NJ woman apologizes after PetSmart bites back against dog death claim
Two years after the death of her English bulldog at the PetSmart in Flemington, a New Jersey woman has issued a public apology for wrongly blaming her pet's death on the grooming staff.
The statement comes after PetSmart sued the woman for defamation, libel and slander.
Danielle DiNapoli dropped off 8-year-old "Scruffles" for grooming on Dec. 29, 2017, but received a call within a hour that the bulldog had died. What followed was months of action and protests by DiNapoli and her supporters.
On Jan. 20, DiNapoli apologized to PetSmart in a Facebook group that she had started after the dog's death, called "Justice for Scruffles."
"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to PetSmart. I never should have said — on television or here on social media — that PetSmart killed Scruffles and for that I am sorry," DiNapoli wrote.
"I appreciate PetSmart’s cooperation in getting me the answers about what happened with Scruffles when she was in their care. I have since learned that other health factors caused Scruffles’ death and PetSmart did not kill my dear Scruffles."
PetSmart said Thursday that DiNapoli had "engaged in a concerted, national smear campaign against the company."
"Danielle DiNapoli has confessed to falsely blaming PetSmart for the unfortunate death of her bulldog, Scruffles, and apologized for maliciously defaming the company following a court judgement," the company said in a written statement.
"The ruling found that the death was, in fact, caused by pre-existing health issues, evidenced by a necropsy report that was deliberately withheld by Ms. DiNapoli ... We are glad that the facts came to light and that truth prevailed in this case."
DiNapoli said as a result of the findings, she was shutting down the web page. As of Thursday, all photos had been removed from the Facebook group page.
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