Service Dog Died While In The Care Of PetSmart Says Owner

Losing any dog, as a dog owner is really one of the saddest moments and unfortunately what happened to this four-year-old service dog.

The dog was poorly after a stay at the Toronto PetSmart, they said that they put down on Sunday because veterinarians were unable to successfully treat her.

She was called Aspen and she passed peacefully, with all her human friends, it was at an emergency animal hospital, she had been having treatment for many days before.

Corey Dixon, 23, her owner and PetSmart had different ideas and accounts about what actually happened to Aspen.

This poor Labrador Retriever had a severe case of pneumonia that was making it almost impossible for her to breathe properly.

Corey said:

“She was an incredible animal”

Corey had become Aspen’s carer in January and lives with a heart condition. It can cause him to become unconscious at times, and Aspen was trained for this, to alert passersby when he needed help.

Corey said:

“She was my service dog, and she saved my life more than once”

It was July 1, Corey took Aspen to the PetSmart location in north Etobicoke for a lovely stay for the week, while he was on a trip in cottage country.

He imagined that the journey might offer her an opportunity for some rest time, to relax without the responsibility of watching him every minute of every day.

When he came back to get Aspen on July 8, she was a full 20 pounds thinner and shaking in a pool of sick and saliva, according to Corey.

He could know straight away that she was “really very sick” and desperately needed medical attention.

Corey said:

“If she’d seen the vet when she started showing signs of being sick, maybe she would have had a better chance.”

Someone from the company said that it is investigating, but that:

“…our initial findings indicate that our associates followed all policies and procedures.”

PetSmart gave $5,000 for veterinary expenses and Aspen’s care, something which Corey said he is grateful for.

Corey said that at least one veterinarian:

“…reported the cause of death as a pre-existing autoimmune disease … completely unrelated to Aspen’s stay at PetSmart.”

The condition is called Myasthenia gravis, a disease that affects skeletal muscles, it can interfere with breathing too.

Corey is adamant that even though a vet took a blood sample from Aspen to test for the disease, the results of that test have not been given to him.

He doesn’t understand why PetSmart did not get her any medical help, and once it became clear to them that there was something wrong.

Corey had to launch a GoFundMe campaign, it raised around $2,700 in a few days. He also added that he was really grateful for all the donations he has received.

Corey is really devastated even thinking about finding a new service animal, and that is, for now, too hard, he can’t stop thinking of Aspen.

He said:

“She was so much more than just a dog to me”

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