PetSmart-poodle-death

AJ Ross/Instagram AJ Ross/Instagram

‘PetSmart killed my dog’: Video reportedly shows PetSmart workers allegedly strangling woman’s poodle during grooming session

Four workers have been charged for their alleged roles in Kobe's death.

 

Alexandra Samuels

IRL

Published May 15, 2021   Updated May 22, 2021, 10:56 am CDT

Four employees at a Pennsylvania PetSmart are reportedly facing animal cruelty charges after allegedly strangling a toy poodle named Kobe during a grooming session. 

Featured Video Hide

Julie Miller, Shaphan Stonge, Elizabeth Doty, and Heather Rowe were charged with a number of offenses, People reports, for their alleged roles in the pooch’s death.

Advertisement Hide

Kobe’s owner, CBS Sports reporter AJ Ross, told People she dropped her dog off for a nail trim on Nov. 17. Though she asked to stay with her pup during the grooming session, she said employees told her that, due to COVID-19 restrictions, she wasn’t allowed in the salon. 

“I thought, ‘He’s not getting the full works,’” Ross told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “Everything will be OK.”

She went to a nearby Walgreens to make a purchase instead. Upon returning to the PetSmart, however, she said she heard an employee ask for a manager to the grooming area. Minutes later, the manager escorted Ross to the salon, where Kobe laid motionless on the grooming table.

“He looked lifeless,” Ross told People. “He didn’t even look like he was breathing.”

Surveillance footage from the store reportedly shows Doty and Miller putting tethers around the dog’s neck, causing him to become suspended above the table at one point. After Kobe went limp, two managers—Rowe and Stonge—then entered the grooming area and rubbed the dog on the table, according to a criminal complaint

Advertisement Hide

PetSmart reportedly fired all four employees; the store also launched an internal investigation into the incident. 

Ross, meanwhile, said PetSmart offered to help her get a new dog, but she declined. “I haven’t taken them up on that offer,” she told the New York Post. “He meant everything to me. I don’t have children, so he was like my child. He was literally like my shadow. Life without him has been weird because he was ever present.”

Ross ran an Instagram account for Kobe. “A loving, loyal, and energetic toy poodle w/ a BIG personality named after a legend!” Kobe’s bio reads.

Ross shared an interview she did with a local news outlet to her own Instagram account on Thursday.

“PetSmart Killed My Dog,” she wrote in the caption of the post. “My horrific experience at PetSmart has been excruciating to recap publicly. But I sincerely hope in sharing my story it will lead to better grooming training practices and increased transparency and oversight; so no one else has to endure a pain like this.”

Advertisement Hide

The Daily Dot has reached out to the local police department.


Today’s top stories

TikToker exposes nurse’s ‘hateful’ videos, allegedly gets him fired
‘Of course people are going to break down under these conditions’: Viral photo of McDonald’s worker’s ‘quitting’ sign sparks debate
Karen almost ‘ruins’ beach proposal in viral TikTok
Sign up to receive the Daily Dot’s Internet Insider newsletter for urgent news from the frontline of online.

Advertisement Hide

H/T People

Share this article
*First Published: May 15, 2021, 10:18 am CDT