MIRMAR, Fla. - Danielle Trentin is heartbroken after three of her dogs died while under the care of a groomer.
"It's like a nightmare," Trentin said.
Trentin displayed photos of her 15-year-old Shih Tzu named Sophie, 10-year-old sheltie named Lancelot and 6-year-old mixed breed Freeda, on a wall in her home.
She doesn't want to forget her pets and feels guilty about their deaths.
"It is like I gave them to death, to their killer," she said. "So, for me, it's something that I will carry forever."
For the last three years, the three pooches were picked up every other Friday and taken to The Pet Club in Miramar for a bath and nail trim.
"He came around 10, he picked up all three of them, put them inside the car and took them to the pet store, to The Pet Club, to groom them," Trentin said.
But on March 18, the dogs wouldn't make it back home.
"I said, 'Hi, where are my babies?' He said, 'What?'" Trentin said, recalling a conversation with The Pet Club owner Charliston Seixas.
She began to plead for her dogs, demanding to know if they were all right.
"My husband called me and said they are here, they are inside the car," she said.
Freeda, Lancelot and Sophie had died in the grooming van. Their necropsies confirm their cause of death was heat exhaustion.
Seixas said he couldn't comment about the deaths when he was asked by Local 10 News.
"I can't," he said. "There's a police investigation now and my attorney told me (not) to."
When he was pressed to answer questions about the dogs, Seixas repeated that he wasn't permitted to speak on the matter that is under investigation by the state attorney’s office.
"People are threatening my life, making phone calls, threatening my life," Seixas said. "I cannot say anything anymore."
Last month, Seixas was the subject of a Local 10 News story in another incident about grooming gone wrong. In that incident, the dog, Brutus, survived, but Trentin’s dogs didn't.
"That's what hurts me most, because I couldn't do anything to save them, you know," Trentin said. "I keep thinking, like, they were there thinking, 'Where is my mom? Why is she here not saving us?'"
A lawsuit is pending in the death of the three dogs and the state attorney's office will determine if felony charges will be filed.
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