Dog died after being boarded at PetSmart, owner says

Animal control confirms investigation

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A dog died after being boarded at a Virginia PetSmart, and animal control is investigating.

Andrew Noles raised 3-year-old Aussiedoodle Clark from the time he was a tiny puppy and recalled the greetings he got from his pet.

“As soon as I turned the doorknob, Clark would literally would just, like, run and jump on me,” Noles said. “And he just knew, like, it was time to go out.”

On June 27, Noles took Clark to the Potomac Yard PetSmart to board him for three days. Two days later, he says, he got an unexpected call from a veterinarian.

“He was like, well, a PetSmart employee just dropped him off, and unfortunately she dropped him off deceased,” Noles said. “I was hysterical, you know, of course.”

Noles said the vet passed along what little information he could about Clark’s condition when he arrived.

“He showed up, and his mouth was full of blood, and he repeatedly asked her what happened, and she, honestly, had no answers and then just kind of left,” Noles said. 

Noles said PetSmart has not told him what happened to Clark, so he turned to animal control to help him get answers. Alexandria’s chief animal control officer confirmed the agency is investigating the death and Clark’s body has been sent to an animal health lab for a necropsy to determine the cause of death.

Noles shared his grief and frustration on social media, which caught the attention of Nick Vanzandt, who says he boarded his dog, Buddy, at the same PetSmart at the same time and was surprised when he picked up Buddy.

“When they brought him out, he was bleeding from the snout, right at his nose. Big, open wound,” Vanzandt said. 

“Then they brought his bed out that we took for him to sleep on, and that was covered in blood,” he said.

He was not satisfied with the explanation he says he got from PetSmart.

“I think they said something about he was rubbing up against a cage, which was odd because we paid for a private suite that doesn’t have bars,” Vanzandt said.

He shared his frustration with a negative Yelp review.

News4 contacted PetSmart for comment about both dogs but still awaits a response. 

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