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Shih Tzu Allegedly Strangled by Miami Dog Groomer Dies


A Shih Tzu died during a routine grooming session. A Miami dog groomer allegedly strangled her.

Dog mom seeks answers after Shih Tzu death

According to NBC 6, Daniel Valencia took her 7-year-old Shih Tzu, Mia, for a grooming session on Sept. 25. She chose Miami’s Pet Grooming Mobile, a grooming service on wheels that makes the rounds through the Miami-Dade area. Shockingly, only 15 minutes after dropping the dog off, the dog mom received a call. Mia was “unresponsive.”

“What do you mean she’s not breathing? She was OK. The thing is the call was 15 minutes after he took her. So what happened in 15 minutes?” Valencia recalled. “I tried to give her air, like mouth-to-mouth. She just was dead.”

Valencia, along with the groomer, whisked Mia away to an emergency veterinary clinic. Unfortunately, Mia had no heartbeat or pulse upon arrival. There wasn’t anything for the staff to do.

Shih Tzu allegedly strangled before death

The veterinarian did not declare a cause of death. However, they did note strangulation and asphyxiation.

According to medical records, the groomer claimed that he put a leash around Mia’s neck. Then, he “left the dog on the grooming table unsupervised while he moved the van.”

But that wasn’t the only time he acted negligently. Following a bath, Mia was left alone again. Supposedly, she was off-leash. When the groomer came back, Mia wasn’t breathing.

“She had marks in her neck. She had hematoma in her eyes. That they were thinking it was from the pressure she underwent,” Valencia said.

Attorney for dog grooming business responds

Miami’s Pet Grooming Mobile retained a lawyer to represent the business. Attorney Adam M. Ludwin told NBC 6 that the business is “outraged and very sorry to learn of the passing of Mr. and Mrs. Valencia’s pet and family member, Mia. The incident involving Mia was a tragic accident that should never have occurred.”

Ludwin added that the business “takes full responsibility” and will investigate Mia’s death to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

The mobile grooming company is owned by Lester Sanchez. It is licensed in Miami-Dade County.  

Flora Bea, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Animal Services, told the news outlet that “any consumer who has an issue related to animal neglect or cruelty resulting in the pet’s injury or death, should immediately contact the police and complete a police report.”

Pet parents can file complaints against grooming companies by calling 311. Often, a forensic exam or necropsy is necessary to determine the cause of the dog’s death.

The fate of the dog groomer that allegedly strangled the Shih Tzu is unclear at this time.


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