A 1-year-old Dachshund named Henry died in the care of a California PetSmart on Sunday afternoon, and a groomer was arrested at the scene on suspicion of felony animal cruelty, reports NBC Bay Area. Police say that just three minutes after groomer Juan Zarate, 38, brought the dog into the grooming office, he emerged to say the dog was having a medical emergency. Henry had suffered two broken ribs and a punctured lung, and the on-site veterinarian was unable to save the dog, who was bleeding out of his mouth and struggling to breathe, reports the San Jose Mercury News. He died just a few minutes later.
"We are heartbroken by the loss of Henry," says a PetSmart spokesperson. "Nothing is more important than the health and safety of pets, and we take full responsibility for the pets in our care." She confirmed that the company is working with police as well as conducting an internal investigation. Zarate, meanwhile, posted bond and is due in court on June 23, reports the Los Angeles Times. "He's kind," a family spokesperson tells KTVU San Francisco. "He loves animals. The animals love him," she says. "He said that police said he killed the dog. He said that he didn't." Police say they're certain it wasn't an accident. (Another California man got a year for duct-taping his cat's paws together.)