Houston woman says her 7-year-old dog died just hours after being groomed at popular pet store

According to vet records, the pitbull mix named Dolce got a clean bill of health last August. Yet, three weeks later, she would be dead.

"She was my sweet little girl," said Velisa Oliver, Dolce's owner.

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The only thing Oliver has left of her beloved pet is her collar brush and bowls.

Medical records from August 27 show Dolce is in good health. A letter from Meyerland Animal Clinic says Dolce has been examined by a doctor three times in the last year and a half and no respiratory concerns were noted.

On September 10, three weeks after Dolce's last checkup Oliver says she took her to PetSmart at 8380 Westheimer to be groomed.

"Nothing was wrong with her, healthy, fine condition when I dropped her off," she said.

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Oliver says she picked Dolce up from PetSmart two hours later.

"I noticed when she got in the car, she was panting, so I thought she was thirsty," she said.

Oliver says Dolce began drinking water as soon as she got home and started throwing up.

"Then she began to gasp," Oliver said. "She was gasping then she began to screech, not bark, but a screeching noise."

Oliver rushed Dolce to an emergency vet clinic in Sugar Land. Vets say Dulce was suffering from heat stroke and respiratory problems.

"I cried like a baby. I broke down and cried, because one minute my dog is healthy I'm dropping her off at PetSmart for a grooming. Within a couple of hours, she's dead," Oliver said.


In an email to Oliver, PetSmart says Dolce was fine during the grooming and when she left.

The email goes on to state, "After reviewing the vet documentation provided and conducting their review of the service, there is nothing to support that the grooming service caused Dolce to pass away."

PetSmart also declined to pay Oliver's $1,600 emergency vet bill.

Oliver says she's left with nagging questions that will likely never be answered.

"She was fine when I left her, her breathing was fine. She was fine, but then when I pick her up, she's in a shape where she could not be saved," she said.

PetSmart released the following statement to FOX 26:  

We have strict standards in place to ensure the health and safety of all pets in our care. After a thorough review of Dolce’s time in our grooming salon, as well as veterinary records provided to us by the pet parent’s veterinarian, we believe our pet stylist performed the service appropriately and safely. Our thoughts are with Dolce’s family during this difficult time.