By Bryan Boggiano
Dquaan Charles of Coral Springs adopted five-month-old American Exotic Bulldog Karma after losing his job as a full-time plumber during the pandemic.
He said she brought happiness back to his life and helped him out of a depressed state.
On April 27, he scheduled an appointment through MaryEli’s Lovely Pets, a Sunrise-based company with multiple mobile sites, to get Karma groomed. After using their services twice, he never had any complaints.
But that all changed.
Charles dropped his truck off to get it serviced, and when he returned, his groomer was holding Karma at his front door — the dog’s body was limp, and blood was pouring from her nose.
“I was devastated,” Charles said. “I asked what happened, and the groomer said the dog had an epilepsy attack.”
Charles took her to VCA Wiles Road Animal Hospital, where veterinarians worked on Karma to get the fluids out of her lungs. He told hospital staff that Karma was a healthy and active puppy.
According to Charles, the groomer offered no explanation and told him to go to a veterinarian, according to medical paperwork.
Doctors determined she had respiratory distress allegedly due to causes such as strangulation, near drowning, upper airway obstruction, prolonged seizure activity, or electrocution. Due to Karma’s grave condition, Charles approved euthanasia.
He alleges that the groomer said Karma was unstable before the appointment, yet the groomer never notified him, reached out to him, or stopped the appointment.
Charles claims Karma may have experienced physical trauma.
Vanessa Vargas, Manager at MaryEli’s Lovely Pets, refuted his claims, stating Charles told the groomer that Karma was not well and that the groomer tried to call Charles several times throughout the appointment, but each call went unanswered.
“I never got one call, or missed calls or voicemail,” said Charles.
Vargas, who said that she had been a manager for five months, claims that she is unaware of any reports of alleged malpractice or animal abuse, but Charles claims that what happened to Karma is not an isolated incident.
“If I looked at the reviews before, I never would’ve sent my pet there,” he said.
MaryEli’s, which has been in business since 2011, enjoys a handful of five-star Google reviews, but there are plenty of accusations against the company. They have been accused of allegedly causing a dislocated hip in a dog, cutting dogs and cats during grooming, leaving a bird bloody, going by multiple names, and one incident in 2019 where a dog died under the company’s care.
“We helped the people; it’s not like we are hiding out,” Vargas said. “We are always on top of every situation. Sometimes there is another side to the story.”
Vargas says she called Charles and offered her condolences since she is a cat owner and knows how much pets mean to their families.
“It’s your family; it’s a child,” she said. “It’s something irreplaceable.”
For Charles, he believes the company needs to be held accountable for what he believes they did to Karma. He and his family miss Karma, including their two other dogs.
“This is animal abuse,” he said. “I’m just trying to get this out there so others can know and don’t have to go through this hurt that I did.”
Results from a necropsy are pending. We’ll keep you posted.
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan plans to pursue geosciences at Florida International University for his master’s. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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