Puppy mutilated during grooming at PetSmart in Jonesboro

Photo by Stan Morris | NEA Report on Monday, July 23, 2018

The following story contains graphic photos and details. 

JONESBORO, Ark. – Kaitlyn Weatherford of Newport experienced a nightmare Sunday when her puppy “Ziggy” had a huge portion of his hide ripped off of his back during a grooming incident at PetSmart in Jonesboro.

“It’s been horrible,” Weatherford told NEA Report.

At 1 PM on Sunday, July 22, 2018, she dropped off the 10-month-old long-haired dachshund named “Ziggy” at PetSmart, 3009 E Highlands Drive in Jonesboro. At around 3 PM, she said employees called her and said “Ziggy” was ready to be picked up. She even said they seemed “happy.”

img_4853But when she arrived to the store, seated under the PetSmart store sign was the groomer – in tears. She was crying on the phone and asked Weatherford if they were the owners of the dachshund. She told Weatherford there had been a terrible accident.

Weatherford and her boyfriend, Sean Estes, went into the store, where they spoke with a “leader.”

“He was trying to explain to us there was an incident: a Great Dane jumped up while Ziggy was being groomed and bit him,” Weatherford said. “[He was] just trying to smooth it over the best he could. But he was also referring to Ziggy as a she. So that just indicated he clearly had no idea was going on.”

Store personnel would not let Weatherford see Ziggy as he was already in a cage to be transported to a veterinary hospital. She also said the manager called it a “superficial wound” and seemed to dismiss the severity of the alleged-accident involving her 11 pound dog.

When Weatherford arrived at the veterinarian’s office, she felt like she had been misled.

“It didn’t look like a bite mark at all,” Weatherford said. “I can’t even describe it but it did not look like a bite mark.”

These photos depict the graphic wounds suffered by the poor dog.

The skin on Ziggy’s back appears to be sliced in an even cut across the complete upper half of the dog’s back.

“The skin was completely flapped back and it was a clean line,” Weatherford said. “That’s why I really don’t believe a dog bit him.”

The dog’s owner said there should have been bite marks, tears and much more damage if a large dog did this. She did not believe the manager, she told NEA Report. She has demanded to see any in-store security camera footage available during the incident.

PetSmart did say they were going to cover all costs incurred at the vets office, she said.

NEA Report reached out to PetSmart in Jonesboro and spoke with one of their managers, or “leaders.” He could not issue comment on the record and referred us to their corporate office. However, when pressed on why the dog bite appeared to look like a shear-mark, he only said they were investigating the incident.

Late Sunday, the corporate offices issued a statement to NEA Report.

“The safety of the pets in our care is always our top priority, and an internal investigation is underway to help us better understand what led to this unfortunate incident,” said PetSmart Senior Corporate Communications Manager Erin Gray. “We will continue to stay in close contact with the pet parent and wish Ziggy a speedy recovery.”

After several hours in surgery, Ziggy was confirmed to be in stable condition late Sunday. He will remain in doctor’s care for several more days until he can return home.

Until Weatherford sees the video of what happened, she is left to wonder. While she is suspicious of the version of the story she was told, she also did not want to cast blame on the groomer for what may have been a freak accident. She did, however, believe PetSmart management should have handled the entire incident better – especially with her not learning of anything wrong until she saw the groomer in tears as she arrived.

“I really don’t see how it could have happened like this because we had no idea that he could be in any type of trouble,” Weatherford said. “Being somewhere like that, where they’re supposed to be watching the dogs.”


Click here to see the viral post on Facebook by Weatherford.

UDPATE: June 30: One employee was found to have violated policy after an investigation.

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49 Comments

  1. That was no accident! Petsmart are killers ! They killed my 7 month old Maltese ! They need to be shut down !

    • Not all petsmarts are “killers” a lot of people care about dogs that work at Petsmart. I’m sorry you had a bad experience, however you cannot blame every Petsmart for one Petsmarts actions.

      • Most of Pmart groomers care about the money so they rush through grooms. ‘Accidents’ happen a lot but they don’t take it seriously unless owners go ape shit. The horrors I’ve seen when I worked there 🙁

        • That is not why they rush through a dog. The Groomers have to Groom so many dogs a day to keep their jobs. It is not uncommon when Groomers are in a hurry to cut a dog. That was why I quite Petsmart because they insisted on making money in a reckless manner. That was several years ago so maybe that has changed but I used to do 12 dogs a day. I just knew how to set up my breeds to not have to hurry and accomplish the goals Petsmart set. I was a Manager for their Groomshops.

        • until YOUR dog is injured you can keep on going there – but know that YOUR dog is at risk! I think it is irresponsible, at best, to go to a place when you hear and read so many injuries done and in some cases death. I feel sorry for your dog, actually, as you apparently are too lazy to research other places and would rather just continue there. My dog was injured; not once but twice! I was naive enuf to believe them the 1st time that it was an accident- two different states, 2 different Pet Smarts! but his lip was SHAVED and bloody the second time (PetSmart, Bangor, ME) and now I am on a mission to save other dogs the fate that so many have suffered. BTW, PetSmart Corporate does NOT care!

        • Dont have end it, just watch who they hire..and people shouldn’t apply for a job they don’t have patience for..they should rip a piece of flesh off part of his body, see how he likes it..sick bastard

      • I cant believe they blamed a Great Dane for THAT! FIRST OF ALL, DANES ARE NOT VIOLENT ANIMALS! SECOND,THEY COULD NOT HAVE MADE SUCH A WOUND! THEY SHOULD HAVE OWNED UO TO THEIR MISTAKE!

        • Great Danes are dogs….dogs can be violent. Being it’s a Great Dane doesn’t automatically non-violent or aggressive. Don’t get me wrong here, I don’t know what happened in this situation and I don’t want to make any assumptions. I myself own a Great Dane and do agree that he is a giant love bug, but there are a number of reason that could cause ANY dog to “lash out”. I don’t know what happened to this poor dog, but weirder things have happened. I just hope everything sorts itself out and i’m glad this pup is doing well after his ordeal.

          • I agree with this person my Dane isn’t violent and I honestly don’t believe a great Dane did it.

        • I agree,how could u cast blame on another dog for what is clearly from the razor?! Also why would it how could u do that with razors and why is it straight across and that far across the back? I can understand a Nick but why would they keep going all across the back? Would you not notice the first inch of skin being peeled back and stop? Wtf PetSmart ?!

      • Fucking HORSESHIT! They hire whomever walks in off the street and pay for their “training”. I’ve witnessed abuse more than once with my own two eyes and have called managers and reported them. Open your damned eyes! You here about this crap at least once a month… and I’m sure there are those you DONT hear about. If you’re taking your pet there…. you don’t deserve one!

      • I agree. For every single story I hear about grooming experiences at Pet smart they are never ranked good or excellent. They are always just ok or unsatisfactory. I have
        Also had 3 different people tell me their dog died while being groomed there. No way would I take one of mine there.

  2. That is clearly NOT A DOG BITE! The lines are perfect & the width of a shear blade….also, this “Great Dane” that bit “Ziggy”, shouldn’t he/she held as a “vicious dog”?

  3. We have 2 Shihtzu’s that we have been taking there for several years. We followed our groomer from a competitor but she takes excellent care of our babies even though they are sometimes difficult.

    • You did not mention that a) PetSmart is counseling sueing you for slander and b) WHERES THE NECROPSY REPORT. You only hide a necropsy report when there is something to cover. SHOW THE REPORT.

      • If you click on her link and read the posts it clearly states she is being sued. So what? What’s that have to do with anything. I worked there and sued. And won, big time!! It’s not the groomers that are money hungry so much as the store, with their $$ goals, no right of refusal, lack of training, not to mention that the store managers and district managers who are enforcing corporate’s policies in the grooming salons have never groomed a dog in their life much less spent just one day in a grooming salon.

  4. If this was a dog bite there would #1 be puncture marks from the initial nite. #2 there would be rough edges around the tear #3 if a dog the size of a Great Dane did bite this 11 lbs dog there is no way it’s large teeth could have gotten ahold of only a tiny piece of skin and then held on. This entire explanation is ridiculous. It is suppose to be cameras on at all times so if they do not produce that recording they are lying.

  5. I have used PetSmart in the past, but once they cut my Zeus’s eye that was the end of them. Do not bring your animals to PetSmart

    • I have used petsmart for my 4 lb yorkie since 2009 and had no problem. The groomer that cuts my yorkies hair is a sweet and loving groomer. She can calm his nerves just by speaking to him.I always ask for her when time for his haircut.So not all petsmarts grooming ere bad. I love my groomer Amber she is wonderful.

