Two Staten Island women are looking for answers after their beloved beagles mysteriously died in a van used by a mobile grooming business in December, according to a published report.
The Staten Island Advance reports that SallyAnn and Jeanette Tringali saw their beagles, Trouble and Bella, for the last time when they handed them off to groomer Kevin Aubrey for a routine appointment before Christmas.
Aubrey had groomed their pets in his specialized van a few times a year.
On that day, SallyAnn Tringali went to check on her pets when the appointment seemed longer than usual.
When she knocked on the door of the van, Aubrey told her "one minute," according to the paper.
He then came back up to her doorstep and told Tringali that he had blacked out after having a diabetic seizure. But he told Tringali that there was “a slight problem,” Tringali told the paper.
“He said, ‘Your dogs passed away.’”
"I didn't even move for a minute; I felt like it was a dream, like I wasn't hearing it; it didn't make sense," Tringali told the Advance.
Aubrey told the newspaper that the situation was "devastating" to him.
"I've been so sorry about what happened, but I was progressing into a diabetic seizure. I was halfway through washing them -- I tied the leashes to the table, and started to get foggy and blacked out."
Aubrey said he was conscious enough during the spell to take his glucose pills. But the dogs were dead when he awoke.
"Maybe I tied the leashes too tight and I wasn't aware of what was going on. I was acting the way I was because of the diabetes," he told the Advance. "I'm not a bad person; I really do the right thing; I told them I was sorry about 100 times."
Dr. Theresa Cavallaro, a doctor at Bay Street Animal Hospital, told the Advance that one of the dogs showed signs of strangulation and possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Cavallaro suggested that this could have been avoided if Aubrey groomed one dog at a time and installed a carbon monoxide detector in his mobile van.
"We'll never know how long Mr. Aubrey was unconscious for, or how long the dogs were on the table," Cavallaro said. "I spoke to him after the event and he was very remorseful; it was not a malicious act. They were terrible, senseless deaths."
The Tringali sisters started a new group, Fight Injustice Dog Organization Staten Island (FIDO) to raise awareness about their case. The group had its first meeting last week.