Petco settles with Shih Tzu's family after alleged grooming injuries

Laura Anthony Image
ByLaura Anthony KGO logo
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Dog owner says shih tzu was injured during Petco grooming session
Hannah Hartman says a $50 grooming session led to $7,000 in vet bills for her 7-year-old Shih Tzu, Joey.

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- A Bay Area dog owner is upset and wants a major pet store chain to pay up. Hannah Hartman claims her 7-year-old Shih Tzu was badly injured during a grooming session at a Novato Petco and so far, the company has failed to do anything about it.

UPDATE: Since this story first aired, Petco has agreed to settle the case. Joey's family says they are satisfied and have agreed not to disclose the details of the settlement.

"It's just been so traumatic and unimaginable," Hartman said.

Hartman says her Shih Tzu Joey is finally starting to act like his old energetic self nearly 4 months after Hartman's mother took the dog into a Novato Petco for his regular $50 grooming session.

"Joey wasn't walking when my mom went to pick him up and his back right leg was dangling," Hartman said.

Roz Hartman says when she went to pick up joey at the store, it was obvious right away that something was wrong.

"I said, 'Let me put him on the ground and see if he walks,' and he wouldn't walk," she said. "The leg was just dangling."

The Hartmans say the store's assistant manager did call in the groomer, who described having to tug on Joey's right rear leg at one point, but otherwise said nothing unusual happened.

But x-rays showed Joey had a dislocated hip and the dog had to have an expensive surgery and is still undergoing physical therapy to regain strength in his leg.

"The surgeon who did his hip reduction said he was most confident that it had to be a traumatic injury that he most likely fell off the table," Hartman said.

Seven thousand dollars in vet bills later, the Hartmans have exchanged dozens of emails with Petco and its insurer, but so far the company hasn't accepted responsibility or paid for any of Joey's care.

"We want our money back and I want the word out as well," Hartman said. "I want an apology."

An an email statement to ABC7 News, a Petco spokesperson said, "We are aware of Ms. Hartman's claim and have been working with her on a resolution. We take her concerns very seriously and are currently reviewing Joey's medical records."

The Hartmans say they sent Joey's records to Petco in March.