PetsMart: Too Many Dogs Hurt---Speak Out About This Now!

I've never done a post like this, but something happened in my community recently which has rehashed some painful feelings for me and I'm so passionate about this issue that I need to share it.

This morning I was reading a local news story about a woman who's dog died after she took it to the groomer at PetsMart (link to article here.)

Here are some excerpts from the article:
"...she dropped River off at the groomer Wednesday and minutes later got a call that something was terribly wrong."

"I just picked him up and I held him and I was just crying. I said, 'What happened to my dog? Somebody please explain to me what happened to my dog,'" said Shorter.

"The champion-bred Maltese died, but when she asked the folks at PetSmart how it happened, she said, they gave her the runaround."(The groomer) said, 'He jumped off the table. Then he said, He fell.' That's when I said, 'Did he fall or did he jump? Because first you said he jumped, now you're saying he fell,'" Shorter said.

"...she immediately took her dead dog to a private vet -- and she says she has paperwork to prove that PetsMart's versions of what happened that day don't add up.

I posted the link to this article on my Facebook page...and within minutes I had the following responses from people:


"Maddison got her first haircut at the one in (hometown) and she was so stressed by it that she had diarrhea for 3 days after!"



"Just getting Sookie's nails trimmed at Petsmart completely freaked her out and she wouldn't let us touch her paws for days - it was the (hometown) one too! Thankfully we found a very patient home groomer down the street from us that's fabulous. That's so sad about Lulu though, poor thing."

"I took Sicily to her first hair cut there. She came back with very bloody red eyes that are signs os asphyxiation or head trauma. Thank god at the time I was working at a vet hospital. PetsMart are THE WORST for grooming. I have heard of ...so many cases I don't understand why they are not out of business. They don't even care with us after bringing the vet papers and talking to the highest person there all they did was giving us a gift card!!!! We didn't want a gift card all we wanted is for them to stop torturing animals, that apparently. Oh yeah now she hates grooming and nail clipping. When she does get it I have to be right next to her holding her. I'm so sad for that poor lady."

"I think they have a box drier that they put them in and sometimes it dehydrates the dog too much. We had one at ours that died that way."

"I went in there for food for Goose a long time ago and walked by the window where they grrom dogs....the lady was yelling at the dog! I was mortified!"


...and now I'll share my personal story. I actually wrote a letter  to PetsMart and filed an official corporate complaint about my experience:

When Lulu was about 6 months old, we took him to a PetsMart in my hometown to get his first "real" haircut. Previously, I had been grooming him at home without any issues---I was able to cut his nails, brush his hair, cut his hair on his entire body on face.
His hair was getting long and he had some matting so we decided to take him to PetsMart to be groomed by a professional (and I use that term very loosely, as you can tell by the above comments from others who have horror stories about their experiences at PetsMart).

We took our dog there and they said he would be fine. I left them my cell phone number and told them to PLEASE CALL ME IMMEDIATELY if anything isn't going right and we would come get him.

Lulu was my first dog. I had NO idea how long grooming takes.  THREE HOURS later they called me (I had called in the meantime to ask how it was going) and told me he was done.  When I got him back, it was like his personality had changed. Suddenly he was fearful, snappy and displayed aggressive/protective behavior when touched in certain areas, as I mentioned above.

I was so frustrated I just cried and wondered what happened. We obviously never took him back there.  It took us years of behavioral training to even get him to the point where he will allow us to brush him and I am also able to cut the hair on his face and ears---but he will not allow anything on his body to be trimmed so we have to take him to the vet to be sedated and have his entire body shaved so his matting doesn't get out of control.

I feel devastated and guilty to this day that I trusted PetsMart to take care of my dog. They clearly man-handled him and hurt him and made him feel like he had to protect himself from how they handled him.  What used to be my friendly, approachable, loves-everyone dog was now a fearful dog who didn't trust anyone except the people he lived with and saw very often

WHY DIDN'T THEY CALL ME? I wonder this all of the time...if he was having a hard time with the grooming, they should have STOPPED immediately and called me and told me to come and get him.  BUT THEY DIDN'T, and he ended up being traumatized for hours.  I will just never forgive myself for that---but moreso, I can't forgive PetsMart for their disgusting negligence.

