SAN MATEO (KRON) — A San Mateo PetSmart employee has been arrested on animal cruelty charges after a dachshund died while at the store for grooming, according to authorities.
Juan Zarate, a 35-year-old resident of San Francisco, was arrested at the PetSmart at 3520 S El Camino Real.
The owner of the one-year-old dachshund brought the dog to the store for grooming on Sunday.
About 3 minutes later, the employee came out of the grooming office holding the dog, saying that it was suffering a medical emergency. The dog was visibly bleeding from the mouth and having trouble breathing, according to police.
It was later discovered that the dog suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Zarate was arrested on suspicion of felony animal cruelty.
Investigators are still trying to determine how the dog was injured.
Statement from PetSmart:
We are heartbroken by the loss of Henry. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pets, and we take full responsibility for the pets in our care.
We are conducting an internal investigation and will take immediate action based on our findings. Additionally, we are working with the local authorities. The individual involved has been placed on suspension pending the outcome of this investigation.
Any incident of animal cruelty goes against everything we believe as a company and as individual pet parents. No words can express our deep sorrow for the family, and we will continue to work with the pet parent during this difficult time.
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