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Dog battered and beaten after groomer appointment, family says

A once-happy dog is injured and traumatized after a grooming appointment at a major national pet store chain.

CABARRUS COUNTY, N.C. -- A Concord family says their dog came out of a grooming appointment battered and beaten.

Michele and Larry Luce said they dropped their 8-month-old puppy, Jax, at the PetSmart in Afton Village Concord for a grooming appointment.

Shortly after, the family said they received a call from a PetSmart employee asking them to come pick up Jax early because he seemed "off" during his appointment.

Michele said when she arrived, Jax was unable to stand and had cuts all over his body.

“He was so terrified,” she said. “Crawling on my neck.”

Michelle and Larry rushed Jax to the vet, who they say uncovered several injuries.

“He’s got cuts inside his ears. He’s got them on both shoulders the side of his head all up underneath him inside the back of his legs,” Larry said. “They did X-rays and saw something in his neck with his vertebrae thinking maybe the thrashing, maybe he came off the table and was hanging.”

In a statement, a PetSmart spokesperson told NBC Charlotte:

Nothing is more important than the health and safety of the pets in our care, and we completed an internal investigation to better understand Jax’s time with us.

The findings indicate our associates acted appropriately by immediately stopping the groom and having Jax evaluated by a veterinarian when he began to act unusually.

As a showing of support to the pet parent and gesture of goodwill, however, we paid Jax’s veterinary bills in full and covered the cost of his grooming service.

We will remain in contact with the pet parent.

But Michelle and Larry say that’s not good enough.

“The lady that did this needs to lose her job and license and not be allowed to touch any animals again,” Larry said.

“Nobody stopped it, he went through all that pain and they still kept cutting him,” Michele added.

The family hopes their story serves as a warning for other pet owners.

In North Carolina, dog groomers are not required to have any sort of certification or license. There are several petitions out there right now pushing to change that.

PetSmart does have a grooming academy for its employees.

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