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Burien Dog Grooming Business Cited in Puppy Incident

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A family took their puppy to the groomer, but two days later, it had to be put down.  The grooming business has been cited for animal cruelty and a larger investigation is now underway.

“I took him for walks everyday and played in the yard with him, played ball. And he was just a fun dog, fun puppy,” said Kim Malmquist.

Kim loved her four-month-old Yorke mix named Yoshie.  But in early October, Yoshi died after a basic grooming.

A medical report says the puppy’s initial diagnosis was consistent with a reported strangulation.

“I was fighting back the tears the whole time,” said Jeff Malmquist.

Kim and Jeff blame the owner a Burien pet shop, named Pretty Paws, for Yoshi’s death.

“I was crying for days and it just hurt,” said Kim.

Lisa Marshall, Burien’s City Attorney, tells me the City has cited Pretty Paws with animal cruelty.

“According to the veterinary records, it is unlikely that the dog could have perished or have been treated in such a manner unless it was very very negligently treated or intentionally treated that way,” said Marshall.

The city has also suspended Pretty Paws’ business license.

“I can’t tell you how sorry Kathy, Kathy Graf, my client and Pretty Paws is for what’s happened to Yoshi,” said Attorney Tracy Codd who represents Kathleen Graf, the owner of Pretty Paws.

Codd said there’s no proof that Yoshi was strangled.

“It certainly is a leap of judgement to have that language in there when there doesn’t appear to be any objective evidence in the actual report that Yoshi was strangled or mistreated,” said Codd.

Here’s what we know.  Kim says she took Yoshi to Pretty Paws for what was supposed to be a short visit at 9am on October 6th.  At around 2pm Kim says she got a call from Pretty Paws.

“You need to come and pick up your puppy, he’s having breathing problems you need to rush him to a vet,” said Kim.

When Kim and Jeff arrived at the shop, they were told Yoshi bit one of the groomers.

“She just said, I don’t know what happened.  We had a muzzle on him for like 10 seconds. He apparently was biting,” said Kim.

Pretty Paws’ lawyer provided a photo to back that claim.

But at that moment, Yoshi needed medical attention.

“He’s on the floor in front of me sitting on the floor trying to breath. And I was trying to call him and he didn’t even know that I was there,” said Kim.

Kim and Jeff rushed Yoshi to a vet right across the street from the shop.  That’s where vets found fluid in his lungs. They recommended he go to Blue Pearl Emergency Pet Hospital in Renton.

“I really thought he was going to die at that point, I didn’t think he would make it to Renton,” said Kim.

In Yoshi’s medical records, the vets found the pet had Pulmonary Edema or fluid in the lungs, consistent with the reported strangulation episode.

The next day with no improvement in sight, and with his prognosis listed as grave, Jeff and Kim decided to euthanize Yoshi.

“I mean, the defenseless puppy, and I just don’t know what he went through,” said Kim

Later, Kim asked the owner of Pretty Paws to help pay the $3,000 worth of medical bills spent trying to save Yoshi.

“If something like that was to happen to me, I’d be devastated, she totally did not. She had no expression on her face when I went in with the paperwork, except for a crabby, I didn’t do it. I didn’t choke him,” said Kim.

The attorney for Pretty Paws says his client is appealing both the animal cruelty citation and the suspension of the business license.  He says no one at the Pretty Paws mistreated or strangled Yoshi. He calls the city’s move harsh.

The City of Burien says it’s investigation is also expanding to look at even more possible cases of abuse.

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