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Cindi Tousel had taken her 6-year old Newfoundland to the same groomer at a Mentor, Ohio PetSmart for several years. So when it was time once again for Gracie’s routine grooming, Cindi took the love of her life back to the same store she’d always used.
This time, however, Gracie’s normal groomer was on vacation. Concerned, Cindi interviewed the groomer that was working to make sure her dog would be in good hands.
Four and half hours after dropping her dog off, Cindi received a call from PetSmart, urging her to rush her dog to an emergency veterinarian.
When Cindi picked up her dog, she was drooling heavily, her gait was off. It was immediately obvious that something was wrong.
The veterinarian found Gracie’s body temperature to be 109-degrees. A dog’s normal body temperature is 102.
Because Newfoundlands are notorious for being sensitive to the heat, Cindi always had Gracie’s coat trimmed in the summer months. She instructed the new groomer not to use a blow dryer to dry the dog, knowing that the heat could be too much.
While Cindi doesn’t know for certain that a heated blow dryer was used, she said Gracie was completely dry when she was picked up.
Gracie’s organs began shutting down as a result of being overheated and the Tousel family, including several Pugs and a new puppy, had to say goodbye to their best friend.
Meanwhile, PetSmart has offered to pay all of Gracie’s veterinary expenses. Corporate offices have been in touch with the Tousels and have sent flowers. Cindi is considering her options moving forward, but hopes that some good will come out of this tragedy, that PetSmart will keep the areas where dogs are held cool and comfortable, and will monitor the dogs for stress and overheating.