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Does PetSmart have a problem? Abby the corgi is at least the 4th dog to die in its stores since December

Chuck Crawford with Harley and Abby. (Photo: Facebook)

Chuck Crawford dropped off his corgi, Abby, for a routine grooming at PetSmart, not knowing that was the last time he would see her alive.

On March 29, Crawford took Abby and his other corgi, Harley, to the PetSmart in Toms River, N.J., around 8 a.m. At 9:45 a.m. Crawford was called and told to pick up Abby’s carcass at a different PetSmart location.

In a 20-second phone call, the Toms River PetSmart employee informed Crawford, 76, that his dog was dead, according to NJ.com.

It was so crude and beyond comprehension,” Crawford said. “To take your pet for a grooming and then have them die? That is the absolute worst thing.”

Employees claim they took the 8-year-old dog after she was found unresponsive to a nearby company location in Brick Township that had an in-house vet. Crawford was told that the vet tried to save Abby’s life but wasn’t able to do so.

“I have extreme anger and extreme grief. I don’t know what happened with Abby. There were no health issues whatsoever,” he noted. “I went through absolute hell that day. She’s my little sweetheart.”

Confused and heartbroken, Crawford wants more answers. But the company is telling him only that Abby’s death in under internal investigation.

Immediately after he picked up Abby’s frozen remains, Crawford took her to an animal hospital for a necropsy — an animal autopsy — to find out the cause of death. The results will be available in about a month.

PetSmart said in a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, “We are deeply saddened by Abby’s passing, and we are in constant contact with her pet parent during this very difficult time. An internal review was conducted to help us better understand the timeline of events and what happened. We do not, however, have access to the results of the necropsy, which would likely help clarify the circumstances which caused Abby’s unfortunate passing and potentially reveal any pre-existing conditions.

However, in a recent visit to the vet, Abby was given a clean bill of health.

Crawford said that if PetSmart would like to see the results of the necropsy, it will have to go through his lawyer.

“I’ll never take my dog to a PetSmart or Petco or any of them ever again,” Crawford said. “I’ll give them a bath in my garage.”

Abby’s death adds to the growing number of pets that have died at PetSmart locations around the country in recent months. And it’s the second one at the Toms River PetSmart, according to Patch.com.

“It was the same thing that happened to Lulu,” Sammi Yezzo, 21, told Patch. Lulu, her 14-year-old bichon frisé, died Jan. 17 after passing out in the tub at the Toms River PetSmart, she said.

Lulu was rushed to a nearby animal hospital but could not be revived. The vet indicated that she had had trouble breathing even before she was dropped off for grooming. Yezzo told Patch that PetSmart paid for the vet bill and related costs.

bulldog, Scruffles, died at a Flemington, N.J., PetSmart on Dec. 29 during a routine grooming appointment. And another woman lost her pet on Dec. 24 at the same shop, according to ABC news.

A Facebook page has been set up by the pet parents of Scruffles, and hundreds of people are sharing tales of mistreatment of their pets at local PetSmarts around the country.

In a recent post, they are calling for a May 5 protest.

Yahoo Lifestyle reached out to Crawford and we will update this story as details become available.

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