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Deer wanders into Fort Worth children's clinic

Workers at a children’s urgent care clinic in Texas were startled when a deer walked into the facility, WFAA reported.

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The 2-year-old buck wandered into the Cook Children’s facility in Fort Worth on Nov. 10, the television station reported.

"I guess he came in through the back ambulance bay," Christina Williams, a registered nurse at the clinic, told WFAA

The animal apparently hit the glass outside the facility, triggering the automatic doors, the Dallas Morning News reported.

"He came down the hallway and just kind of slid in the room," Beverly McCoy. McCoy, an X-ray technician, told WFAA

McCoy told the television station that she was with a child when she heard a loud noise outside. When she looked in the hallway, the deer was into an empty exam room after breaking off its antlers.

"He was pretty good sized," McCoy told WFAA. "I've seen them out on a farm but never in a city like this." 

The staff called animal services, which tranquilized the animal and put it on a stretcher. They released the deer after it woke up.

Williams joked that the deer might have been looking for a doctor, particularly after breaking his antlers.

"It's possible, but he didn't register," she told WFAA.

Texas pet shelter gets food donations from community 

A Texas animal services company got some paw-sitive news this week, KSAT reported.

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San Antonio Animal Care Services announced last week that it had just nine bags of dog food in its pantry, the television station reported. Since then, the nonprofit group had more than 8,000 pounds of pet food donated within 24 hours, KSAT reported.

The pantry was part of the shelter’s Furst Responders Team, the television station reported. 

"Your donations have allowed our Pet Pantry program to keep running strong and help pets in need," officials wrote in a Facebook post. "Thank you for helping us make a pawsitive difference. Seeing your support encourages our continued commitment to help animals in need."

You can join the Furst Responders team here. People who want to donate pet food and other supplies can check the shelter’s Amazon Wish List.

 

47 dogs died after PetSmart grooming, investigation says

An investigation from NJ.com has found that nearly 50 dogs have died after visiting PetSmart for grooming.

According to a report from Sophie Nieto-Muñoz and Alex Napoliello, families have claimed that their dogs have died during or soon after a grooming at the retail chain. The investigation found 47 documented incidents of pet deaths across 14 states since 2008.

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The NJ.com investigation found that 32 cases happened after the start of 2015, adding that 20 of the 47 documented deaths are English bulldogs and similar breeds with short noses and smushed faces.

In 2017, PetSmart announced new standards at grooming salons, including an express service solely for English bulldogs, French bulldogs, pugs, boxers Boston terriers and animals mixed with those breeds to minimize risk. The company also said cameras would be installed in all grooming salons and emphasized that pet stylists must be trained for a year.

Related: Two dog owners say their pets died at same PetSmart after grooming appointments

“Some former employees allege PetSmart’s groomer training — which the company touts as the industry’s very best — can fall short of what’s advertised,” the investigation said. “They say they have seen unprepared trainees rushed into stores because of short-staffing, putting dogs at greater risk of injury.

“Increasingly, the company is pressuring groomers to meet sales quotas, the employees said, and many felt either ignored or retaliated against when they spoke up about safety concerns or wrongdoing by colleagues.”

The report added that many owners whose pets died were offered out-of-court payments. In accepting the payment, some had to sign nondisclosure agreements. Those agreements, the investigation said, required them to delete negative comments and social media posts.

Related: Dog owners sue PetSmart after dachshund dies

The report said that individual groomers are not required by any state to be certified, meaning training and safety are not standardized. Owners get little money, should they go to court, because pets are considered property, and causes of death are hard to prove.

PetSmart said it has considered reasons that may be out of the groomer’s control -- such as unknown medical conditions, old age or natural causes -- for the deaths of some animals.

Related: Dog dies during grooming at NJ PetSmart; pet's owner wants answers

“As a company of pet lovers who are dedicated to the health and happiness of all pets, we empathize with these grieving families. Nevertheless, we are not aware of any evidence suggesting that PetSmart services caused the deaths of these pets,” the company said in statement issued Thursday in response to the NJ.com report. 

“In the case of this story, there are 14 names provided for which we have no record of a groom or incident occurring. For the remaining incidents, many of the dogs were advanced in age, overweight or are suspected to have suffered from pre-existing medical conditions. Finally, one specific case involves a pet parent who has repeatedly hidden veterinary records and necropsy reports from PetSmart and the public, but we expect the truth will be revealed through the ongoing litigation process.

“PetSmart works every day to be the trusted partner to pet parents. If an accident or policy violation occurs while a pet is in our care, we take immediate action and full responsibility. We maintain the highest standards in the industry, but by no means are we perfect. That’s why we’re always exploring enhancements to those standards. Our stylists complete at least 800 hours of hands-on instruction and safety certification, working with at least 200 dogs of all breeds and size.”

On Sunday, the company hosted an open house event across the country, inviting pet owners to tour salons and meet groomers.

The full investigation can be read at NJ.com Projects & investigations.

This goldfish just got braces

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A Pennsylvania veterinarian had a very creative solution for a goldfish whose jaw problems prevented it from being able to eat properly.

Dr. Brian Palmeiro at Lehigh Valley Veterinary Dermatology crafted a small mouth brace for the goldfish, named Mr. Hot Wing, out of a piece of a credit card.

Mr. Hot Wing, who was born without a jawbone and couldn’t keep his mouth open, had been suffering from breathing problems and an inability to eat. Now, he's able to do both.

A picture of the fish with the "braces" posted on Lehigh Valley Veterinary Dermatology's Facebook page went viral before being deleted.

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The surgery cost Mr. Hot Wing's owner around $150, Mashable reported.

Palmeiro has also performed other procedures on fish, like one on a goldfish to remove skin tumors and another on a pleco fish for which he crafted a sling to support a dislocated pectoral fin. 

One of our recent goldfish patients that came in for numerous large skin tumors. Doing great 1 week after surgery!Posted by Lehigh Valley Veterinary Dermatology on Friday, November 6, 2015

Alice the pleco visited us today for a dislocated right pectoral fin that wouldn't move, preventing her from going into...Posted by Lehigh Valley Veterinary Dermatology on Monday, November 16, 2015

Petco employee fired after rough grooming video goes viral

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An Atlanta Petco employee is out of work after a woman posted a viral video that appears to show the worker “roughing up” one of the dogs on the grooming table, WSB-TV reports.

“When the dog still wouldn’t calm down and give him his paw, he kind of just started pulling on the paw, and using his body to push the dog around the table,” said Hanna Marie Pellissier, a Decatur, Georgia, woman who shot the video while she was outside the store in Buckhead.

“I looked up and saw through the window the guy in the video, trying to clip the dog’s nails and the dog was pulling away,” Pellissier said. “I wanted to see Petco stand up and do the right thing, and I think they did that.”

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Petco released this statement:

"At Petco, the health and safety of pets and people is always our top priority, and we take full responsibility for all animals under our care. There are strict grooming protocols in place to ensure the safety and well-being of pets, and we are very concerned by the conduct of the groomer in this video. As such, after a thorough investigation, this employee is no longer at Petco. We are in contact with both the concerned individual who took the video and the pet parent and can confirm that the dog is home and in good health. "We appreciate the outreach from the pet community, and look forward to continuing to serve you.  Please continue to reach out to us if you have any additional questions or concerns."

The video went viral, and Petco was inundated with concerned customers.

“I’m pretty shocked that someone would do that right in front of a window," said Jason Rudge, a customer. "People love their pets around here, and if I saw someone doing it to my animal, I’d probably be furious."

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