• Two dog owners say their pets died at same PetSmart after grooming appointments

    By: Kelcie Willis, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

    Updated:

    FLEMINGTON, N.J. - A woman is mourning the loss of her pet bulldog after she says it died while at a PetSmart in Flemington, New Jersey.

    WPIX reported that Danielle DiNapoli said she dropped off her 8-year-old bulldog named Scruffles at PetSmart to get groomed, and her dog died less than an hour later.

    DiNapoli said she dropped her dog off at 9:45 a.m. on Dec. 29 and got a call from PetSmart at 10:35 a.m. telling her to go to a local veterinarian's office. By the time she got there, DiNapoli said, Scruffles was dead.

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    “She’s so beautiful and, just reliving those moments, it’s a trauma. It’s a trauma. I would not want any family to go through it and the most horrifying thing is PetSmart left her there like trash. They just left her there dead. No one was there to answer any questions. No one was there to give us any comfort, no one was there for anything. They just left her there like garbage, dead, at the vet,” DiNapoli said.

    “We tried to call PetSmart they referred us to corporate and they wouldn’t give us any information,” DiNapoli told WPIX. “They kept saying it’s under internal investigation and I immediately reported it to the New Jersey SPCA and they called that night and I think they called last Friday and they said they had the final report and they gave us some verbal information, which none of it matched with the other two reports. Everything changed.”

    In response to what she experienced, DiNapoli created a Facebook page called Justice For Scruffles. People reported that another dog owner, Tara Fiet,  commented on the page Jan. 2, saying that she took her dog to the same PetSmart the same week that Scruffles went there and her dog died days after the visit.

    “Ranger went to the Petsmart in Flemington on Friday (12/22) to get a grooming in preparation for our Christmas company,” Fiet wrote. “We normally would not take him to Petsmart but our regular place was booked up. Ranger came home and was very lethargic but I (stupidly) made the assumption that he was tired from the holiday excitement and his grooming. Ranger died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday night (12/24). He had no previous health issues and had just been to the vet 2 months earlier.”

    “We are truly saddened by the loss of Scruffles,” PetSmart told WPIX in a statement Tuesday. “We immediately conducted a comprehensive internal investigation and found the associates involved followed all policies and procedures consistent with care and services provided to breeds such as bulldogs. The outstanding piece of the investigation is the result of the necropsy report, which will likely assist in understanding the overall circumstances leading to Scruffles’ unfortunate passing. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Scruffles’ family, and we continue to be in contact with them during this difficult time.”

    DiNapoli told Patch.com that PetSmart will not give her a written report on what may have caused Scruffle’s death.

    “They don’t have their facts straight,” she said. “The story keeps changing. We have no closure because PetSmart isn't allowing us to have closure.”

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