PetSmart overhauls grooming practices
PetSmart is launching a comprehensive action plan to allay consumers' fears over the treatment of pets at its grooming salons.
The company says it plans to perform a detailed review of current training and grooming safety standards after several high profile cases in which animals were allegedly abused in the retailer's grooming salons.
“PetSmart has set the highest safety standards in the industry and we are always looking to improve,” said Gregg Scanlon, senior vice president of Store Operations and Services. “We recognize the responsibility we have every time a pet parent chooses PetSmart, and we want to live up to our promise of being their trusted partner every day. That’s why we’re taking action – to help create an even better experience for pets in our care and to give pet parents the peace of mind they deserve.”
Beginning this year, PetSmart says it will host Open Houses in all grooming salons for pet parents to meet their local groomers, discuss their pet’s specific needs, tour their local salon and have all their questions answered. These Open Houses will include informative sessions with an overview of safety and training standards, grooming tips and procedures and – importantly – a review of PetSmart’s recently enhanced assessments of pets brought in for grooming, designed to ensure a safer grooming experience.
PetSmart will also begin the installation of cameras in all grooming salons to provide reassurance to pet parents that their pets will receive the best possible care from the highly skilled grooming staff. Video will be used to assist in ongoing associate education, provide additional oversight and ensure that the quality of service meets PetSmart’s strict standards. Installation plans are underway.
Additionally, all PetSmart groomers now perform a broader safety assessment of every pet at check-in. They closely observe pets for any combination of the following: lethargy, excessive panting, excessive drooling, trembling or shaking, redness in eyes, and resistance to entering the salon or kennel area. If a pet exhibits any two of these behaviors, PetSmart will not perform the service at that time. Pet parents are welcome to stay in the store with their pet to see if the behaviors pass within 15 minutes. If not, groomers will work with the pet parent to reschedule the appointment or recommend a veterinarian who can perform the service.
Recently an employee at a Houston-area PetSmart was fired after a viral video captured her unacceptable treatment of a Shih Tzu during a grooming session.