FLEMINGTON, N.J. - A Hunterdon County, New Jersey woman who made national headlines after claiming PetSmart groomers killed her dog is now apologizing.
In 2018, Scruffles the bulldog went viral after owner Danielle DiNapoli claimed groomers from PetSmart in Flemington left her to die.
Scruffles’ story made national headlines and DiNapoli's social media campaign, "Justice For Scruffles," quickly gained thousands of followers. Online petitions signed by hundreds of thousands of people condemned PetSmart's grooming practices and grooming safety bill "Scruffles Law" made its way to the New Jersey legislature.
But now DiNapoli is apologizing, writing in part on the "Justice for Scruffles" Facebook page:
"I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to PetSmart. I never should have said...that PetSmart killed Scruffles and for that I am sorry...I have since learned that other health factors caused Scruffles' death and PetSmart did not kill my dear Scruffles."
69 News found DiNapoli and PetSmart engaged in a lengthy court battle that began in 2018 when DiNapoli sued PetSmart for Scruffles' death.
A counter claim filed by PetSmart states DiNapoli refused to disclose the results of a necropsy report and that Scruffles’ outlived the average age of her breed and suffered from pre-existing health conditions. DiNapoli was ordered to pay PetSmart $30,000.
“PetSmart is very happy that we have finally gotten the truth out. And that the case has been resolved,” said attorney Thomas Clare, who represents PetSmart. “It was decided that an online apology would do the best job to set the record straight. And it also seemed to be the epicenter of where people that followed this issue continued to look."
69 News reached out to Danielle DiNapoli and her attorney for comment but did not hear back.