Thursday, June 13

Necropsies being conducted after another dog dies in care of Pawsitively Paradise

Another dog in the care of a Palm City pet grooming business has died, leading to a necropsy to determine if criminal charges are warranted as the Martin County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the mysterious deaths.

The Martin County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday in a Facebook post that it has received a third complaint about “the suspicious and untimely death of another dog,” this time a 2-year-old labradoodle in the care of Nikki Camerlengo, owner of Pawsitively Paradise.

According to the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, necropsies are being conducted on the latest dog to die, along with another left in Camerlengo’s care.

It is at least the fourth to die in the care of Pawsitively Paradise since 2018.

WPTV’s Kate Hussey first reported that the Martin County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the business in November 2022 after a Palm City couple, Dan and Adelle Csontos, said one of their flat-coated retrievers died.

“I didn’t want to believe it,” Adelle Csantos said at the time. “He was a happy, healthy dog.”

Hussey reported on two more dog deaths earlier this month.

Turner Benoit told WPTV his mother paid Pawsitively Paradise to train her golden doodle for a week while she was getting knee surgery. Instead, Turner Benoit received a call from the owner that Flurry had died.

Benoit said Flurry was young, healthy and had no prior conditions before putting her in Pawsitively Paradise’s care.

“I don’t know what happened,” he said.

WPTV also learned of another mysterious dog death six years earlier.

Chalimar Gregory told WPTV she placed her 4-month-old Rottweiler in the care of Pawsitively Paradise for about a week in 2018 when she received a call that Red had contracted parvovirus.

However, Red’s veterinarian had a different diagnosis.

“She had a bruised trachea, and they think that her spinal cord was severed,” Gregory said. “It wasn’t a rabbit. It wasn’t a squirrel. We did have to put Red down.”

When confronted about the deaths, Camerlengo said she takes great care of the animals entrusted to her.

“They painted it to seem like I run a torture camp and that’s not accurate at all,” she told WPTV.

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