When Isamar Cavazos’ husband picked her 4 month old corgi from the groomers, she expected her pet to return home happy and clean, not in poor health and gasping for breath.
The puppy, named Hunter, was dropped off for an initial grooming appointment Saturday morning at the Doggie Experts Salon in Palmview, TX.
“When my husband came to pick him up, he called me and mentioned that Hunter looked like he was going to die,” said Cavazos, who said the dog could not walk or stand, throw blood, and breathe irregularly.
Cavazos then called the owner of the salon, Alex Villareal.
He said, ‘I haven’t done anything! I have just [gave] give him a bath. I am [angry] because your dog bit my son, ”said Cavazos.
Despite attempting to explain that it was the first time her dog had been groomed by a professional, the owner spoke about her and threatened to file a police report and call animal control.
“He told me we didn’t tell him the dog would bite. I tried to explain to him that we never had a problem with our dog, ”said Cavazos. “We never took him to a care facility. So how do we know he’s doing this? He wouldn’t let me get a word out. “
Cavazos said Villareal told her do what you wanted before hanging up the call.
Cavazos said that during the call, Villareal mentioned that Hunter had to wear a snout while grooming, which Cavazos said was fine.
After Cavazos hung up, he filed a police report with the Palmview Police Department. She and her husband then drove in search of an open veterinarian. The closest was Pet Doctor 911 in McAllen.
“There was a huge queue,” said Cavazos, asking the front desk attendees for help. “One of the nurses there saw him and said, ‘Yes, this is an emergency. ‘In the end, Cavazos paid a $ 400 fee to see Hunter right away.
Due to COVID-19 guidelines, Cavazos and her husband had to wait in their vehicle while Hunter was diagnosed. The veterinary clinic called and said they had to keep him in their care for 24 hours because he had lung problems.
Meanwhile, Cavazos went to Facebook to share her horrific experience. Comments poured in, provided support, and shared their own experiences with the salon.
One commenter said they had a similar experience with their dog feeling fatigue after a grooming appointment:
“I’ve already brought my puppy there [and] He was sleepy the rest of the day. I asked him if they had [given] something to calm him down and they said no to me. I didn’t believe them, but I didn’t mean to make a big deal so I never took it back. “
Another mentioned how their dogs acted strangely when they picked them up from the same salon:
“One day I sent 4 of my dogs with me, and two days later after they came back, none of them wanted to eat and they also acted strangely. I never sent them back. “
Moments later, the Doggie Experts Salon deleted its social media presence on Facebook.
Cavazos received devastating news as soon as she and her husband got home in La Joya.
“They called me as soon as we got home,” said Cavazos. “They told me the dog had pulmonary edema and twice cardiac arrest and no pulse.”
Cavazos was shocked and had to ask if what she was hearing was correct.
“So are you telling me he’s dead?” Cavazos asked, to whom the 911 Pet Hospital caller said “yes”.
The following diagnosis was made in the medical records prior to Jäger’s death:
“The breathing difficulties are seen as secondary to the lung lesions. The differential diagnosis for this pattern includes inflammation due to harmful aerosolized material or barotrauma due to strangulation. “
The vet noted that Hunter appeared to be heavily sedated and told Cavazos that it was illegal for Villareal to sedate him.
“I will continue with legal action,” said Cavazos. “I am not the first to experience this. We definitely have to do something about it. “
Villareal’s attorney Rick Salinas alleged that his client did not cause Cavazos’ dog to die.
“There was no injury to the dog,” Salinas said, mentioning that the salon staff had the right to blow the dog’s nose if it tried to bite while grooming, and that Villareal did not use excessive force or reassurance. “The dog was delivered in perfect condition.”
Salinas said there had been no previous incidents or reports of ill-treatment or injury at the Doggie Experts salon.
“There was no other problem than… it was the first time he was groomed. I think there was an incident there where the dog tried [to bite] or bitten one of the employees. That’s it, ”said Salinas.
The attorney then mentioned that anything could have happened after Cavazos’ husband picked the corgi from the salon as there was no physical evidence of harm to the dog. Salinas noted that the possibility of an underlying medical condition coupled with stress from initial care could have caused Hunter’s cardiac arrest.
“This shouldn’t be a criminal case,” said Salinas. “There’s no reason these people would engage in this type of behavior.”
Salinas said he was ready to prepare and file a lawsuit against Cavazos over her position and the negative impact it has on Villareal’s business.
“This is not what she says,” said Salinas.
The case remains open.