It's not just my experience that concerns me---it's the countless people I've talked to in real life and on Facebook that have expressed their own horrible experiences with PetsMart groomers.  I am NOT saying they are all awful people who abuse dogs---I'm saying there are far too many horror stories---and they always happen at PetsMart---and it needs to stop.  I hope that if your dog has been a victim of PetsMart groomers, that you speak out and send the company a letter.

Oh---and if you're wondering, PetsMart did write me back---offering me "free lessons" to "help with his aggression."  Thanks PetsMart, but my dog is scared for life--and I certainly don't want to take him back to the very place where this occured. We have worked privately with a behaviorist and although he has has some improvement, I know it will never get to the point where he can be groomed normally. Animals are instinctual---if something happens once, and it was awful, they aren't going to submit themselves to it again without a fight.

Ugh. I am just SO frustrated. How can this be happening?  PetsMart needs to review their entire dog grooming policies and procedures. There are simply too many dogs suffering because of this irresponsible company.

I have not bought anything at PetsMart since this happened.  We buy our food from the vet and our dog toys at Target.  I simply can't support a company who thinks it's OK to submit a scared little dog to 3 hours of terror.

Do YOU have a PetsMart story to share (good or bad?)  Have you ever had a horrible pet-related experience somewhere else?  Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading---and remember---if anything happened to your dog while being groomed at PetsMart---WRITE to them---and give your pet the voice they didn't have. You can email PetsMart at customercare@petsmart.com.

Please email them about the news story above and tell them it's NOT acceptable for people's dogs to die minutes after dropping them off to be groomed!

xoxo,

Veronika.

63 comments :

  1. OMGoodness! First off, we dropped off our puppy (who is now about to be 2) at a Petsmart in clear lake and we dropped him off at the hotel for about 2 hours, when we got him back, he was scared of any little thing it was horrifying. Recently, we took our other pup to the grooming salon and I snook up on my pup to see how she was doing, as I walked in I heard the groomer scream at her and pull her leg to sit still. Never again will I go there or to any petsmart for that matter. So sorry about these horrible stories. Poor babies don't know any better than to go where their owners think is best and little do we know that they are being mistreated somehow.

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  2. That stinks that all those people have had a bad experience with PetSmart, but those things happen everywhere. Yes, there's bad experiences, but how many more have good experiences that you haven't heard about.

    I have taken my dog and cat to PetSmart for years for grooming and their vet (Banfield) and they have been nothing but fantastic with both of them.

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  3. I saw her news story and it is so sad. She said River was the only being she has :(

    I normally groomed Chloe on my own after hearing about horror stories. Expecially Petsmart and Petco so I knew to steer clear of them. It came time for Chloe to have a real haircut but I was still weary. I found a place (a small pet boutique) that sells only premium dog foods and apparel. When I called to ask a few questions the lasy told me to come on in for some free samples to be sure my girls would like the food. When I went in I immediatly loved the owner and groomer. They were so caring. I had no idea they did grooming to begin with, BTW. After chatting with them for a while I knew they were great and I was entirely comfortable with them. A asked if they had openings and they did for the next day.

    All went well. She called me as soon as Chloe was done. She told me how everything went. That Chloe was a bit scared of the drier so she used the handheld drier instead. I really appreciated that. They also avoided her nails like I asked (I know how one close cut can traumatize them so I want to be the only one who cuts her nails). I really liked them and didn't worry about her at all. I'm glad I found a place like this. I have heard so many horrible things about groomers in the past.

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  4. ashley---I totally agree---there are great experiences too...but if a groomer yells or pushes around one dog...how many dogs are they doing that to?

    and yes, it happens everywhere---I'm just trying to create some awareness so that PetsMart understands there is a problem---not everyone takes the time to write or call the company after a bad experience so they may not be aware of the issues that people are having.

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  5. april---you are so lucky--- I wish I would have done more research but you can never be 100% sure. I know they hit his nail quick when they cut them because he had some blood there which is why he hates having them touched. I had to do a lot of behavioral stuff with him and had to work my way to be able to touch his paws and nails---but cutting them? forget it. not happening. At least I can pet them now.

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  6. PetSmart is a chain with different people of different backgrounds and training working at each and every store. These stories are terrible and absolutely heartbreaking, there's no doubt about it. There's also no doubt that Corperate should be handling this differently, and the outcomes to these situations (yours included) is unacceptable.

