Dog's death leads to questions in Phoenix

Posted at 8:13 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-16 08:04:50-05

As Sean and Amanda Wohland mourn the sudden death of one of their best friend, Max the 7-year old Maltipoo, more families who used the same Phoenix-area groomer which resulted in the deaths of their pet are now speaking out about their experiences.

Max was found hanging from his leash, dead inside the Roaming Rovers mobile grooming van last Wednesday. Phoenix police say the groomer in the van had "blacked out."

Phoenix-based KNXV is not naming the groomer at this time as she has not been charged.

Since Max's story aired last Friday, the family has heard from at least two other families who had the same woman groom their dogs and also saw some red flags.

Amanda Wohland said one family who used the groomer one week before Max's death also reported seeing the groomer passed out inside the grooming van. Paramedics were dispatched to the home, and the woman taken to the hospital.

Then on the same day, just hours before Max's appointment, Robert Pritchard said he had the same woman groom his dog, Nemo, that morning.

"When she got here she was a bit frantic and fidgety. I was a little bit concerned, but after talking to her, I thought it was her mannerisms and such," said Pritchard.

After more than an hour had passed, he decided to go out to the grooming van and make sure everything was okay. That raised even more concerns.

"She was kind of even more frantic than before. She told me my dog had a seizure, and after that happened, she started having a panic attack. She said 'I can control it. I'm just trying not to pass out'," said Pritchard.

Chilling words to the Wohland family who are now wondering why a groomer who has this history is still out working.

While police said they are still investigating the incident to see if the groomer's behavior and "blackout" were medical problems, the Wohlands wonder if the owners of Roaming Rovers are even aware of these problems.

"You don't send someone out that has some type of problem whatever it is, out there to work on their own all day," said Amanda Wohland.

"To know an employee that this has happened to on their watch, it is just shameful," added her husband, Sean Wohland.

KNXV reached out to the owners of Roaming Rovers for a comment. They declined to comment due to the pending police investigation but did tell us the groomer has worked for them for three months, and all of her references had checked out. 

When asked if the woman was certified to groom dogs, the owners declined to comment, only saying Arizona state law does not require it.

The Wohland's say they just want justice for their dog Max, and they also want to make every dog owner out there aware that pet grooming is not a regulated industry in Arizona.