PetSmart fires back after news report links grooming to 47 dog deaths

The national chain operates over 1,600 stores in North America, but an article asserts staffers aren’t taking necessary precautions and dogs are dying. PetSmart denies a systemic problem.

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PetSmart is defending its reputation in light of an article linking dozens of dogs’ deaths to grooming sessions at PetSmart locations.

The investigative report by found that 47 dogs died during or shortly after their grooming sessions at PetSmart locations spanning 14 states, though the article suggests there may be far more than were reported.

Some employees see the reporting as a “witch hunt,” but other employees describe an unsafe environment for man’s best friend.

Journalists looked at lawsuits and veterinary records, interviewed employees and spoke to pet owners. In addition to the 47 deaths, the reporting identified a lack of training for new groomers, an organizational priority of profits over safety, and payouts to keep accidents out of the headlines. reported:

While careful tracking of productivity measures and up-selling is common practice in many businesses, some former PetSmart employees said they’re so heavily emphasized and publicized among the staff that everything else, including safety measures, can get overshadowed.

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