    That said, the groomers at my local PetsMart (in Warwick, Rhode Island) are nothing short of wonderful. I bring my Boston Terrier in for grooming and nail grinding regularly and have never had a problem, behavior or otherwise. It does take them a while to call me to pick up my dog, but I think that's because they enjoy his company... whenever I come to get him, they always have him out front and they're all playing with him. :)

    I really feel for you, Veronika, and all of the others who have had a bad experience with their local PetsMart groomers. However, I cannot discount an entire chain based on the information provided. Clearly, experiences vary by location. I do admire your passion, though.

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  7. I am so sorry that happened to you. Stuff like this makes me sick! I cannot imagine what that poor lady is going through. I've also heard horror stories about PetsMart. My aunt is a dog groomer and quit within the first day because the lady that was training her was screaming and man handling a puppy. I will never take my dog there. Thanks for creating some awareness about this company.
    Danyelle.

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  8. @anon---thanks for sharing your positive story---it's nice to know this isn't happening in every store and that some people have good experiences with well-trained professional groomers.

    I was just so disheartened when I heard of all of these people commenting on the story I posted that I felt I had to say something---the worst thing we can do in life is to be silent when something is going on that shouldn't be.

    Thanks for sharing your experience :)

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  9. I had such a bad experience with PetsMart. I haven't had any experience with their grooming. However, our local PetSmart has an animal hospital within the building. We took our cat there to be neutered (he was our first pet and we didn't know what vet to take him to) and it was an awful experience. I was disappointed in PetsMart because the vet had asked us to get there early in the morning, and when I came the automatic doors were locked. I was stuck outside in the snow and bitter cold with my kitten in the cat-carrier, and I called PetsMart on my cell phone to have someone let me in. They said that someone from the vet office would have to open the doors for me, not one of the PetsMart employees. I spoke with 2 different people, and neither would open the doors for me. I waited outside for 10 minutes in that weather with a meowing cat in a cat carrier, and watched as countless employees walked by and made eye contact with me. It surprised me that a place focused on animals was so unsympathetic toward the idea of an animal freezing outside.

    Also, when I went to pick him up the day after his surgery, the vet was extremely rude and made condescending remarks that made us feel like bad pet owners (we LOVE our cat) - apparently our cat bit him because he was being handled SO roughly. I saw him handle our cat when I picked him up, and he was very unsympathetic and unnecessarily rough. The vet said that we were to blame for him being bitten and implied that we might have a hostile living environment for our cat. I felt awful, and extremely guilty for leaving him in their care for 24 hours. Never will I ever take my animals there again. I know that this is not necessarily PetsMart, but rather a company affiliated with them. Still, I was disappointed with how they handled the door situation when I got there, and the fact that they were so unwilling to help out even though there was an animal involved.

    I have a friend who also had a bad experience with them - she dropped off her male cat, and the next day when she went to pick him up, his belly was shaved. The nurse filled her in - apparently, they somehow thought her cat was a girl and were preparing him to be spayed. At the last minute, they realized he was a boy. Kindof an important detail for a surgery focused on those parts of the body! They could have cut open his abdomen for no reason had they not noticed.

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  10. I want to cry. We regularly take our dogs to have their nails trimmed and grinded at PetSmart. While I'm always right there waiting/watching and have never witnessed anything "off", I am so saddened for that woman who lost her dog. My dogs are my babies! I can't imagine. It also makes me question my support of a store when there are so many horror stories. I'm going to look into other options now.

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  11. @jennifer---I would never encourage you to stop going somewhere where the service is good and you feel comfortable, even if it is a PetsMart store. If your dogs are being cared for and treated well then by all means I would continue to go there---but the chain, in general needs a wakeup call if there are so many people who have had horrible experiences.

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  12. Veronika, that is horrible. For anyone on the north side of Houston, I can't recommend Fee-Fee's Grooming in Old Town Spring highly enough. Our dogs absolutely love going there and they are so, so sweet to our dogs. In fact, our dog had a medical issue that we were only able to finally diagnose thanks to the owner, Priscilla. She always comes out and greets the dogs on their level. My cocker spaniel is very neurotic and super nervous about everything. When we go to Fee-Fee's, he always pees in the grass then runs up the stairs, says "hi" to Priscilla, and walks straight back to "his" kennel. Our shih tzu is happy-go-lucky and enjoys it there, too, but she's easy to please. I tried to take my dogs elsewhere and I just didn't feel that they were truly concerned about MY dogs. We drive 45 minutes each way to Fee-Fee's once a month and won't even consider somewhere else at this point. I'm always horrified by grooming stories like this and so, so thankful that we found a groomer that treats dogs with love, respect, and professionalism. I am grateful that with Priscilla's help, we were able to diagnose a medical issue AND that thanks to her care, he now allows us to clean his eyes and ears without a muzzle. He's a bit of a biter but he has never even growled at her. She's like the dog whisperer version of a groomer. I truly hope that you can find someone to groom Lulu that you love just as much.

