 2008

Yorkie Sues PetSmart for Bad Grooming

I just hate taking my little Trixie to the groomer or the vet and leaving for any length of time. You just don't know what kind of care they are getting, Luckily, we have someone near us who now comes to the house to groom her and I am there to help.

In Virginia , a man has filed a lawsuit against PetSmart, claiming one of its groomers nearly killed his terrier puppy.

Jeff Dalton, who is an investigator with the Floyd County Sheriff's Office, filed the civil suit in County Circuit Court 2 weeks ago, naming PetSmart and groomer Chris Roop as defendants. Dalton is seeking $175,000 in damages.

According to the suit, Dalton took his Yorkshire terrier puppy, Chester, to the Christiansburg PetSmart to be groomed on Jan. 26. He was asked to return at 9 p.m. to pick up the dog.
He returned instead at 7 p.m. and was told that because of difficulties in grooming Chester, the grooming was incomplete. He was offered a discount.

An employee went to a back room to get Chester for Dalton. "At that time," the lawsuit states, "Chester appeared lifeless and was struggling to breath ."

When Dalton asked for information about Chester's difficulty breathing, he was told that Chester had been very "wiggly" during the grooming and had "finally given up," according to the lawsuit.
Dalton paid for the grooming and carried Chester to his car. Chester immediately began throwing up blood, he said.

Dalton went back inside the store and demanded to see a manager. A manager agreed to call Town & Country Veterinary Clinic, a 24-hour veterinary service. Dalton took Chester there.
According to the lawsuit, Dr. Kelly Burdette at Town & Country told Dalton she wasn't sure Chester would survive.

She found that Chester had received severe pulmonary contusions and significant bruising "which could have only been inflicted by cruel and deliberate force during the grooming," the lawsuit says.

Chester underwent surgeries and survived, "but will continue to suffer stress, anxiety, and a weakened pulmonary function," it reads.
Dalton later questioned the store manager about Chester's treatment. The manager, who is not named in the suit, "stated that its groomers were not adequately trained in the recognition of signs of stress in a dog" and told Dalton that PetSmart would retrain its groomers, according to the lawsuit. ( Remember the case last month, where an untrained groomer left the dog unattended and ended up drowning? )

A spokeswoman for PetSmart said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation.
Dalton said that Chester was 4 months old when the incident happened. Now, the puppy is nearly full-grown at 4 pounds, 7 ounces.

Dalton believes Chester would have died at PetSmart if he hadn't shown up two hours earlier than he was scheduled.
"His eyes were open but he was just lifeless," he said. "It was all he could do to get his breath."
Dalton said the veterinarian had to turn Chester upside down to drain the blood from his lungs.
Chester was kept at the clinic for four days, he said. The dog is doing better now, Dalton said, but coughs a lot and must be sedated to be groomed.

At a well-known and well-respected company such as PetSmart, he said, "they should be trained enough to know that, hey, this is a lot of stress on this little dog."


Anonymous said...

I took my Yorkie to the groomer at Petsmart this weekend and returned to the news that my dog had died. The groomers had given him water after being told that they do not feed or water the dogs unless they are boarding overnight. I had only left Carson with the groomer for 1.5hours they were under the impression he was sleep. He was not sick and was in perfect health when I dropped him off. Please email me with legal information if anyone can help at

Thank you

oliverismissed said...

Monday, January 5, 2009

For the Love of Oliver Oggero

Hi my name is Summer, I am 11 years old and this is my story.
On Friday, January 2nd, 2009, my beloved Teacup Poodle Oliver Oggero died.
It all started when we took him into PetSmart at about 2:30 p.m to get him groomed, a lady took him and told me and my family to come back at 7:00. I didn't want to leave him that long but my mother Laura reassured me they were "PROFESSIONALS", we left Oliver and went out to eat....
About 3 hours later they called back and told my mom that Oliver wasn't acting right, so we rushed over.
When we got to the Grooming section of PetSmart I took Oliver and cried my eyes out, the lady who worked there said that everything would be okay, and to drive him right home. She said he was just tired, but I could tell something was wrong because normally he licks my face all over.
When we got to the car I told my mom to take him to the vet immediatley because he was not breathing right and he wasn't moving. The first vets office was closed so we took him to the animal hospital on Sterling. When we took him in, the Doctors said something was seriously wrong. They told us that his gums were pure white, he was missing a tooth, and his lungs were being filled with a bloody fluid, so he couldn't breath. There had been some kind of trama to the chest that had happened within the last few hours, so they took a long tube to help him breath and cough up the blood. I coudn't stand the fact that my little doggy was in pain so I just sat there crying over my cousin, Willie's shoulder.
After we were at the hospital for about an Hour and a Half I went home with my father, Victor.
When I finally arrived at my dad's house he got a call from the vet saying that Oliver passed away. We were just getting out of the car when we got the call. So my dad had everyone go inside except me, he sat on the grass and held me. He didnt even have to tell me my dear dog was dead. I cried so much, and so did everyone else.
Apparantley the groomers at PetSmart hurt Oliver's 4 month old body internally, and he was either dropped on the side of the tub or had fallen off the grooming counters or had been squeezed too tight. Oliver died at 7:56 p.m. and I will never forget that.
Oliver died for a reason, and the reason was to help all of the other people pets, I learned very important things from him.
I think Oliver knew it was his time to leave because before he went into the Emergency Room he gave me a kiss on my face like he did every day.
I am an 11 year old animal activist, My name is Summer, I hope you tell your people my story and I hope you tell me any of your animal stories so we can all make a difference.

