PHOENIX, Arizona - A Phoenix family wants answers after their appointment with a mobile groomer ended with them finding their dog dead hanging by a rope. Making matters worse, their kids witnessed the whole thing.
The dog, a 7-year-old Maltipoo named Max, was a large part of the Wohland family's life.
"He was a family dog. We raised him with our family," said Sean Wohland.
He quickly became best friends with their three young children.
"I don't even think they remember life without him," added Amanda Wohland.
The Wohlands hired the mobile dog grooming company Roaming Rovers to come to their house Wednesday and give Max a haircut. They say the groomer showed up in her van and told them it would take about two hours, giving them plenty of time to run errands.
Four hours later, when the Wohlands returned home, the van was still there.
"That was kind of alarming," said Amanda.
Amanda and her kids walked up to the van. They are traumatized by what they saw inside.
"I looked in and saw Max hanging by his neck off the table and at that point I could tell he was dead," said Amanda.
Amanda and her kids were horrified and burst into tears. The van's doors were locked and the groomer was passed out on the floor. Police and fire crews responded and opened the doors.
"She was completely incoherent. She was just moaning and making noises," said Amanda.
"She couldn't sit still. She was rolling around saying she was in pain. The next minute she was numb," added Sean.
Police are now investigating what went wrong with the groomer that led to Max hanging by a rope.
"He was such a part of our family that, it's just going to be hard," said Sean.
Police say depending on where their investigation takes them, the groomer could face animal cruelty charges.
"We just want justice to be served," Sean said.
The Wohlands say there is little to no regulation when it comes to pet grooming companies and employees. They are hoping their traumatic story changes that.