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  13. I had no idea stuff like this was going on there! I am going to let my friends with pets know. This is awful!!

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  14. I have a 1 year old Shih Tzu and I took him to PetSmart to get groomed probably a total of 3 or 4 times and every time he would come back home he was really sad and depressed for a day or two and his personality was always different so I always wondered if they mistreated him so I stopped taking him to PetSmart and another thing I noticed was that he would get ear infections or a cold after each grooming session. I decided to not go there anymore after so many bad experiences and I feel really guilty for having went there more than once and giving them the benefit of the doubt. I will never shop or use any of their services again. I am really sorry about your dog Veronica and I am happy that he is doing much better though. I can't believe there are people out there that hurt animals, it's so disgusting and really upsets me.

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  15. This story is so horrible!! I feel for the poor woman whose dog died, and I'm sorry to hear about your dog too, Veronika. We took our chihuahua there a couple years ago to stay at the hotel, and they wouldn't take him because he is skiddish (like many chihuahuas). Looking back, I am SO glad they didn't take him, because I'm afraid of what could've happened had we left him in their care.

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  16. @N- my problem is that they actually groom dogs when they can clearly see how scared they are---they should CALL THE OWNERS if anything is off so that they don't have to resort to man handling them and terrifying them for life.

    It's about money---if the groom doesn't get done, they don't make the money...so no matter how it has to get done, I guess they just do it. I'd rather get a phone call telling me my dog is un-groomable than for him to have issues for life because of this.

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  17. This whole post breaks my heart. I don't understand how someone could hurt an innocent animal :( I hope that enough people will stand up and say something about their bad experiences and that PetsMart will realize that there is a serious problem and changes will be made.

    p.s. I adore the picture of LuLu in his little tuxedo! He is so precious!

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  18. I too live in Houston and have taken my dog to PetsMart for the past two years. Thus far I have been blessed to not have had serious problems. One thing that did piss me off was they clipped the skin off on his ear while I was standing there and I didn't even notice until I got home. I have also noticed groomers being aggressive with dogs and clipping them to where they bleed. I have not taken my dog back but will have to find a groommer soon as he is a cute little yorkie with long hair. I am deeply sorry to those who have had tragic end to what should be a pleasant experience. On a side not if anyone knows of a good groommer in the Houston area, please share.

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  19. What a sad story. My experience has been completely different. I had been going to Petsmart and never had any problems. I took my dogs to a local boutique and it was awful. I got a call that my dog had been "knicked". I asked if I needed to come pick him up and was told nope, he's done bleeding. I left work anyways and needless to say my dog had not been knicked. He was still actively bleeding when I got there. He needed the vet to staple his leg he was cut so bad. And to top it off the groomer made me pay for the haircut and refused to pay my vet bill!

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  20. What an awful story. I'm in tears reading it as our dog is like our baby since we don't have human kids yet...I can't imagine losing him like that. We've never taken him to PetSmart to be groomed but know others who have without problems; however, after reading this, you can bet we never will! As much as it's a pain to pin down an 80-lb lab to trim his nails, I'd rather do it myself since I know he's not being hurt than drop him off somewhere I don't trust. Thanks for sharing this. Lulu is super cute, too! ;) ~Erica

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  21. stylishly petite---we take our dog to West Alabama Animal Clinic---they've got a nice groomer there who comes a few times a week.