Anonymous said...

My heart breaks for each one of you who has lost your pet do to understaffed, undertrained people at Petsmart. More importantly and more tragic, my heart breaks for the animals who have no control over their situation. These animals are taken to Petsmart,where they are forced to indure cruel and inhumane treatement,(all for the almighty dollar),they get injured and spend their last moments suffering and more than ever needing the love and comfort of the pet parent.this business is not about the comfort or safety of the animals. I know because I worked for Petsmart in Dublin California, for about 5 weeks in June 2008. They take in as many animals as they can rush them through the bath and groom as fast as they can so that they can make as much money as they can. I am an animal lover and donate much time to rescue and fund raising for certain groups. I resigned from Petsmart because I saw animals get hit because they would not move or get into the kennel, I saw them dragged and the day that I quit I saw an unattended dog jump out of the wash tub hanging from the leash restraint attached to the wall. The bather just pulled the dog up by the leash and put it in the kennel while scolding the dog for jumping out. I was on the floor with another animal and could not get up in time to rescue. I secured the animal I was working with and went to check on the dog. It was just frozen with fear. I went to report this to the Assistant Manager, and I shared what abuse I had witnessed in the past 2 weeks. I told her I was quitting because I could not stand to see this. Places like this take in too many animals and tie them up all over in a very small room where the stressed and afraid animals can and do attack other animals. The animals are left tied and unattended (even though the rules say this can't be done). Stressed and mistreated animals many times would throw up and have loose stools for hours, and the owners are not called or told about the events. Instead they say the animal did fine and they talk all sweet and cutesy to your animal while you are there. When I left I informed all the animal groups I work with and continue to tell every animal owner that I meet. If they must take their animal to be groomed they need to find a caring compassionate person who does grooming, not a company that's just trying to make lots of money. Remember too that the worst time for grooming is during holidays when many people want the animal all cleaned up and pretty. These places don't have occupancy requirements so they just keep taking in more animals and they tie them all over. It is very unsafe. Please use this tragedy to do something good for your loved one and all other animals so that they will not suffer the same fate.

Coco Chanel said...

Wow - thanks for sharing that story with us!

Anonymous said...

I work as a Petsmart groomer... first of all, the first story doesn't add up because although we aren't allowed to feed animals (besides treats if we happen to have any in the salon), we 100% MUST give all dogs water at all times. We aren't allowed to feed dogs because we cannot take the dogs to go bathroom outside (OWNERS please take your dogs to the bathroom before you come in otherwise they "go" inside their cage, during their bath or even on the grooming table).

Honestly, there are no regulations over grooming salons unless you are going to a chain store like Petsmart. At least the stores are required to have set rules for care and many times if anything goes wrong there is a vet clinic (Banfield) right inside the store.

If you're going to a small grooming salon not associated with a chain store there is no guarantee that the groomers have received any kind of training as there are no state laws regulating grooming businesses. Petsmart salons have district managers come thru all the stores on a regular basis and general store managers are required to walk thru the salon to check all the animals (sometimes they come thru once an hour, every other hour if it's a busy weekend).

There are many reasons that a pet ends up hurt or sick in a salon. Yes, there are some irresponsible groomers... again, you will come across this in any salon unfortunately. But some pets actually stress themselves out when they get in the salon... i've had many occasion where a dog starts pooing everywhere because he's so nervous from how busy the salon is, all the dogs surrounding him in a small area or particularly when we start blow drying a dog out.

The sad fact is, I will call the owners immediately when when I think an animal is stressed out... and there has not been one time where the owner wants to come back and pick their pet up - they just want the grooming done. Nevermind the fact quite honestly, I don't want a dog to be that stressed out while he's under my care... but it makes for a long day when you have to rewash a kennel several times as well as the dog's rear end after it poos everywhere.

It's nice to see owners showing concern over how their dogs are treated in the salon but it just seems like most don't care when their pet is really stressed out unless something really detrimental happens :(

A majority of the people that work in Petsmart salons really do care about doing a good job and making the pets comfortable as much as possible even while they are trying to snap at us :) They usually care more than Petsmart higher-up's who only care about dollar signs and often don't treat their employees very well.

