On Sunday, a PetSmart groomer was arrested after a young dachshund, which had been left in his care, suddenly began having breathing difficulties, bled from its mouth, and died – all within five minutes of being taken into the store. According to police and the Peninsula Humane Society the arrested PetSmart groomer will be facing charges of felony animal cruelty.
The PetSmart groomer in question has been identified as 38-year-old Juan Zarate of San Francisco, and he was arrested because of the report an on-site veterinarian gave about the deceased dog’s condition. Police reported that, when the dog died after his breathing problems and bleeding from his mouth, it was the result of two broken ribs and a punctured lung. Zarate was booked into jail after the investigation determined that the death of the dog had been contributed to by his “deliberate actions.”
The police officers in San Mateo, California were called to the PetSmart store in the 3500 block of South El Camino Real based on a report that a dog had been killed on the premises, and when they arrived, they spoke to the 47-year-old owner of the one-year-old male dachshund. He relayed his distressing tale.
NCB Bay Area reported that the man had taken the dachshund, whose name was Henry, to the store to be groomed along with two of his other dogs, also dachshunds. The San Mateo resident said that it had only been about three minutes when Zarate came from inside the grooming office holding the bleeding dog, saying that it was “suffering from a medical emergency.”
The dog was quickly taken to the veterinarian that was on-site, but though emergency measures were employed to try to help Henry, the animal couldn’t be saved. Richard Decker, from the San Mateo Police Department, advised the public that a subsequent X-ray of Henry after his death revealed the internal injuries — the two broken ribs and punctured lung — which had caused the Dachshund’s death.
According to the San Franciso Gate, PetSmart Vice President Michelle Friedman released a statement that the company is cooperating with the authorities and that Zarate has been suspended pending the results of the police investigation into the killing of the one-year-old Dachshund. They also expressed their sorrow over Henry’s death.
“Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pets, and we take full responsibility for the pets in our care. We are conducting an internal investigation and will take immediate action based on our findings. 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”
A veterinarian at the Peninsula Humane Society is said to have performed a necropsy on the dog to determine the exact cause of death of Henry, but Society spokesman Scott Delucchi said the results were not available immediately. The Humane Society and the police are encouraging residents to treat all cases of potential animal abuse seriously.
Juan Zarate posted bail on Monday and is no longer in police custody.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a dog has died after being handled by a PetSmart employee. Last year, The Inquisitr reported that an English bulldog had choked to death while he was restrained. The dog was in to have his nails trimmed, but the employee used such force in restraint that the dog started choking to death on his own vomit. The dog was rushed to a nearby clinic but died before he arrived. PetSmart issued an apology in that case as well but stood by the employee then, and it did not seem as if any monetary compensation was given.
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