PetSmart dog groomer accused of killing couple’s dog

SAN MATEO, CA (WCMH) -— A dog groomer and the national chain he worked are being sued by the owners of a dog that died after what was supposed to be a routine nail clipping last May.

Stefan Zier and Terrie Peacock took their 1-year-old Dachshund Henry to get groomed at a PetSmart back in May, KRON-TV reports. They say the dog was then killed.

Juan Zarate
Juan Zarate

The San Mateo D.A. says dog groomer Juan Zarate was angry that the dog wouldn’t cooperate, and a necropsy showed the dog had been strangled, suffered two broken ribs and had a punctured lung. He’s already pleaded not guilty to charges of felony animal abuse and animal cruelty.

“It was horrific,” said Stefan Zier. “We took him for a nail clipping and he came out spewing blood.”

Zier and Peacock say Henry was like a son to them.

“We never had children together, so I hope people understand that these are our children,” Zier said.

“He was just a little dog just 10 lbs. just turned one years old we had no idea that taking him in could end his life,” Peacock said.

dog-killedTheir lawyer says a review of show numerous complaints of other animals being seriously injured or even killed in while in the care of PetSmart groomers at locations across the nation since 2010. They are also concerned that the dog grooming industry is unregulated.

“So I go in and get a manicure that lady doing my nails is licensed by the state, there is regulation of that industry there is nothing like that for pet grooming, so PetSmart represents that its groomers are trained over 400 hours and certified in safety,” said Zier and Peacock’s lawyer. “That’s PetSmart’s own training that’s their own certification process and they have the control to improve their grooming and unfortunately they seems they did not.”

KRON4 reached out to PetSmart to get a comment on the lawsuit. The company said it does not comment on pending litigation.

Henry’s owners say this legal action is not about the money.

“We just want to make sure no one else has to go thru this,” Peacock said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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