Families Demanding Answers from Stockton Groomer Accused of Mishandling Pets

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STOCKTON -- Frustrated families in Stockton are demanding answers from a groomer they said mishandled their pets. One family claimed their dog went missing, while another said her dog died while she was getting groomed.

It’s through cell phone video that Nina Sidhu can smile at her 2-year-old shitzu, Ginger.

"I’m smiling at the memories. All these great memories I had with her,” Sidhu told FOX40.

A pet, she said, that was pampered and in good health. Until Ginger passed away. Sidhu said it happened at Vanessa’s Pet Paradise.

“I started crying,” she recalled when she first learned of her pet’s death.

She said the business owner, Vanessa Alvarado, claimed the dog went into shock, "at that point I just didn’t know what to do,” Sidhu said.

After speaking with friends about Ginger’s death, Sidhu said she found out about the 318 member Facebook group dedicated to shutting down the business because of animal abuse claims, “That’s when all the red flags started coming in,” she said.

According to the business license, Vanessa’s Pet Paradise does its business at a downtown Stockton apartment complex. We asked to speak with her on-camera, but she declined. She did, however, say that the accusations against her are false.

Juan Gomez and his daughter took their pet poodle Fluff to Pet Paradise on Feb. 24 to get a trim. Fluff was a therapy dog helping his daughter cope with her mother’s death.

"I’m used to having her [Fluff] there with me,” Leslie Gomez said.

The dog has been missing since. Alvarado told FOX40, the dog became aggressive then ran out of her window. She also claimed Gomez should have stayed with Fluff while it was getting groomed.

"I said, 'How come it’s my fault when you told me to come back in an hour?',” Juan Gomez recalled.

He has since filed a complaint in San Joaquin County Court against her, and he wants to warn others.

"Shut down her business immediately, because she’s harming, you know, animals,” Gomez told us.

Along with Sidhu who would also like an apology, "I just want her to, you know, woman-up and actually admit her wrong."

FOX40 checked with the BBB, and they said no complaints have been filed against Vanessa’s Pet Paradise. Alvarado told FOX40 the negative reviews on Yelp and on Facebook have been a traumatic experience, and she’s unsure if she’ll continue to conduct business.

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