Dog dies after grooming appointment at Campbell PetSmart

Terri Lynn was an affectionate pet that lived a dog's life --.literally. The 6-year-old Chihuahua, who weighed about 7 pounds, never saw a lap she didn't like.

Tragically, the dog's life ended after a nail grooming appointment went wrong.

"How do you go from a five-minute nail trim to telling me my dog's not coming back with me when I just saw her

10 minutes ago," said Katherine Rhodes, the dog's owner.

Rhodes says Tuesday afternoon she brought Terri Lynn PetSmart on West Hamilton in Campbell.

She dropped off the dog, returned five minutes later and noticed something wasn't right despite Terri Lynn's recent clean bill of health from her vet.

"She went very limp. Just her whole body went limp," said Rhodes.

The dog was rushed to a nearby vet, but pronounced dead minutes later.

Rhodes doesn't know the cause but has her suspicions.

"When you're holding a dog, I feel like they were holding he a little harder just to keep her calm," said Rhodes, adding, “I feel like she was squeezed where she couldn't breathe anymore."

PetSmart officials said they're "saddened by the loss of Terri Lynn."

And that the associate doing the nail grooming "followed all safety policies and procedures by immediately recognizing signs of stress during the nail trim."

But there's no indication of what went wrong.

Officials with PETA say the safest route for owners and their pets is to always be present when grooming is done.

"We recommend doing a house call so that the groomer and pet can be under surveillance at all times," said Colleen O'Brien.

Katherine Rhodes says a necropsy is scheduled to determine the cause of death, but the result won't be available for another month.

This is the second recent incident in the Bay Area of a dog dying while in the care of PetSmart.

In May, a PetSmart employee was accused in the death of a 1-year-old male Dachsund, who had been taken to the store for grooming.

Juan Zarate, 38, of San Francisco is facing charges in connection with the incident reported Sunday at the pet store, which is located on S. El Camino Real and West Hillsdale Blvd. Company officials said he has been suspended, pending the outcome of an internal investigation it has launched into the incident.

San Mateo police were called to the pet supply store shortly after 5 p.m. to investigate a report of a dog that had died on the premises. 

Police said they spoke to a San Mateo resident, who told police he brought his 1-year old male Dachshund to the store to be groomed. 

"About three minutes after the groomer took the dog into the back to be groomed, the groomer came out and was saying the dog was having a medical emergency. The owner said that he could see the dog was foaming at the mouth and had some blood in his mouth," said police spokesman Sgt. Rick Decker. "We're certain it was not an accident."

Decker said the store's veterinarian did a post-mortem X-ray on the dog and discovered he had two broken ribs and a punctured lung.


By KTVU reporter Jesse Gary 

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