When the owners of Henry, a one-year-old Dachshund, dropped their puppy off at PetSmart in San Mateo, California, they expected nothing more than a routine grooming. But sadly, Henry would never make it home. He died in the care of dog groomer Juan Zarate, 38, who has now been arrested on felony charges. (Note: The image above is not Henry, but a different Dachshund)
According to San Francisco 7 News, Henry began having trouble breathing and started bleeding from the mouth. Then, the dog suddenly died. A PetSmart veterinarian tried to treat Henry, but there was nothing they could do.
X-rays showed that Henry had two broken ribs and a punctured lung.
“We know that the dog was brought there with no injuries or no known illnesses of any kind and we do believe that because of actions taken by the groomer, during the grooming session, is what caused the dog to die,” San Mateo Police Department Sgt. Rick Decker said.
As Zarate faces animal cruelty charges, PetSmart announced their own internal investigation into the matter, and stated, “The individual involved has been placed on suspension pending the outcome of this investigation. Any incident of animal cruelty goes against everything we believe as a company and as individual pet parents. No words can express our deep sorrow for the family, and we will continue to work with the pet parent during this difficult time.”
Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: anyone we entrust animals with must be properly vetted and properly trained. No dog should die from a grooming session.