Dozens of Dogs Died After Grooming at PetSmart Since 2008
NJ.com reports that since 2008, 47 healthy dogs across 14 states that were taken to Petsmart to get their nails clipped, a hair cut, etc., died suddenly while, or shortly after, returning home. Thirty-two of the deaths occured after PetSart was acquired by a private firm in 2015. Nearly 1/2 the deaths are among
brachycephalic dogs, such as bulldogs, with short noses and smushed faces. “Those dogs can have trouble breathing, especially in stressful environments or areas that get hot.”
The actual number of deaths is unknown due to lack of transparency, accountability, and reporting requirements in the event that there is an incident.
PetSmart denies any blame or any systematic problem. They claim they set the highest industry grooming safety standards and that stylists complete more than 800+ hours of hands on instruction and safety certification.
Former employees claim inadequate training (rushed, not all 800 hours over the year long training were supervised, difficult to get help, 60 dog-a-day quotas etc.), and in-experienced groomers being forced to immediately groom dogs unsupervised after hiring. Employees who spoke up reported being ignored or retaliated against.
Multiple lawsuits have been filed against PetSmart, and PetSmart has filed several counter-claims or brought on cases against other pet owners. “PetSmart has offered out-of-court payments for as little as a few hundred dollars… In return, some owners must sign non-disclosure agreements that require them to delete social media posts and negative comments.”