San Jose

Dog Dies Days After Haircut; Owner Blames San Jose Groomer

After a 2-year-old dog was paralyzed and later died following a haircut, the pet owner is blaming a San Jose groomer. But the business says it's not responsible for the dog's death.

Peter and Carmen Cruz still aren't sure how their dog Honey died, but they believe it stemmed from a Dec. 21 visit to Showtime Pet Grooming in San Jose.

"She was traumatized, mishandled, and there was some inattentiveness," Pete Cruz said. "Something happened. There was nothing wrong with my dog. They damaged her."

Cruz said when he picked up Honey from the appointment, her back legs couldn't move. Then the next day, her body was paralyzed, and days later, she died from what her doctors called a fractured spine.

"There could have been a neck trauma, but ... I don't know," Cruz said, his voice cracking with emotion. "I don't know what happened."

The groomer, however, believes the pet owner is just trying to ruin their businesses, especially on Yelp, after an emotional ending to a little dog's life.

Showtime owner Lisa Frederito disputes doing anything wrong. In fact, she said Honey had injuries upon arrival that day.

"We see Honey walking from the camera; her legs seem a little stiff then crossed," Frederito said, describing the scenes in surveillance footage. "That's an unnatural position for a dog, and she looks like she's in pain."

Frederito stands behind the affectionate care her groomers show for all of their animal clients, something she says is clear in the video of Honey's handling during her haircut.

"I'm absolutely, 100 percent certain no one on my staff injured Honey," she said. "I would never have someone on my staff lie to me or injure an animal."

Cruz, however, said he won't stop pushing for answers into what really took the life of his close friend.

"We've never had any issues with her before," he said.

The Cruzes are now looking to the California Senate for help with a new pet grooming bill, hoping to put stronger regulations on groomers.

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