Groomer said...

I'm a groomer at PetSmart. All groomers must get 100 percent on a salon safty test to work there. I do feel very bad for all dogs that have been hurt, or worst, at any groom shop. I am proud to say that we have less injurys than most concidering the millions , literally, of dogs that are groomed in our salons. You may hear of more because we quite simply groom way more pets that anywhere else. We ALWAYS have fresh water for every pet. We never use heated crate drys(other shops have literally cooked dogs with those). We have a window where pet parents can see there dogs treatment( although we may ask you to peak around the corner so the dog stayes more still). GROOMING IS NOT EASY. If it was more people would do it themselfs. Using scissors on a moving target, that we love and care about...being peed and pooed on often...being scratched or bitten on a regular bases. Your dogs may be docile at home, but if a stranger holds a loud vibrating tool at it's head, they may become hostile (and we can't blame them). My advice is to find one good person, a groomer , and keep going to that one person, so your dog gets to know them, become better behaved, and stayed more still , reducing the risk of injury , PetSmart or not!

Chris said...

Listen to you "Groomer" you can't even spell! and ur vocabulary is amost as good as my 4 year old sister guess that doesnt matter to Petsmart though!! I too have had a devestating experience at Petsmart....
TERRIBLE!!! Pet owners beware!!! We took our dog to Petsmart to have her nails trimmed and be bathed and ended up picking her up an hour and a half later with 3 stitches in one leg and 1 on another. I should have known better when we dropped her off, the troll looking guy who took her back looked extremely unhapy with his job. I just want to make sure that everyone in the NRV knows that this is the worst place to take your pet for any services weither it be grooming or a simple nail trim. The good side was that the Vet who worked at Bonfeild next door was very nice (not that we expected them not to be since they were covering their owners A$$). Oh yea we were offered a free grooming and nail trim next time...I think we will pass!!!!

Anonymous said...

my 6lb. maltese needed four stitches, got a cut on his ear and a burn/rash on his behind (anus) never had problems in past (im always told my dog is very well behaved while he's beeing groomed. this was due to the unexperienced grommer that did this (when i returned later in the day) i saw the same lady that did this to my dog talking on the phone as she was grooming another small dog and when confronted about this (since just hours earlier she had gotten the razor stuk in my dogs skin) she said she was talking to her manager...wasnt she a bit shaken up by what she had done earlier to be so careless??? blows my mind and when i talked to the store manager (not the salon managaer she was much more compassionate) the store manager said, this happens all the time with a smirk on her face as i am crying my eyes out because i cant understand how my little maltese had a chunk of skin missing and btw it was soo groosome and just dangling( i saw this before he went in for treatment) so you are telling me that this happens all the time??? that dogs go in for grooming and come out with stitches, not not for a dog who is behaved while hes getting groomed and did i mention he is 6lbs my poor baby is on pain meds and antibiotics for weeks..i couldt stop crying for the next two days..on top of having to deal with the stitches and the pain my poor baby is so bothered by the rash on his behind from this careless inexperienced groomer...and my heart goes out to those who lost their pets or whos pets where hurt...breaks my heart

Fun groomer said...

Wait, since when was petsmart thought about as one being? Thats like me generalizing a pet parent that comes in with a severally matted shih tzu....all shih tzu owners are bad owners and don't care about their dogs, they don't know how to care and love their shih tzus. Now a yorky came in with good condition health so let's own Yorkys because that will mean were all good owners. Their are sooo many bad cases that walk in the salons, I really think half these owners shouldn't own pets, look up on YouTube "the everyday life of a groomer" then you'll might understand our point of views, that is if your intelligent enough

Anonymous said...

Its always sad when a loved pet passes away but its not petsmart hurting them, obviously its the groomer. You people sueing are just money hungry so you take advantage of a profitable company. And Chris if you are going to tell someone they cant spell then check your own...its Banfield not Bonfield! And how does petsmart know when you drop off a dog that it doesnt have some sort of underlying condition that you havent mentioned!?!? We are all human and make mistakes, groomers have a very hard job so if you think its easy then try to groom your dog yourself!!

Anonymous said...

