A North Carolina family wants a PetSmart groomer fired after their 8-month-old puppy came out of a grooming session with lacerations and a neck injury.
The family said their dog Jax was injured and traumatized during the grooming appointment.
As 13 News Now reports, owners Michelle and Larry Luce received a phone call from a PetSmart employee after dropping Jax off for grooming.
According to the family, the employee said Jax seemed “off.” When Michelle picked up her puppy, he was noticeably shaken up.
Michelle told 13 News Now that Jax was “terrified” and “crawling on my neck.”
Even more, Michelle said he had lacerations all over his body and he couldn’t stand. The family immediately took the dog to the vet and discovered the full extent of his injuries.
Larry told 13 News Now:
“He’s got cuts inside his ears. He’s got them on both shoulders the side of his head all up underneath him inside the back of his legs. They did X-rays and saw something in his neck with his vertebrae thinking maybe the thrashing, maybe he came off the table and was hanging.”
It’s unclear what occurred during the grooming session. However, the family believes Jax was abused and neglected during his appointment.
13 News Now reports that PetSmart denied the grooming malpractice allegations in a statement:
Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the pets in our care, and we completed an internal investigation to better understand Jax’s time with us. The findings indicate our associates acted appropriately by immediately stopping the groom and having Jax evaluated by a veterinarian when he began to act unusually.
But PetSmart said it wanted to help Jax recover by paying the dog’s veterinary bills in full, and also covered the cost of his grooming service. The company said they will continue to communicate with Michelle and Larry.
As Dearly previously reported, this isn’t the first time pet owners have complained about animal abuse during a PetSmart grooming session. Back in November, a Pennsylvania dog died from a dog attack at the grooming facility.
The Luce family reports that their once “happy” dog will never be the same after the incident.
“Nobody stopped it, he went through all that pain and they still kept cutting him.”
Larry told 13 News Now that the groomer should lose her job and license, “and not be allowed to touch any animals again.”
Unlike the cosmetology industry, dog grooming is not a field that requires vocational licensing or professional certification in many states.
Certification is often voluntary through a few professional grooming organizations. PetSmart has their own grooming academy for employees, however, dog groomers in North Carolina are not required to be certified or licensed. The state is petitioning for change.
The Luces want to warn other pet owners about the incident, and to find a certified groomer that adheres to dog safety guidelines.