NEWARK, N.J. – 47 dogs across 14 states died after grooming at PetSmart locations since 2008, a new investigation reports.
While the deaths occurred over a 10-year period, the NJ.com investigation showed that 32 of the deaths happened since 2015.
The report claims almost half of the deaths were among English bulldogs or breeds with short noses and smushed faces.
One dog owner says his dog couldn't walk after its appointment in Feb. 2017, and had to be wheeled to the parking lot in a shopping cart. The dog stopped breathing minutes later on the drive home and had died by the time the owner had returned to the store for help.
PetSmart employees who spoke with NJ.com said unprepared trainees are often rushed into the job due to short-staffing, which puts dogs at risk. Others say the company pressures groomers to meet sales quotas.
Despite denying any fault, the company reportedly announced new procedures to ensure safer grooming conditions during the investigation.
PetSmart believes unknown medical conditions and natural causes are to blame for the deaths.