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  22. In College Station, we just recently (within the last 3 or so years) got a Petsmart but we had a Petco, which is where I took Coco for her first grooming about 7 years ago.
    I dropped her off at 8, as is standard protocol, and they said she would be done by 3. I thought that was a long time but then thought that maybe they just had a lot of dogs to do that day, whatever.
    So 3 pm rolls around and they arent calling me so I call and they say that she will be done by 5. 5 comes and goes and so I finally go in to get her and she STILL ISNT DONE.
    So basically I dropped my dog off so she could sit scared in a cage for 10 hours probably not being let out for what reason? I was furious. I spoke with the manager and of course there was no recourse for the groomer's actions.
    Now, I take Coco to our vet in San Antonio who has a great groomer who I feel really connects with the animals. Coco is very antsy and nervous by nature so whenever we get in the car to go somewhere she shakes so she's always shaky going to the vet, but never in a way that would denote that she is getting mistreated.
    Our other dog, Jack, has a groomer that he goes to here in College Station who is great as well. Just a woman who does grooming out of her home and is so nice, does a great job, and he always comes back happy as he is allowed to run around and play with the other animals there.
    It is just so sad and sick to see these types of stories. Anyone who mistreats animals deserves a particularly cruel punishment, because animals are just so helpless.
    I am sorry for everyone who has had any bad experiences and cant imagine the pain they went through. Im also sorry for your bad experience with Lulu at Petsmart but hopefully people will get more information by reading this.
    Sorry to go on and on, but something important to note as well is the problem going on with the Hartz flea drops products. I advise anyone to visit this website:

    http://www.hartzvictims.org/2010/11/30/hartz-flea-drops-6/

    What Hartz is doing is just as deplorable as these things at Petsmart and Petco :(

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  23. My little Maltese Lilly used to shake if we pulled anywhere near the PetSmart parking lot. Poor thing. It really turns my stomach when people mistreat and are cruel to any animals.

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  24. Oh my word. Thanks for posting this. I don't have a dog, just two cats but I will most certainly NEVER take them to PetSmart for grooming or any other service. I nearly cried reading about the poor little pups! And I'm sorry for poor Lulu too. I am going to contact PetSmart about the news story. I was going to pick up some supplies for my kitties this afternoon at PetSmart, but after reading this I don't think I'll be going back there again.

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  25. We took our dog there for a while but there service was horrible and yes, my dog is now afraid of going to the groomer. She is definitely better but I really think Petsmart had something to do with it. We now have another dog and I will never take him to Petsmart again! On top of my dog being afraid now, there service was really horrible, we wrote a letter to corporate because there was a lady there that was so rude.
    I am also very passionate about this so thank you for posting this!

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  26. I've had a bad experience once with our teacup yorkie, Biscuit. He had been groom their many occasions. He always seemed scared when I picked him up shiver, but I always thought he was doing this because he was around strangers. Then one time I picked him up and they told me they knicked him in the testicles!! They took take him to the vet and put something on it to stop the bleeding, but everything was okay and if anything happened to bring him to their vet. I didn't know what to say. I was really young and this dog was really my dad's and I took him home and my dad was furious when I told him. He was afraid he couldn't use him as a "stud" now because of cut testicle. I am not sure if my dad took him back there or not, but he didn't have the best experience there.

    I think every PetSmart is different. Some are good and some are really bad. PetSmart probably needs to have a better hiring practices with their groomers. Set higher expectations and have good table side manners with dogs. Going to a groomer period is a traumatic experience for a dog. No dog likes it so they should at least screen there people better to make the experience for the animal least stressful as possible.

    I don't take my 3 dogs their to be groomed I take them to a highly accredited groomer, which I love. ABC Pet Resort & Salon in Houston. They are great!

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  27. omg this is absolutely horrible. i don't have a dog so i have never gone to a petsmart ... if we ever get a dog, i never will. i can't believe they are still in business. it's a shame.

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  28. What a sad post Veronika! I have taken my little guy to PetsMart a few times, and never had an issue. For the past year, I have decided to take him to a small groomer that takes appointments and doesnt require me to leave my pup there all day. Thank you for sharing this story. I don't think i'll ever take the chance again and take him to PetsMart. I'm amazed at all the stories...

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  29. I've never had my Lulu (love that we have dogs with the same name!) groomed there, but I took her to the Banfield vet once before I found a stand-alone vet when she was a baby. They were VERY rude, not loving towards her at all, and treated like I was ignorant when I asked some questions. I decided to never take Lulu there for anything again after that experience!

    I am sure that there are some loving groomers and vets that work for PetSmart, but I'd rather not risk it!

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  30. Wow! I am very shocked by this, it makes me very angry that Pet Smart would allow this to happen. Why do people who dislike animals & treat them this way work at a pet store?! It really makes my heart hurt what they did to Lulu and all other innocent animals. It is not fair. I have never taken my dog there, but I will however be writing them a letter that I will never step foot in there and will tell my friends to do the same. This is just so wrong!!! Thank you for sharing this.

