SAN MATEO, Calif. (AP) — A PetSmart dog groomer will be arraigned next month on a felony animal cruelty charge after police say he likely contributed to the death of a dachshund in his care.
Police in San Mateo, California, say 38-year-old Juan Zarate was about three minutes into a grooming session Sunday when he brought the dachshund to its owner with a bleeding mouth and trouble breathing.
An on-site veterinarian wasn’t able to save the dog. An X-ray revealed two broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Police say Zarate’s deliberate actions likely contributed to the dog’s death.
The San Francisco man’s uncle, Gustavo Zarate, tells KGO-TV that he’s “very surprised” and knows his nephew is “innocent.”
A PetSmart official tells the Los Angeles Times that Zarate has been suspended while an internal investigation is conducted.