Betty Miller dropped her dog Brewster off at PetSmart in Dickson City, Pennsylvania, on November 1.
Not long after, she received a call from an emergency vet asking if they could perform CPR on her 12-year-old bichon. But before she could answer, Brewster passed away.
Miller told WNEP in Scranton that Brewster was bitten by another dog at PetSmart and was transferred to the emergency vet, where he died from his injuries. She pondered:
“Why would you want to bring a pit bull past a small dog who’s really just bait? He was bait.”
Her daughter, Lauren Miller, told Dearly that Brewster was tethered to the grooming table when he was bitten, but she isn’t sure what provoked the attack. Lauren noted that PetSmart hasn’t followed up since her family called corporate last week:
“We never got an explanation of what happened, nor do we know much about the other dog and any consequences it may face.”
The family also contacted the local animal control to see if a claim has been filed for the dog attack, but they have not heard anything back.
Lauren told Dearly that her family wanted to share their story in order to protect other families from losing a pet at a dog-grooming facility:
“We loved him so much. I miss him and think of him constantly. We just want people to be aware of the consequences of taking your dog [to PetSmart] under their supervision, or lack of.”
PetSmart released a full statement to WNEP noting that Brewster’s death would be investigated:
We are truly saddened by the loss of Brewster. The health, safety and well-being of the pets in our care is our top priority, and we immediately launched an internal investigation to better understand what led to this tragic accident. We have high standards of care in place and are actively gathering more information to determine any policy or procedural violations. We welcome all dogs, regardless of their breed, into our grooming salons provided they are well-behaved. We will remain in close contact with Brewster’s pet parent as we learn more.
Last year, KRON in San Francisco reported that a dog died while under the care of a pet groomer at PetSmart in California. Since then, dozens of pet owners have filed complaints on Consumer Affairs about dogs that have died or suffered injuries while being groomed at PetSmart.
The ASPCA recommends that dog owners do research before selecting a groomer and asking for recommendations from veterinarians and friends.
Watch the full report from WNEP below.