One New Jersey PetSmart Blamed for Two Dog Deaths in Just Eight Days

Published by Danny Prater.

A brokenhearted woman’s quest for answers has brought negative national attention to retailer PetSmart. It all began after her seemingly healthy dog, Scruffles, mysteriously died during or after a grooming appointment at a PetSmart in Flemington, New Jersey. According to a post in a now-viral Facebook group dedicated to the dog’s memory, Justice for Scruffles, the company has allegedly refused to release information about what happened during the fatal grooming session. Other outlets are reporting that PetSmart employees left Scruffles’ body at a local veterinarian and drove off before her guardians arrived.

Scruffles’ Facebook memorial page is also serving another purpose: It’s a support group for those whose dogs have been injured or killed as a result of visiting a PetSmart groomer. While grooming accidents have happened at PetSmart stores across the country, recent posts to the page imply that a second dog taken to the same New Jersey location also unexpectedly died days later.

And allegations that another dog reportedly sustained back injuries during his recent appointment at the same store mean that, according to customers, in just eight days, two dogs have died and one was injured after visiting this location.

What You Can Do

Always do your research and be vigilant before entrusting your dog to a groomer’s care. You can also learn basic techniques for grooming your dog at home by checking out our guide:

NEVER spend money at stores like PetSmart, which profit from the sale of animals.

Dogs aren’t the only victims. All types of animals—including mice, birds, and reptiles—suffer in the pet trade and chain stores. PetSmart may never change its business model unless it feels the impact of its cruel policies where it hurts the most—its bottom line.

You can make a difference by “voting” with your wallet. Pledge never to patronize retailers that participate in the pet trade, and let PetSmart know that you’ll buy supplies only from businesses that don’t sell animals, such as Target and Walgreens.

And if you’re planning to add an animal companion to your family, please adopt from a local shelter or rescue organization—never buy from a pet store or breeder.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind