Michael Konopasek, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY – This week's case of animal abuse at a metro PetSmart had viewers reaching out to News 9 with reports of more problems.
Members of a metro family say their dog was abused during a day of grooming at PetSmart and the family's vet agrees. When the dog was picked up from the location at May and Northwest 63rd, the owners noticed it had bloodshot eyes protruding out of its sockets.
Since our report yesterday, people have been contacting News 9, telling the station about their PetSmart experiences. On Tuesday, we spoke with one man whose tale ended in tragedy.
"Unfortunately, your dog has been choked significantly" – That is what Markus Smith, owner of a 2-year-old mixed lab said he was told by a veterinarian shortly after a visit to an Oklahoma City PetSmart.
The dog, named McGee had damage to his eyes. PetSmart employees say they don't know what happened.
"[PetSmart was] not being honest with the clients of theirs," Groomer Dishan Lynn said. "Somebody has to know what happened."
Lynn, who has been in the business for nearly 2 decades, believes the dog may have been choked on a leash hung from above the grooming table.
"Number one is to always, always, always never leave a dog unattended," Lynn said.
But, the Smith's tale was just the beginning of negative stories that started to be told about the popular pet store.
"I got the dog back dead and that was the end of it," former pet owner Cecil Pirrong said. "PetSmart to this day has not said one word to me."
Pirrong says his dog of 13 years died after being taken to PetSmart for grooming. He says PetSmart gave the dog shots before the session. That's when a major source of happiness for him was taken away.
"Consider it was the only member of the family that lives with me, it was quite an emotional deal," Pirrong said. "I was 81 years old when at that time, and it was very emotional for me and the rest of my family, too."
In response to the most recent case, PetSmart released a statement, saying in part:
"We're very concerned with this situation, and are conducting an extensive investigation. If we find any mistakes were made or policies weren't followed, we will take action."
A former PetSmart employee tells News 9 it was common for animals to sustain bloodshot eyes during a PetSmart grooming appointment.
PetSmart says it's prepared to pay for the Smith's vet bills.