Suffice to say, something went wrong—very wrong—when Veronica Espinoza and John Benitez brought their English Bulldog to a PetSmart store in Downey, California back in May. It was to be the 4-month-old pup’s first grooming; instead it would be her last. And now there’s a negligence lawsuit in the works.
So what happened?
According to a report from KTLA in Los Angeles, while the dog was being groomed, PetSmart called the dog’s owner to inform him that the dog was spitting up blood and needed the care of a veterinarian. Upon arriving at the PetSmart, the owner found the dog—still being groomed—gasping for air and spitting up blood. The dog was taken to the doctor and shortly afterward died.
From here, things become a bit unclear. It seems that PetSmart had a necropsy done (that would be an autopsy of an animal) at Banfield Pet Hospital and found—or said they found—that the dog had died of natural causes. Not satisfied with that explanation, the dog’s owners chased down the actual report from the necropsy. And they had their veterinarian review it—his take? The dog had been strangled and had lost consciousness at one point—and to make matters worse, it appeared that CPR had been performed resulting in the dog’s trachea being pushed out of line by two inches.
As if that were not bad enough, the dog’s owners claim that when they went to pick up the dog’s remains from Banfield Pet Hospital so that they could make arrangements for the dog to be cremated, the hospital informed them that cremation had already taken place.
Needless to say, PetSmart claims the dog owners’ version of the story is not quite the way things happened. They have issued their condolences over the matter—and apparently offered to issue a check for $2,000 if the dog owners signed an agreement stating they would not take the case further. Instead, they’ve filed a lawsuit—seeking damages of over $25,000.