A dog dies just hours after being groomed at a PetSmart store, leaving her owner shocked and upset. USA Today reports that the owner, Cindi Tousel, took her dog, Gracie, into PetSmart for a grooming session, like she has for the last two years.
The incident occurred last Saturday at the PetSmart store in Mentor, Ohio. Gracie, a 6-year-old Newfoundland, had a regular groomer at the store, but she was on vacation and a substitute groomer took her place.
PetSmart staff noticed that Gracie wasn’t doing well four-and-a-half hours later. She was suddenly sick, drooling and feeling terribly uncomfortable. The store called Tousel and told her to take Gracie to the emergency vet. Upon examination, the vet told Tousel that the dog’s organs were shutting down as a result of overheating. Gracie died the next day.
In a statement, PetSmart said:
“The safety and well-being of the pets in our care is our top priority. We are conducting a full investigation into this incident and will take appropriate action based on our findings.”
Tousel reveals that she told the groomer not to blow dry Gracie. She’s not sure if a dryer was used, but the dog’s hair was completely dry when she went to pick her up.
PetSmart’s store manager told Tousel that they would pay for Gracie’s vet bills, which have come to $2,200. The pet store chain’s corporate office has reached out to Tousel and sent her flowers.
Newfoundlands are sensitive to heat and Tousel thought groomers at the facility were aware of this. Tousel spoke with Fox 5, expressing her dismay with PetSmart’s temperature conditions.
“I don’t understand. I don’t know what goes on back there. I assumed because the store where you shop is comfortable, that in the back where the animals are it’s the same way.”
Not long ago, Gracie was given a clean bill of health from the vet, Tousel says.
“The vet a month ago gave her a clean bill of health. There was nothing wrong with my gentle giant.”
She’s considering her options and hopes from here on out that PetSmart will be more diligent about temperatures dogs are exposed to and will look into changing their policy.
“Only thing that’s going to help is if it doesn’t happen to anyone else who loves their dog the way we loved our Gracie. Because this was a senseless tragedy that didn’t need to happen.”
[Image via Fox 5]