Daniel Acker/Bloomberg/Getty
January 09, 2018 04:59 PM

Danielle DiNapoli of Lambertville, New Jersey, started off 2018 in despair.

According to Patch.com, DiNapoli claims that her beloved dog Scruffles died during a grooming appointment at a PetSmart store in Flemington. DiNapoli had used the store before for grooming sessions, so she wasn’t concerned when she dropped off her 8-year-old bulldog on Dec. 29 at 9:45 in the morning.

Around 10:30 am, Scruffles’ owner received a phone call from the store letting her know that the dog had been taken to a local veterinary hospital due to a medical emergency. DiNapoli told Patch.com that even though she raced to the vet, the bulldog was dead when she arrived. She was told by the vet that Scruffles was dead on arrival at the hospital and that CPR attempts by the staff were unsuccessful.

DiNapoli claims that no PetSmart employees were at the veterinary hospital when she arrived and that she has not been able to contact the groomer that cared for Scruffles while PetSmart conducts an investigation into the incident. She and her husband also say that attempts to contact the corporation have been equally frustrating.

Erin Gray, PetSmart senior corporate communications manager, said in a statement that PetSmart is conducting a thorough investigation into the incident and has found, thus far, that the groomers caring for Scruffles followed “all policies and procedures” and that the company is now waiting on the dog’s necropsy. Until the information comes through, Gray told Patch.com, “our thoughts and sympathies remain with Scruffles’ family, and we continue to be in contact with them during this difficult time.”

DiNapoli believes this isn’t true and has started the Justice for Scruffles Facebook page to combat the lack of information she feels she is getting from PetSmart. On the page, other local dog owners have started to share their experience with the same store, including Tara Fiet, who claims that her dog died on Christmas eve, two days after his visit to the Flemington PetSmart for a grooming session.

“Ranger came home and was very lethargic but I (stupidly) made the assumption that he was tired from the holiday excitement and his grooming. Ranger died suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday night. He had no previous health issues and had just been to the vet 2 months earlier,” Fiet wrote on the page about her own experience.

In response, PetSmart said that Ranger was fine upon leaving his appointment.

“They don’t have their facts straight,” DiNapoli said about the entire situation. “The story keeps changing. We have no closure because PetSmart isn’t allowing us to have closure.”

She says she is still waiting to hear from PetSmart about what occurred prior to Scruffles’ death at the store and to see a written report.

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