Couple sues PetSmart dog groomer for allegedly killing dog - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Couple sues PetSmart dog groomer for allegedly killing dog

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(AP) The owners of a pet dachshund who died in May during a grooming appointment at a California PetSmart filed a lawsuit Tuesday, alleging the company had received several complaints of pet injuries during grooming appointments before but failed to take action to correct the problem.

Terrie Peacock and Stefan Zier's 1-year-old dachshund Henry died after he was brought into the on May 15 for a nail trim.

Minutes after he took the dog in for the nail trim, the groomer appeared holding an unresponsive Henry, as the dog bled from his mouth. A veterinarian at the store was unable to revive the dog, and he was pronounced dead.

The groomer, later identified as 38-year-old Hayward resident Juan Zarate, was arrested that same day on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.

According to the complaint against PetSmart, which was filed by the couple's attorney Alison Cordova, a large number of consumers nationwide have reported serious injury or pet deaths during grooming sessions at the animal supply store dating as far back as 2010. The injuries range from severe cuts, to overheating, strangulation and blunt force trauma.

The complaint alleges PetSmart knew of the complaints for years prior to Henry's death, but didn't do anything about them.

A necropsy later determined that the Zier's dog was strangled. A post-mortem X-ray showed the dog also suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung.

Zarate has since pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty and animal abuse. He's scheduled to be in court Wednesday, where a date for his trial will be set, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

In addition to unspecified damages, with the lawsuit Zier and Peacock are seeking to prevent this from happening again.

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