Dog Abuse

PetSmart Groomer Arrested Following Death of Dog in His Care

A San Mateo, California PetSmart dog groomer has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty after a dog suffered fatal injuries just minutes after being dropped of for grooming.

Juan Zarate, 38, of San Francisco, was arrested at the San Mateo PetSmart store on Sunday after Henry, a 1-year old Dachshund died after only 3 minutes in his care. Henry’s owner brought him to the store for grooming. Three minutes after dropping Henry off, Zarate came out of the grooming office holding the dog, saying he was having a medical emergency. Henry was bleeding from the mouth and having trouble breathing.

An on-site veterinarian was unable to save the dog. X-rays established that he’d suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung.

In an email to ABC7 News, PetSmart wrote: “We are heartbroken by the loss of Henry. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pets, and we take full responsibility for the pets in our care. We are conducting an internal investigation and will take immediate action based on our findings. Additionally, we are working with the local authorities. The individual involved has been placed on suspension pending the outcome of this investigation. Any incident of animal cruelty goes against everything we believe as a company and as individual pet parents. No words can express our deep sorrow for the family, and we will continue to work with the pet parent during this difficult time.”

Police investigating the incident confirmed that Henry arrived in perfect health with no injuries. It is unclear what happened in that 3-minutes that he was alone with Zarate.

A full necropsy to determine the cause of his injuries is being performed and the police investigation is ongoing.

12 Comments

12 Comments

  1. Bobby

    May 18, 2016 at 5:13 am

    I truly feel sorry for this family as I know what they are going through as I lived through a nightmare myself on June 19th, 2015, as i lost my
    Dog to a banfield visit #justice4charlie on Facebook

  2. Carol nelson

    May 17, 2016 at 9:44 pm

    That’s why I always say take your dog to a professional groomer.

  3. Renee Turner

    May 17, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    As a groomer myself for over 30 years, this saddens me to the core of my being. It is something that should never happen. However, while I do think groomers should have training, I do not believe that groomers being controlled by groups that do not even know how to do the job is going to help. Holding a certification or special license will not keep people from being the kind of people that they are. Some people should just clearly not hold certain positions. Grooming is not an easy job, physically or mentally at times. It takes a special person to do the job to the highest degree of quality and care that is and should be expected. Unfortunately, not everyone has what it takes. A piece of paper stating that you do will not change you as a person. My heart goes out to the family of little Henry. Please as the consumer, check out the place and people you leave your pet with the same way you would for your child. People are people, it doesn’t matter who they work for. Do your homework on the actual person, not the business as a whole. God bless you Henry, and your family <3

  4. Patty pence

    May 17, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Did you read petsmart put him on suspension till they investigate this guy should of been thrown out on his ass Petsmart do your job this is not the first time this has happen in the petsmart company Petsmart should pay for the loss and all legal fees

  5. Chloe G

    May 17, 2016 at 4:25 pm

    THIS IS THE REASON why I DO NOT take my dog to the groomer!!!! I cut her hair at home. At least that way I know that she is not being mistreated. I know there a good groomers out there, but you just don’t know until it’s too late.

  6. Meka

    May 17, 2016 at 3:55 pm

    Rie A beat me to the comment regarding his appearance. Who would leave their pet in his hands

  7. JOGO2

    May 17, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    I wish America would get off of the “one stop shopping” wagon! This obsession with companies being money happy is crazy. Why couldn’t PetSmart and other companies like it just stay in the product sales business and leave the grooming to companies that are specialized in grooming. This idea of always having to take over parts of industry at a cheap price and one stop shopping makes me crazy. They hire cheap labor, kids right out of grooming school who don’t have experience and they put them on display and force them to do “X” number of dogs or cats in a day. I took my schnauzers to one of these groomers at a pet store and they came out scared and the grooming was not what I wanted. The poor girls were cut so short I could see skin. I didn’t pay and never went back. I was lucky my dogs were only shaken up and rattled not hurt.

  8. Norma Guerra

    May 17, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I myself am a groomer that is completely uncalled for. If the pup was being unruly then he should have put Henry in a kennel until someone could help or the pup calm down. The problem with Pet smart and Petco are their training programs and the way they are taught to control animals. The groomers have little to no experience a lot of them are young and just starting out grooming . He probably isn’t a groomer he’s a bather. Who has less experience than the groomers.

  9. Coleen

    May 17, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Wel all Petsmart store need to do a better background check of the people their hire as “Groomers”. This is not the first so very sad story about Petsmart groomers- Myself, my daughter and my 15 year old grandson watched a “groomer” at Rock Hill SC Petsmart jeriking(really hard) on a Golden Retriever and she was in his face yelling at that poor baby-there were 3 other “groomers” in the room-we reported it to the “shift supervisor” and I posted the incident on the Rock Hill SC page but have not heard anything from them-this happened May 8 this year-I hope that poor baby was ok. It’s so sad about this little puppy died 3 minutes after its owner left. Sad sad sad and so unnecessary.

  10. Margie

    May 17, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Animals sense when a person does not like them. This person was clearly not one to be entrusted with any animal or human being….

  11. Rie A

    May 17, 2016 at 10:31 am

    petsmart get it together, this isn’t the first time dogs have been hurt at a petsmart i wouldn’t trust a petsmart with my animal since they seem not to care what kind of trash they hire

    • Rie A

      May 17, 2016 at 10:34 am

      and he looks like a druggy or something why was he working there to start?

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