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  31. If you're going to bring awareness to something pet-related, perhaps you should also bring awareness to the problems with people purchasing "designer breeds." You say your dog is a shih-poo. There is no such breed. "Hybrid" is another way of saying mixed breed, and there are not responsible or respectable breeders breeding such mixes, only people out to make money. This means a lot of puppy mills and a lot of backyard breeders who don't do proper genetic/health testing. When someone sees that your dog is cute (which Lulu is for sure, and I can tell you love him), and you tell them that he's a shih-poo, they're going to go out looking for one and then keep these backyard breeders in business. I always advocate adoption, and many adorable mixed breeds (including small dogs) can be found in shelters and rescues, but I am fine with people purchasing from a breeder if they really do their research and purchase from a reputable breeder. Not doing so contributes to overpopulation and health issues in the dogs. Good breeders use dogs that are champions in the show circuit and come from generations of champions that are also genetically tested. Breeders who breed two breeds to create a "designer" breed do not (please feel free to provide me an example of a mixed breed breeding program that does) use well-bred dogs, thereby often resulting in puppies that have the "worst" of both breeds (congenital defects that those breeds are prone to).

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  32. I noticed your about me section now says shih-tzu poodle mix. Thank you!! I seem to recall that you had referred to him as a shih-poo in the past (which is still what comes up if you google your blog).

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  33. I've never been an animal person until Charlie Brown (he's called that bc it's the only name he answered to, ha!) came into my life. His previous owner threw this adorable 6mth old Morkie out of a car and luckily my friend saw this and rescued him. It happened on my birthday and when I heard of this, he had to be mine. So now I'm completely smitten. The thought of him being harmed absolutely terrifies me, so THANK YOU for sharing this. He loves where he's groomed, but I had considered Petsmart since it's cheaper. And now I never will. Again, thank you.

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  34. i dont have a dog but a very good friend of my parents had a similar issue with Pet Smart. They took a small dog in to have it groomed and while it was in the dryer it was left for too long and it overheated the dog. It ended up dying and they sued. It was an awful story and all over the news. I tell everyone about it and recommend not to go there because of the negligence.

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  35. @anon--- I understand your point. Our dog is a shi-tzu poodle mix and we did get him from a breeder. At the time, I had no knowledge of the things you mentioned---it was my first dog and I wasn't educated about backyard breeding and puppy mills etc and a lot of people in city I lived in got their dogs where I did.

    On that note, I would love to adopt a dog when it's time for us to get another dog. However, I have allergies to both dogs and cats and don't want a dog who sheds...so for us, a poodle mix is idea because our dog has hair, not fur, doesn't shed and it works great for us. If I could find a dog at a shelter that didn't shed and had hair, I would definitely adopt. I understand now that there are breed-specific shelters, which is great.

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  36. I was afraid to read the comments to this story, because I have brought my puppy to be groomed twice at my local PetsMart & didn't want to feel any worse. When you mentioned their were positive comments in your latest post, I decided to read them. What are the chances that one of the positive comments was from the one I go to (Warwick, RI)? I've seriously been feeling guilty ever since I read the original post, but I feel much better now! Just wondering, do other PetsMarts have the grooming section in plain sight? Ours is surrounded by windows so it's visible from the parking lot & the inside of the store. It would be hard for one of the groomers to be hurting a dog in our store without someone seeing it.

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  37. OMG, thank you for sharing this story. It's awful, and I can't believe they would be so careless. I got my first puppy this year, and after a few not so great experiences at petsmart, we now go to West Alabama Clinic as well. My puppy was terrified after his grooming experience at petsmart, and after reading your post, I'd be terrified for him to go back.

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  38. I hope I don't get roasted alive for this, but I don't think you should feel guilty for getting your dog from a breeder if they treated their animals lovingly... just because they didn't breed a "purebred" doesn't mean they were bad people, in fact dogs with mixed genetics tend to suffer less of the health issues that purebreds are susceptible to (from generations of breeding within severely limited gene pools). Also, the dogs that are now considered pure bred dogs didn't just emerge from nature as they are, they were all cross-bred and at one time "hybrids" while the breed was being developed by humans. In my opinion what matters is that the dogs are all happy and treated well. Just something to think about!