  6. Here’s another thought. Groomers don’t normally run clippers side to side. It goes neck to tail. I like the others. This is clearly NOT a dog bite. Dog attacks leave a whole set of different injuries. I’d seek legal councel.

  7. I’ve been taking my Bichon and Minipoo to the PetSmart in Columbia, MD, for five years and have no complaint. We use the Pet Hotel, Grooming Salon, and have a fabulous vet at the in store Banfield. I’ve heard disturbing stories and can only conclude that PetSmart needs to work on more uniform quality in their groomers.

  8. PETSMART NEEDS TO BE PUT OUT OF BUSINESS…they hurt my baby by cutting her eye and clipped her toenails into the quick….I think that too many of us as pet parents have been because our babies got seriously harmed by PETSMART!!!!!

  9. This type of injury is called “degloving” and very well could be from an attack from a large dog. I’m not defending them in any way, because they should have had enough separation between the dogs to keep this from happening, but those of you saying this wouldn’t have happened from a large dog bite are wrong. Either way, I sure hope this sweet baby recovers quickly! It looks so painful!

  10. For anyone saying that the company is trash, it’s not the whole company. I work for PetSmart and I have seen someone strangle dogs at a private groomers when I worked there. It is not a matter of PetSmart harming the dogs, it is a matter of PetSmart not training properly. I went through groom school and learned NOTHING because my teacher was too focused on smoke breaks. I learned everything when I came back. I’m not a vet, and neither are any of you. You don’t know how the skin might tear with a blade OR a bite. A blade wouldn’t have just peeled ALL of the skin back, it would’ve been much deeper if it was a freaking accident, I know this by working with these blades, they cannot do this. But anyways, I myself dedicate my LIFE and career to caring for these pets, I have sat my butt down in a tub holding an Aussie in my lap because it was the only way she wasn’t terrified. I was soaked and gross, but she loves seeing us now. Things happen and accidents happen. If you have an I’ll behaved dog that fights for everything and flings itself around, things are more likely to happen. I don’t care what you say that Fluffy is PERFECT, it’s not. Dogs move and fight and bite. So don’t blame a company for your poor training, your babying your dog so it needs off your anxiety, your neglecting you dog and letting it’s nails get super long so the quicks are longer than it should be, DONT BLAME AN ENTIRE GROUP BECAUSE YOURE A BAD PERSON. That’s like saying all *select a group of people* should be punished because ONE “robbed” your house when you left your door wide open. You’re both at fault. Try keeping all of this to the actual article and not “Scruffles died of natural causes at PetSmart but I would rather destroy a company than own up to my neglect” or “They quicked my dogs nails when I let the quicks grow way too long and don’t want to own up to my neglect”. You’re all trash.

  11. Also, in response to Trish about the separation, it’s done. Well, as best as we can do. PetSmart CORPORATE is trying to increase sales so they are adding MORE tables into each salon where the tables are roughly 2 feet apart. That is not enough space for us to safely groom and keeps dogs apart easily. It’s ridiculous. As well as we now ask if the pet has shown any aggression to any other pets or people and if it was provoked. If the answer is yes, we turn the dog away or at least are suppose to. So if it was a Dane, someone lied (owner) or broke policy (groomer).

  12. I have Great Danes and if a big Dane bit that dog it would have been a wider tear. That looks like a razor cut… Don’t instantly blame the big dog who first of all you need to ask why he attacked the small dog on the groomers table and where were the employee’s who should have been with both dogs. I took one of my Danes years ago in for a nail trim, after the groomer quicked all of his toenails she had the nerve to hand me a bill!! Never ever use the Pets Mart groomers, find a professional

  13. Just curious, is there any video from the store of the groomer working with this dog and has the groomer said anything about what happened other than it was a dog bite? Have the police been contacted in this case? If there is a video than it should show exactly what happened, if not, then they need to get a camera in all grooming salons to keep the groomers honest and to protect the animals they are grooming. I never used petsmart for grooming and never would, my dog is to important to me to risk this kind of thing happening, I do purchase snacks and other things for dogs at petsmart but that is it, most times I shop at petco because it’s usually cheaper there. I pray this beautiful pup will be ok and will not be traumatized by this. Dog owners, spend a little more and get a TRAINED groomer for your dogs, they are just like family members and I would not treat my family members with such disregard. Get better soon Ziggy !

