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PetSmart coming under fire after series of dog deaths

(NBC NEWS) - PetSmart is coming under fire for a series of dog deaths during grooming sessions at a number of locations.

Abby, a Corgi from Toms River, New Jersey, died March 29 after being dropped off for a routine grooming.  Eight year old Scruffles, an English Bulldog - a breed known to be prone to breathing difficulty - died when PetSmart violated policy by using a dryer on the dog last December.

Danielle Dinapoli, Scruffles's owner, said she was shocked by how many other owners have since reached out with their own allegations.

"I cannot count," Dinapoli said.  "There are so many.  I cannot count."

In a statement, PetSmart called the incidents unrelated, adding that it is deeply saddened by the deaths, but pointing out its investigations revealed "associates followed rigorous practices" and that the pet parents have refused to share their animal autopsy reports which could show pre-existing conditions.

PetSmart did recently form a task force to evaluate grooming procedures, adding that its groomers already undergo 800 hours of training.

Currently, no states require a license for dog groomers, but laws in New Jersey are now pending.


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