School Closings And Delays

Groomer: Dog’s Death Could Have Been Prevented

PAUPACK TOWNSHIP -- One day after our story on a dog killed by another dog at PetSmart in Lackawanna County, other groomers are reacting to the story.

Lisa Fennell has been grooming people's pets since the early 1980s. She owns Canine Connection near Lake Wallenpaupack and saw the story on Newswatch 16 of a woman from Lackawanna County who lost her dog Brewster following a visit to PetSmart in Dickson City.

"Very sad, each animal that's somebody's fur baby, they become so attached, if anyone has an animal they know they give unconditional love," said Fennell.

Fennell went to school to understand animals and does everything she can to prevent dogs from harming one another.

"You never put a pit, large animal around small animal because they want to dominate the small animal. The small one, all he has to do is, 'Heh, no.' They'll show them who's boss," she added.

Fennell's dog, Darrell, stays around the grooming station most the time, but she keeps dogs separate from other dogs using cages making sure they don't come nose to nose.

"When someone walks in the door, Darrell goes into a cage that he can't get out. Therefore only one dog out at a time," she said.

That's why Fennell has been training her employee Annie Walczyk for a year and a half so she understands the do's and don'ts of grooming.

"I feel terrible for whoever was there, for the family of the dog. You don't want to get that call that something happened," said Walczyk.

PetSmart's spokesperson did not respond to our questions; however, an employee said the grooming tables inside have been rearranged and dog owners face more questions about their pet before the store takes them to be groomed.

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7 comments

  • Debbie

    The family that lost their beloved Bichon has my deepest sympathies; my heart goes out to the family of the Pit Bull. I have a pit and she is the sweetest and most lovable dog I have ever owned. She is gentle around all animals and is around my best friends Bichon all the time. However, I am aware there are triggers that could make her angry. For instance, treats are not allowed around them ever, my pit Izzy was the runt and kicked out of the family, she was beat up if she tried to eat and had to be bottle fed so when treats are around she gets agitated. She also nurses a Minnie mouse and if another dog comes around it while she is nursing, she gets upset. Pet smart is 100% responsible for this tragedy, it is not the Pit Bulls fault. Don’t assume the bichon was bait and the pit just attacked. There are many factors that I am sure the public is not aware of, that pit did not just attack.

  • alex

    it has nothing to do with the pit bull breed at all, any large dog could have done that to this women’s dog and i feel terrible for her loss. but the media just LOVES to use “pit bull attack” in their headlines. blame the workers and the company for not being more aware of the situation and circumstances.

  • Dogs Lives Matter

    We are gunning each other down in mass shootings, our national debt is $20 Trillion and climbing, North Korea has its finger on nuclear warheads aimed at us, and our president is alienating everyone he meets. Meanwhile, a dog grooming incident gets two articles and pages of comments. Brilliant.

  • Katrina Sonnenberg

    As usual, this unfortunate situation is being twisted for the wrong reason. It’s very sad what happened to the family and their dog. Leave the breed out of it. That has nothing at all to do with it. If you do your research there are many small dogs that have higher bite rates than larger “labeled” dogs.
    Unless you were there and know exactly what happened you should not ASSUME that the dog was killed because it was “bait”.
    All animals are unpredictable. Period. It’s our job as owners, handlers, etc to train and control them. It doesn’t matter how friendly and well adjusted a dog is. We have a duty and responsibility to control them both in and outside our homes. Sometimes they can be unexpectedly startled and it’s instinct to react for ANY dog… Not limited to pits.
    My household consists of 3 large dogs (65+ lbs) & 2 of them are pits. We also have several cats of both our own and fosters. The rescues we foster for and my own family would never put our own or fosters in harms way. We have cats that snuggle with and will even clean the dogs ears and mouths. They are not bait to the pits in our house.
    The entire situation is just sad and hopefully something will be learned from it other than “a pit killed a bichon at groomer.” There are two hurt families in this scenario here. I’m sure the owner(s) of the dog who “attacked” the bichon are upset over this too. My heart goes out to all of them.