  14. This may have been an accident BUT it was not from another dog. I have a Yorkie and I was trying to save money on grooming so I bought some new sharp shears. When the cold shears touched Snoopy she jumped and it sliced her open totally identical to the picture on the Dachshund! I rushed her to the vet and she was sewn up and many years later I still take her to a groomer to be groomed, BUT not PetSmart because there have been too many horror stories and I am someone who used to always use them and Banfield Vet-no more after what I have read and heard about them. I hope their camera feed doesn’t come up with issues where the feed is unable to be seen! I can believe that they would pull that one! Do lawyers sue for animals pain and suffering? Or are they still considered not important enough?

  15. I too am a groomer and I train dogs, as well as show and breed. My life revolves around the care, training and grooming of multiple dogs on a daily basis.

    I very much doubt that the injury was done by a Great Dane. It definitely was not done by any standard grooming equipment of any kind. There is a big cover up and many lies going on. No dog should be without restraint of some kind in the set up that I’ve seen at petsmart. 100% company liability! Sue their ass off!

    I sure hope the dog comes through ok without lasting effects from the trauma, both physically & mentally.

  16. Petsmart groomers are usually under a lot of pressure to hurry and get the dogs done! Policy is 3 dogs in 3hrs. That encludes checking them in, washing drying, and grooming. Large, small, long hair,short hair, hard to groom,easy to groom, all in three hours or its free! Sometimes there is no way this is possible! Each groomer is different and has different skills but 3 dogs in 3hours is to much! Petsmart needs to change their policies!

  17. All of you who believe thst injury is from a great dane have no idea whats going on. zim a hunter and Ive “degloved” animals all my life. Ive also seen attack wounds and none of them looked like that. this dog was intentionally cut by a hum with a sharp tool. Morons! Just think about it, have you EVER SEEN ANOTHER DOG ATTACK THAT LOOKED LIKE THAT? Straight lines?

  18. All of you who believe that injury is from a great dane have no idea whats going on. Im a hunter and Ive “degloved” animals all my life. Ive also seen attack wounds and none of them have ever looked like that. This dog was intentionally cut by a human being with a sharp tool. Morons! Just think about it, have you EVER SEEN ANOTHER DOG ATTACK THAT LOOKED LIKE THAT? Straight lines?

  19. Sorry, but I’m on Petsmart side, THIS time. My dog acquired the exact same injury when attacked by a foster pitbull (I have a 16 lb dachshund, smooth coat). The pit got her at the neck and my girl struggled to free herself. I watched the whole thing in my kitchen as pieces of what looked like raw liver were being strewn around my kitchen. I have pictures and a vet report to show this was a TEAR. The fur has literally been torn off creating a straight flesh wound. My dog had the same thing. I’ve seen the abuse stories with Petsmart (and I believe they need to be responsible and liable), but trust me, this was NOT done by a shaver/clippers or scissors. The dog would have been screaming during this and surely would have aroused suspicion if this happened during a groom. Investigate at what stage the dog is in as far as their grooming. If they’re done, this happened after the groom. If they’re half groomed, it happened during the groom. Then when was this other dog in contact with the dog? Before, during or after the groom? A dog can do this. I’m proof.

  20. I am a professional pet groomer, 20+ yrs. Never saw anything like this. Could it be possible it was done by the nylon nooses that are used to restrain and attach the animal to the grooming tables? Sometimes these nooses are used around the belly also to keep pet more secure..like how a seatbelt can actually in some cases cut into you during impact. Seems possible. Maybe he jumped off the table and no one was with him, he squirmed to break free, having the noose cut into him. Only thing I could think of that could possibly cause this type injury, other than it being deliberately done. Hope Pet Smart is put to a stop already. Too many cases. Obviously their pet grooming school isnt working, putting out far too many groomers that shouldnt be..anyone can be taught to cut hair on people or pets, its the rest of it that needs to be focused on, like learning how to read and handle animals and safety..its like a hairdresser that has no people skills. How many more accidents need to take place within one chain of shops before they are stopped? Stick to their expertise, pet supplys…PERIOD!

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