Dog deaths after PetSmart grooming documented, but link uncertain

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Stock photo - Flickr/Patti Abbott Stock photo - Flickr/Patti Abbott

A New Jersey news organization reports that since 2008, 47 dogs have died across the U.S. during grooming, or within days of showing signs of ill health after grooming, at PetSmart.

NJ.com's numbers are based on reports by PetSmart customers in 14 states.

The news outlet says the count is not definitive because there is little public accounting of such deaths, and no state requires all individual groomers to be licensed.

PetSmart calls "false and fabricated" any claim there is a "systemic problem." Nj.com couldn't tell what, if any, connection the deaths have to the grooming or how PetSmart's numbers compare with those at other groomers.

NJ.com says a lack of data, and a lack of transparency when disputes with groomers occur, have prevented a full understanding of what is happening.