‘He was bait:’ Family furious after dog mauled to death at Pennsylvania PetSmart

DICKSON CITY, Pa. -- A Pennsylvania woman said she was stunned after PetSmart informed the family that their beloved family pet had been killed by another dog.

"We dropped him off to get groomed, and we get a call that he's dead," Betty Miller said.

On Wednesday, she dropped off her 12-year-old bichon named Brewster at PetSmart in Dickson City to get groomed.

Shortly thereafter, she got a call from a veterinarian saying Brewster had died after being attacked by another dog in the grooming salon.

"He was loving," Miller said of Brewster. "He was gentle. He was funny. He was like a toy, and he loved everyone."

After the incident, the Millers' dog was taken to the Veterinary Referral and Emergency Center where Brewster was pronounced dead on arrival.

In a statement to WNEP, the clinic said "resuscitation efforts were administered, but proved to be unsuccessful."

Miller said she's unhappy with how PetSmart corporate has handled the issue and thinks there could be more safety protocols put in place to avoid similar tragedies.

"We called corporate," Miller said. "They did not reach out to us, and I was very angry about that. Why would you want to bring a pit bull past a small dog who's really just bait? He was bait."

After the incident, Miller she's haunted by some of her final memories of Brewster.

"I felt so guilty the day it happened because we would say to him, 'You want to go bye-bye?' and he'd hop in that car, and he didn't know it was going to be his last ride. It was hard, very, very hard. He's been with us for 12 years. He was just a great dog," she said.

"We are truly saddened by the loss of Brewster," PetSmart said in a statement. "The health, safety and well-being of the pets in our care is our top priority, and we immediately launched an internal investigation to better understand what led to this tragic accident.

"We have high standards of care in place and are actively gathering more information to determine any policy or procedural violations. We welcome all dogs, regardless of their breed, into our grooming salons provided they are well-behaved.

"We will remain in close contact with Brewster’s pet parent as we learn more."