A dog owner is suing PetSmart after her poodle, Kobe, reportedly suffocated to death during a routine nail appointment in 2020.
Ashley “AJ” Ross said in her lawsuit that security footage of Kobe’s death is the strongest evidence to support her case, according to TMZ. The video, shared by the outlet, shows Ross dropping Kobe off for the appointment with members of the pet store staff.
The employees took Kobe into the back of the store and put him on a table, according to the video footage. It appeared as if the staff placed two harnesses on the pup, possibly to keep him in place while they tended to his claws, the outlet noted.
A Pittsburgh native has sued PetSmart and 2 former employees over the strangulation death of her dog, Kobe. @AJRoss_TV shared video with KDKA that shows what went wrong when Kobe got his nails trimmed at the store in East Liberty. Her message to all pet owners – at 6:30pm @KDKA. pic.twitter.com/zGI2jwIsKV
— Jessica Guay (@JessicaGuayTV) July 25, 2022
Kobe was straining his neck and not enjoying the ordeal, so the staff put him on his side to continue their work, Ross reportedly noted in her lawsuit, TMZ continued. Shortly thereafter, Kobe went limp and refused to wake up for the employees, the outlet noted.
When Ross returned 10 minutes later, she learned Kobe had died, TMZ reported. Her lawsuit alleges it was the way in which the staff harnessed Kobe that led to his premature death, the outlet continued.
Kobe was “hanging for over a minute. He was struggling and being tortured,” Ross told CBS Pittsburgh in 2021. “They didn’t do anything, they just kept cutting his nails.”
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— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) June 1, 2022
After Ross called for an investigation into Kobe’s death, two groomers and two store managers were charged with felony cruelty to animals, PETA reported. PETA argued Kobe is one of many creatures killed or injured by stores like PetSmart and PetCo. (RELATED: Someone Is Massacring Geese In Idaho, And Officials Are Perplexed)
“All of us are heartbroken by and truly sorry for the loss of Kobe. Following this terrible accident in 2020, we immediately launched an internal investigation and cooperated with the authorities involved. In response, we terminated the associates who violated our pet safety policies and did not meet our high standards of care,” a PetSmart representative told TMZ. “We proudly perform more than 13 million grooming services per year and the actions of these two associates do not represent the standard of care provided by our more than 10,000 salon associates.”