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  39. I just cancelled my appt at Petsmart that was scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday. We took our dog there once before, and although our dog was not scared/upset afterwards, the customer service was atrocious.

    Our appt. was for 11 am. and my husband was dropping her off. I was away for the weekend and he wasn't exactly clear on what I ordered (which was a full groom). Instead they just clipped her nails and hair b/w her paws. The worst part was that she was only able to be picked up at 4 pm. WHen my husband called to check up on her and ask what was taking so long, they said "there are alot of dogs ahead of yours". What's the point of making an appt?! The girl had the WORST attitude and kept getting annoyed that my husband called several times to check on her. he even told her that he had plans and wasn't aware that it was supposed to take that long - she could've cared less.

    Because of this, he missed a football game he had tickets too...very annoying.

    I made an appt. at another local groomer who has excellent reviews for tomorrow instead.

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  40. Wow, this is a very similar story to what happened to my pug, Winston, a month ago. I took him in to have his nails trimmed and he actually passed out while on the table due to asphyxiation and had to be rushed to my vet's and put on oxygen. They said we were lucky he didn't have permanent bran damage...

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  41. Thanks for sharing. I passed this along to my SIL & parents, and none of us will be taking our dogs to PetSmart's groomers. My SIL actually was making an appointment for her Maltese, which she canceled after reading this.

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  42. how heartbreaking to read this. I took my Pomeranian to Petsmart once before and wasn't happy so we ended up just going to our Vets office to have him clipped and groomed. My dog hated Petsmart but I never gave it much thought at the time.. this was about 10yrs ago. We now take our dog to a private person near our house who also boards him.

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  43. kristen---that is horrifying---thank god you all saved your dog!

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  44. Do you edit the comments to your posts? I posted two things yesterday that were contrary to the general opinion on this topic & neither one appears to have been published.

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  45. @anon-- I did NOT delete any comments made on this post and let all of them through---including the ones about buying from breeders versus adopting from a shelter. I would never censor experiences about this topic---in my post I said I welcomed both positive and negative stories.

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  46. I'm so sad to read this! Our PetSmart has the sweetest groomers. They have been grooming our dog since we got her, and they know her by name. I can't believe that professionals would do this to animals. That's just terrible! :(

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  47. I used to work at Banfield and the groomers were constantly bringing dogs over that they had cut. Of course, they brought just as many over that had problems the owners had ignored (rashes and such).

    One of the groomers told me that with the loops they put around their necks, if the groomer isn't paying attention and the dog falls of the table they hang themselves.

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  48. New to your blog--which is great by the way! I am HUGE dog lover....I treat my dog as if she were a human kid (Now I don't go as far as dressing her but you get the idea) I have lived in AZ for six years, and for 5 years I took my dog to Petsmart in Yuma, And recently just moved to the greater Phoenix area, and still take Aspen, my dog, to petsmart to be groomed. I have to say, I completely agree with the very first person that posted Anonymous said. It totally depends on where you live, and what type of groomers happen to be staffed at that particular location.

    I love my dogs groomer. They are great, and take good care of her. I feel bad, really I do, for all the people that have had negative experiences. Maybe looking into local groomers out of the home is best, rather than a chain. Each place is different, and I agree, that headquarters needs to do a better job with consistency. But with any job, when one quits, someone has to be replaced right? and you can't just fill a spot with someone who hasn't had any training right?

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  49. Wow thank you for sharing this story. I LOVE animals and treat them with the greatest respect and care. I will never take my dog to a groomer ever again. I prefer to do it myself.

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  50. April O. I had a friend who had a champion breed standard poodle and while grooming they cut her ear completely off. When they called her they said there was a accident and what vet they could pick her up at, no explanation or anything, my friend was horrified.

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  51. I bring my puppy to PetSmart, she only 8 month old..this is her 3rd visit but eveytime I pick her up she is shacking and they always told me that she won't let them trim her nail..the last viist is yesterday 11/27/13..they say when they try to pull her leg 3 feet apart..she make herself fall down and they don't except that kind of behavior..as I know she is very good puppy she never do anything like that at home..but when I pick her up she is very scare..I have to hold her and calm her down..they don't want me to my puppy there anymore..well I have to find some where that is safe and they take good care of her..she only a puppy you can't expect her to spread her leg 3 feet apart..I don't know what they do to her but I won't bring her there anymore..just want to share my experience with PetSmart..

