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Woman says her dog was injured during grooming appointment at Charlotte PetSmart

Nikki Blakeney says she’ll be watching every moment of Kobe’s grooming appointments from now on, and advises other pet parents to do the same.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Nikki Blakeney says her dog was injured at the hands of a PetSmart groomer.

She says her Pomeranian Kobe suffered a painful cut on his eye. 

Blakeney says she brought Kobe to the South Boulevard PetSmart for a grooming. 

She says when she picked Kobe up, she realized something wasn’t right with his eye.

“It was bloodshot red," Blakeney said. "So I called Petsmart and I said hey is there any way maybe the shampoo could've got in his eye, maybe you guys nicked him? They said no, nothing like that, he had a great day, he was fine.”

But when Kobe's condition didn’t improve, Blakeney brought him back in to be evaluated.

“His eye was completely shut," she recalled.

The vet confirmed Kobe had likely somehow been cut under his cornea.

Blakeney says PetSmart paid for that visit, but hadn’t returned her follow up calls about Kobe’s future medical costs.

The NBC Charlotte Defenders reached out to Petsmart corporate about what happened.

In a statement, the company said:

"Kobe was groomed without incident last week and returned home. Later in the day, the pet parent informed the store team that Kobe’s eye looked irritated, and we offered to cover a veterinary evaluation. According to Kobe’s veterinary notes, he was diagnosed with a superficial corneal ulcer. While there is no way of knowing how the ulcer occurred, as a gesture of goodwill, we will continue to work with the pet parent to ensure Kobe receives proper treatment for his eye. We wish Kobe a quick recovery."

But unfortunately, Nikki isn’t the only pet owner who’s had this issue.

Just last year, NBC Charlotte interviewed Michelle and Larry Luce, who say their dog suffered several cuts after being groomed at the Afton Village PetSmart.

“They did X-rays and saw something in his neck with his vertebrae, from the thrashing or maybe he came off the table and was hanging," Larry Luce previously told NBC Charlotte.

In fact, NJ Advance Media found 47 deaths since 2008 connected to PetSmart.

PetSmart says they follow "the highest grooming safety standards in the industry” for the 13 million pets groomed there every year, but NBC Charlotte found there are no state requirements for any groomers in the Carolinas to be certified at all.

“If you made a mistake it’s OK," Blakeney said. "I wouldn’t be as upset about it as I am now if they’ve said OK we messed up we accidentally got him with the scissors.”

Blakeney says she’ll be watching every moment of Kobe’s grooming appointments from now on, and advises other pet parents to do the same.

“I definitely think it’s a policy change that needs to happen," she said.

There have been bills filed in the Carolinas to require certifications and training for groomers – but so far nothing has passed.

PetSmart does offer its own grooming academy to employees.


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