A couple living in Selangor has called out a popular pet store chain for negligence after learning that their five-month-old puppy, Peanut, died under their care
The owners, Jayanth Sridhar and his wife Bhumika, took to Facebook on Saturday, 9 October, to share their tragic account of what happened at Petsmore.
"We write this post with a lot of sadness and pain, having to go through the loss of our beloved five-month-old toy poodle puppy, Peanut, to shameful negligence from the staff of Petsmore," they wrote.
The couple said that they entrusted the store with their beloved puppy and took a short holiday last week
However, on the day of their return, 5 October, they received an emergency call from Petsmore saying that there had been an accident, and so they hurried to the outlet in Kota Damansara.
"Upon reaching the store, we were informed that Peanut had passed away and that he had fallen off the grooming table," Jayanth wrote.
He claimed that this was one of the many stories and lies told by the store.
Trying to gather how such an incident could happen, the couple asked to check the store's closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage
According to the CCTV recording, Jayanth said they saw a staff move Peanut from the play area to tend to another customer in the afternoon. However, instead of putting Peanut back into his crate, the staff placed him on a grooming table with a leash on and left him unattended.
Unfortunately, through the CCTV footage, they watched as Peanut slipped off the table and was left hanging in the air by the leash around his neck.
A staff, who was grooming another dog at an adjacent table, was oblivious to Peanut struggling to break free behind her.
After five minutes, Jayanth said Peanut passed away. The puppy was left hanging for another two minutes before the staff realised what had occurred.
Speaking to SAYS, Jayanth said Petsmore told him and his wife different stories before they watched the CCTV recordings
"We watched the CCTV footage on the day of the incident because they were telling us a lot of different stories – that he fell off the table, they had two dogs on one table, he was found on the floor, and more," Jayanth told this SAYS writer.
However, once they saw the footage and realised the negligence, they asked for a copy of the footage.
Jayanth said he posted the video on Facebook to spread awareness about the incident, hoping that it will reach authorities for action to be taken against the store.
He added that the store sent them an apology letter — that he described as "diluted" as it only contained justifications and facts — four days after the incident.
He told SAYS the store did not offer them any form of compensation.
Warning: This photo depicts animal death. Viewer discretion is advised.
In a statement, Petsmore told SAYS that they regret the incident and that it was caused by their groomer's carelessness
"It was our personnel's mistake and carelessness on our standard operating procedure (SOP), which pets should be leashed across the body but not around the neck only (sic)," they said.
"We sincerely regret that the on-duty groomer in the room was not alerted the first time, which led to a missed opportunity to save the puppy."
They said that disciplinary action has been taken on the branch manager as well as the groomer for their misconduct in handling the pet and breach of the company's SOP.
"The groomer is guilty and unable to forgive herself on the mistake and negligence she did (sic)," they said, adding that the groomer resigned on the day of the incident despite the company encouraging her to take a short break.
As for reparations, they said, "We already settled the issue with the customer with necessary compensations, which he had agreed with."
Seeking clarification from both parties about the compensation, Jayanth told SAYS that one of the staff found him a puppy to adopt after the incident
However, he stressed that she helped him personally and that the puppy did not come from the store.
"Absolutely no compensation was given to us [by Petsmore]," he reiterated.
"She asked us what we were going to do. We said we might adopt a puppy and if anyone knows a puppy that needs a home, we'd love to home it. She found one for us and helped us adopt. Petsmore had nothing to do with that."
Meanwhile, Petsmore replied that they have sent him an apology letter, were fully responsible for the puppy's burial fee, and sent him a poodle "as per his request".
"The customer definitely was not telling you the truth... He already took the poodle on 7 October from us. Don't he think all these are not compensation (sic)?" Petsmore told SAYS.
Not only sending an apology letter, the pet store also clarified that they reached out to Jayanth on the day of the incident in person, that being the Area Manager, but the customer has refused to communicate with their other representative when they approached him.
They added that they have immediately reviewed their SOP and will be more vigilant in handling pets and will strengthen their store personnel training to prevent future recurrences.
Footage of the tragic incident can be found below:
Warning: This video depicts animal death. Viewer discretion is advised.