A 22-year-old PetSmart employee was seriously injured when she was mauled by a pit bull mix during a grooming earlier this week.
Police in Barnstable, Massachusetts, said they received a call around 11:15 a.m. Wednesday about a dog bite at the PetSmart in Hyannis.
When they arrived, police said they found a trail of blood leading from the grooming area through the customer aisle and training area, around the corner and into the employee lounge.
In the lounge, police found a female PetSmart employee being treated by co-workers for multiple bite wounds. She reportedly suffered bite wounds to her upper torso, wrist and hand, as well as extensive tearing of the flesh, possible broken bones and a possible dislocated shoulder.
"I don't know what happened," said Cliff Gardner, the owner of Bubba, a pit bull mix. "By the time I got back, the police was there. They tell me the girl, the groomer, was in the hospital."
Gardner brought the dog in wearing a muzzle, asking for Bubba to be groomed. The victim says she asked about the muzzle, and that Gardner said the dog had previously attacked another dog, but was "sweet as can be." Gardner disputes this account.
"When she asked me what he was doing with the muzzle on, I said 'The chief of police requires him to wear the muzzle because he got in a dog fight and he bit a woman," Gardner told NBC Boston.
Store policy required the muzzle to be removed. PetSmart says the dog would never have been allowed in for services if they knew of his history.
During the grooming process, while Bubba was being moved, police say he attacked the victim for no apparent reason and without warning, refusing to let go of her arm.
Co-workers used an air horn and a special spray, but were still unable to deter the dog until they were finally able to pull the victim's arm out of the dog's mouth. They then secured the dog in a cage and brought the victim to the employee lounge.
Due to the severity of the victim's injuries, rescue workers stabilized her at the scene and then transported her to Cape Cod Hospital. She was later flown to Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston for further treatment.
Her name is not being released and her condition is not known at this time.
"You don't even know how bad I feel about it," Gardner said. "I've been praying for that girl."
Gardner says Bubba is in quarantine, and that he will be put down in the morning.
Police said they are not ruling out the possibility of charging Gardner.