A woman’s toy poodle died during a PetSmart grooming appointment in East Liberty, Pennsylvania in 2020, and she filed a lawsuit against the company and two of its former employees over the death of his dog.

According to WPXI, AJ Ross of Pittsburgh claimed in her lawsuit that she brought her 12-year-old poodle, Kobe, to Center Avenue PetSmart in November 2020 for a routine nail trim. After 10 minutes with PetSmart employees, Ross came to pick up Kobe to find his dog was dead.

“As I walk in, I see him, lifeless on the grooming table, the groomers are there, mouth agape,” Ross told local Channel 11 in 2021. “The managers are there, no one is doing anything , and I’m, I’m just freaking out like, what happened to my dog, and they… they said he passed out. He passed out.

Surveillance footage recovered from the grooming area shows PetSmart employees Julie Miller and Elizabeth Doty tying Kobe in place, with the suit claiming the ties were tied together ‘to create an executioner-like arrangement if Kobe had to lose his footing”. Tethers suffocated Kobe as a result.

“Kobe was restrained using two different restraints, causing his neck to be pulled in two opposite directions as well as neck hyperextension,” the court documents state. “The hyperextension of the neck along with the lack of contact between Kobe’s paws and the grooming table resulted in the crushing of Kobe’s airway, which resulted in his death.”

The lawsuit also alleges Miller and Doty and PetSmart managers Heather Rowe and Shapan Stoge claimed Kobe collapsed on the grooming table for no reason, and responded by offering to help Ross adopt another dog. . The documents accuse the company and employees of negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“We are heartbroken and truly sorry for the loss of Kobe,” PetSmart wrote in a statement. “After this terrible accident, we launched an internal investigation and found an unintentional breach of our pet safety processes. Additionally, we cooperated with an external investigation, terminated the responsible associates, and facilitated an autopsy to help provide some answers.

Miller and Doty await trial on animal cruelty and neglect charges.