In response to "chris": CORRECTION! banfield is NOT owned by petsmart. They are affiliated. Just because they are in the same building does not mean they are one and the same. Banfield has nothing to do with petsmart besides being inside of one. Valley view mall has many stores correct? well do you think every store in the mall is owned by the same people? i would think not. So before you go assuming things.. remember what it makes you. :)

Dee Mag said...

anonymous the people are suing because Petsmart is responsible for the injuries caused to any animal in their care you not very intelligent or humane if you think otherwise. And I not only groom my own 8 dogs. But I bathe, express their anal glands, do their ears and their nails and never once has any of my animals,or any other in my care suffered anything more then the quick possibly bleeding because they pulled their paw back.
But cornstarch on the end of it with some cuddles and loving words have always taking care of that so cut the crap.
PET SMART IS RESPONSIBLE it is called third party liability, get to know the law and quit attacking these poor people for what is pure negligent and cruelty.
If the groomers do not know how to care for an animal they should not be working there.
And i am not inexperienced when it comes to animal care, I have been raising animals and grooming them for over 35 years.
And I have worked in a number of grooming salons before and have never seen an animal die in their care, so grow up and knock off the bs.

Anonymous said...

I was in the Petsmart grooming area in Springfield, Mo., the other day and I heard a groomer call the dog she was working on an "asshole". I also noticed the employees there look very unhappy, like they don't enjoy their jobs at all. They also seem to shave most of their dogs to nothing without much of a style at all.

Anonymous said...

I took my Maltese to PetSmart one time to have my dog groomed and never again. My dog was there for hours and when I finally picked him up I was watching another groomer yelli g at a dog for not holding still enough for her. When she noticed me in the waiting room she began her cutesy talk to the dog. I was horrified thinking how they treated my dog who was deaf and couldn't follow those types of directions even if he wanted to! The next day I realized they had never cut my dogs nails! I took him to the vet to have them done and gladly paid. My beloved Maltese passed away on Jine 6th at 16 1/2 yrs old and was not only deaf but blind by that time. I purchased a tea cup Yorkie 2 weeks later and am now learning how to properly groom her myself. If you cannot be compassionate to animals then don't be in the profession. I don't know how any groomer can be mean to an animal and how management at these facilities allow it to happen! Actually cried reading these stories. I would have been devastated if I had lost my dog to a groomer! I think PetSmart is just getting a reputation in general...not saying they r all this way but seems to be quite a few.

Anonymous said...

But PetSmart is hiring these people and keeping them employed when they hurt and yell at these dogs. They should have references and monitored to make sure these dogs are being treated properly.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am never going to PetSmart with my dog and agree that the groomers do not look very happy. I have also witnessed a groomer yelling at a doG. Not to mention they have the glass so you can observe but whenever I've been there all the dogs are in the back or off to the sides where it's hard to see them getting groomed at all??? I never understood that. When my dog was being groomed I waited for over an hour because I had arrived early, was told he was almost done and yet he never made it to the front "showcase". In fact just the one dog was there being yelled at. I've read enough and hope others research groomers and facilities before they bring their dog anywhere!

Sophia said...

It's all about the Groomer; NOT the Company. I groom for Petsmart and absolutely love my job. I get requests in constantly because I CARE about the Pet Parent's wants and the Pet's needs. I own three dogs and would want the same loving treatment done for them. If a pet exhibits signs of stress, home it goes. No ifs or buts.
We've all taken our Salon Certification Course; We all know what we should be doing- sadly some people choose their own ways over policy and that's when you run into trouble. My heart goes out to everyone who received poor treatment for their pets. :,(

derrick sorles said...

Sophia - that makes sense. I totally get that.

I guess when someone goes to PetSmart for the first time, they should try to pick their groomer. Perhaps observe the groomers, BEFORE taking your dog in.

Anonymous said...

Wow... okay. I worked for PetSmart for 7 years. I was a bather, became a groomer then a salon manager and finally an academy trainer. I finally said enough is enough. I loved my job but not the company. Here's the truth of the matter. I left because the conditions were awful. We had black mold growing in our bathing room and no one would fix it. The environment was very negative. I approached my store manager numerous times about abusive groomers and he did nothing. Two other stylists also complained about abuse and still nothing. I witnessed one groomer pull a newfie acrossed the bathing room by his ear. I witnessed a groomer practically choking a puppy to trim by its eyes. Yes some pet parents insist on the groom being completed at whatever cost but what I saw was a lot of young girls that wanted to make some money. I honestly didn't believe they even liked dogs. I heard them call the pets God awful names. And no one would do anything because we were turning customers away from being so overbooked and they wanted to make the money. I could not handle the stress any longer and opened my own salon. This is a hard job and if you want to do it to make money, then you shouldn't do it. The reality is you have to be in it for the pets. I had a huge client base and many customers only came to PetSmart because I was there. It's the sad but awful truth. Some associates truly love their jobs but choose your groomer wisely because some don't! said...

Absolutely, observe. Learned MY lesson at #Petco. They messed up by cutty off my York's ponytail AFTER repeatedly being told NOT was still on the notes for goodness sake, then tucked it under TWO bows to conceal THEIR mistake.

Next Offense, they agreed to my request for a #RushRover, which is more took SIX hours!

Then, I changed locations but they #Banned ME for their mistake. Needless to say, I do all my grooming at home.