Canine Rights

Family Dog Mauled to Death at PetSmart Grooming Salon

A Pennsylvania woman is devastated and desperate for answers when shortly after dropping her dog off at a PetSmart grooming salon she received a call that her beloved dog was dead.

petsmart grooming

Last Wednesday, Betty Miller took her 12-year old Bichon, Brewster, the the Dickson City, Pennsylvania PetSmart to be groomed. Shortly after dropping him off at the grooming salon, she received a call from a veterinarian informing her that her dog was dead.

“He was loving,” Miller told WNEP. “He was gentle. He was funny. He was like a toy, and he loved everyone.”

Brewster had been attacked by another dog at the Petsmart grooming salon. Following the attack, he was rushed to the nearby Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center in South Abington Township, where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

On top of mourning the tragic death of her dog, Miller is angry with how PetSmart handled the incident.

“We called corporate,” Miller said. “They did not reach out to us, and I was very angry about that. Why would you want to bring a pit bull past a small dog who’s really just bait? He was bait.”

In addition to her heartache, Miller is struggling with guilt.

“I felt so guilty the day it happened because we would say to him, ‘You want to go bye-bye?’ and he’d hop in that car, and he didn’t know it was going to be his last ride. It was hard, very, very hard. He’s been with us for 12 years. He was just a great dog.”

PetSmart’s issued the following statement regarding Brewster’s death:

“We are truly saddened by the loss of Brewster. The health, safety and well-being of the pets in our care is our top priority, and we immediately launched an internal investigation to better understand what led to this tragic accident. We have high standards of care in place and are actively gathering more information to determine any policy or procedural violations. We welcome all dogs, regardless of their breed, into our grooming salons provided they are well-behaved. We will remain in close contact with Brewster’s pet parent as we learn more.”

PetSmart grooming salons around the country are no strangers to injury and death of dogs in their care. Last year, a Chihuahua died following a simple nail trim procedure at a California store, a Dachshund was strangled to death only minutes after arriving to be groomed, and a Newfoundland died of heat stroke following a grooming at an Ohio store.

Betty Miller hopes that the PetSmart grooming salon will put safety protocols into place to prevent such tragedies from happening in the future.



  1. Jean

    Nov 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm

    My friend’s dog wasn’t killed but she was badly mauled by two GSD when all three were left to board at a Veterinary clinic and all three escaped their kennels. She was a small spitz breed with a heavy coat that may have protected her but it likely the arrival of morning staff also was critical. Yes, morning staff, there had been no one at the clinic overnight. To make it worse, the Vet clinic did not phone to tell my friend about this till she arrived much later the same day to take her dog home. A Vet clinic, it’s not just at Petsmart, your pet is in danger in many places. When boarding at least make sure someone is in the building with your pet overnight. Ditto for overnight Vet stays.

  2. Karen Oster

    Nov 9, 2017 at 6:51 pm

    Petsmart needs to close all their salons, since they can’t seem to protect the animals trusted into their care. I wouldn’t shop at their store again.

    • Cheryl

      Nov 12, 2017 at 6:49 am

      My heart goes out to Brewster parents,as a pittbull mom I would never take my baby’s there to be groomed that’s what my vet is for cause of the bread,another thing they should have separate rooms for each pet ,accidents happen but it’s amazing how all these accident happened at pet smart hummm they should take care of this mess I know your baby can’t be replaced but still you should’ve compensated no matter what and all employed should be fired that was there

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

To Top
Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest dog news, recall alerts, and giveaways!

You have Successfully Subscribed!