Dog groomer will not face charges in shih tzu’s death

8-year-old shih tzu Daisy (family photo)

WARREN, R.I. (WPRI) — A dog groomer in Warren will not face criminal charges after a dog died in his care last week, town police confirmed Wednesday.

Daisy, an 8-year-old shih tzu, died May 31 at Dirty Dog Pet Grooming on Paquin Street, according to Deputy Chief Joseph Loiselle. He said the groomer had stepped away from the grooming area for a few minutes and when he returned, Daisy had fallen off the table and was asphyxiated by the leash around her neck.

Daisy and two other dogs belonging to the Iiams family of Bristol were dropped off at the business last Wednesday. Thaddeus Iiams remembers getting the call from the groomer later that day.

“He said the black and white one fell off the table,” Iiams said. “I pressed him further, what happened, and he said the dog died.”

“To know that it struggled around a noose for two to six minutes pains me,” he added. “I was crying, I was mad. Every emotion that can possibly happen to somebody.”

The family called the Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RISPCA), which launched an investigation alongside Warren police.

Loiselle said they found no evidence of malice or cruelty, so the groomer will not be charged.

Iiams believes there should be stricter regulations for groomers. He said he wants action to be taken at the state level to prevent something like this from happening to someone else’s pet.

“This could have been avoided if the dog had a longer leash and a body harness,” he said. “This could have been avoided, so that’s what we want to see change in the future.”

Eyewitness News has reached out to Dirty Dog Pet Grooming and the RISPCA for comment but has not yet heard back.