PHOENIX — A Phoenix mother said she and her children are traumatized after they found their family dog, Max, dead of an apparent hanging in a mobile pet-grooming van.
Amanda Wohland said she and two of her children discovered Max hanging from the loop used to keep a dog in place on a grooming table. The woman who had been grooming him was in a fetal position on the floor of the van, she said.
"We were all very shocked," Wohland said Monday. "To go up to the van and see that was traumatic."
It was the family's first time using Roaming Rovers Mobile Grooming for Max, a 7-year-old dog they owned since he was a puppy. Wohland said the groomer told the family the grooming would take about two hours.
Four hours rolled by. Wohland said she was worried and, with her daughter and son, went to check on Max. That's when they discovered him dead.
The van's door was locked. At first, it looked like the groomer had vanished, Wohland said. When they tried to pry the doors open, that's when Wohland first noticed the woman on the ground and called 911.
Paramedics arrived and the groomer still seemed incoherent, Wohland said.
The family is waiting on Max's autopsy.
Sgt. Alan Pfohl, Phoenix police spokesman, said Tuesday that police were investigating whether the groomer passed out because of a medical event or some other cause and whether criminal negligence was involved.
Scott McLaughlin, whose wife owns Roaming Rovers Mobile Grooming, told The Arizona Republic Monday that he would not comment on the situation until police completed their investigation.
He said the only contact he's had with the police so far was when he arrived at the scene after he was notified of the dog's death.
"Our only comment right now is we send our condolences and sincere wishes, and our hearts go out to the owners," McLaughlin said.