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  52. I came across this article while trying to figure out wether or not I want to stay with the company. I currently work as a groomer for Petsmart and I can't stand it anymore. They push you to do a certain amount of dogs per day and you get in trouble for having any overtime. You don't have enough time in the day to give some dogs a good experience. About a week ago I had to bring to the store managers attention that I had witnessed a man that I work with choke a dog on its own grooming loop while plucking the dogs ears. He held the dog by the back of the neck and pushed down causing him to choke and scream. The man just got a slap on the wrist. It was one of the most disturbing things that I have ever seen and I've seen him push and throw dogs. They like him because he is obnoxiously friendly with the customers and he can up sell products. I suppose Petsmart is only in grooming for the money.

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  53. I took my sweet loving and trusting puppy who is very energetic there. He hasn't been neutered and they where aware. After I picked him up after 4 hours!! His growing was bleeding and now after 2 days still haven't ate, slept or played. He hasn't stopped being shaky and is scared of everything now! His entire personality has changed. It makes me sick to think of what all they did to him! There needs to be a stop to this!

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    1. Becca--- thanks for your comment. I encourage you to call corporate and complain. I did that and although there was no solution, there needs to be a public outcry about this. I would also recommend calling you local news station with your story. My dog hasn't been the same since this happened to him. Just like you said, his entire personality changed. I am sorry this happened to you.

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  54. I left my 3 year old Bull Mastiff at the PetSmart Pet Hotel Alliance Fort Worth Store for 2 nights. When we picked him up on Sunday and brought him home we realized he had urinated on his dog bed that we had brought for him. He is 3 and hasn't had an accident since he was a puppy. I immediately took him for a walk and he pooped 4 times and peed 4 times. I don't know when (or if) the employees at PetSmart ever took him out. I called the store manager and she replied with they go out twice a day, he would've been taken out early this morning. It's Sunday, but Monday morning I plan to make a formal complaint with corporate and with the Better Business Bureau. I will never use or recommend this facility again.

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  56. I just took my Siberian Husky to the petsmart groomer this last Sunday. Dropped her off, and 30 mins later I get a call that her claw got caught in their kennel, and it broke her nail laterally, ripping it, and exposing some bone. They didnt even notice at first too, so she was in there bleeding. The vet had to remove the broken part of the nail, wrapped it up and gave me antibiotics. I have a checkup today. I am so mad though, my dog didn't deserve that, what kind of kennels do they have where that can happen so easily? They offered a free grooming but I will never go back there again. What do I do? What if my poor dogs nail is disfigured forever? :( I can tell shes in pain too.

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    1. I would take this to their head office and file an official complaint. Also post about it on social media to make your family and friends aware of your experience. The more and more people who share their stories, the more attention this issue will get. They need to take responsibility for what is happening.

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    2. Thats what I just did, called HQ and filed a complaint. They need to be aware of this!

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  57. Two weeks ago, my 7 year old perfectly heathly golden retriver died while getting a hair cut. They had called us saying he had seizure and it did not look good. 5 minutes later my dad arrived and our dog was already dead. We demanded an autopsy and we just recieved the results and it was 'inconclusive.' We believe Petsmart killed him, but now we are trying to get a toxicology report to see if any sedatives were in his blood. But now reading all the stuff on the internet about others experience. I am thinking it was something more violent. My family and I cannot walk away from this and we need more answers and file a lawsuit. If anyone has any advice on what to do I would appreciate it more than you know.

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    1. I am so sorry to hear about your dog :( I believe that PetsMart should not be in the grooming business. I will now only trust veterinary offices with good reputations to perform grooming services. I would call a lawyer and see what your options are. Also...does the store have cameras? Subpoena them for the footage.

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  59. I worked at petsmart for three years and had some issues with how they approach dog grooming. I love these dogs and am patient with them, however, some dogs are terrified especially during their first and second grooms. I had called three pet parents during that time to pick up their dog because they were so stressed out. Unfortunately after calling on the third one I was told by one of the more experienced groomers that there was no excuse for not finishing a dog. In addition, petsmart pushes their groomers to do too many dogs. If a groomer is comfortable with six dogs they push them up to seven. I can not excuse a groomer who is rough with theses guys, but the company as a whole needs to take some of the responsibility and change these policies, so the groomer doesn't get totally stressed out when given a dog that takes longer.

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