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Grooming Sounds Grand Until Bowser Gets Baked

Written by PETA | August 5, 2008

An Excerpt From “Grooming Sounds Grand Until Bowser Gets Baked” (From KP’s Dog Blog)

Little Miss came away from her grooming appointment with a broken tail.
GroomingLittle Miss Broken Tail3.JPG

Many people saw the grooming exposé “Pet Grooming Dangers,” on the Today show on August 1, which was prompted by the grooming death of Sushi, the 2-year-old Labrador retriever of one of the Today show’s employees. Sushi had been left for a week at a boarding facility and was supposed to get a bath before being picked up. When her guardian, Amanda, arrived to pick her up, instead of the thrill of a joyful reunion, she experienced the horror of learning that Sushi was unconscious. Not long after that, Sushi died at the vet’s. Later it was determined that Sushi had been put inside a “cage dryer” for 30 minutes with the temperature set at 100°F.

I took one look at those dryers in the Today piece and shuddered. I couldn’t believe my ears as I watched person after person, including someone from The Humane Society of the United States repeat some version of the mantra, “These cage dryers are safe if used properly.”

Excuse me? First of all, the cage dryer has a setting that goes up to 100°F, so it has a built-in setting for death. Secondly, machines malfunction. A groomer might think that the dryer was set at 80°F, but in reality, it might go haywire and shoot up to 100°F or even 135°F. Thirdly, there are many dogs who, for various reasons, are automatically going to be at high risk inside one of these contraptions. These include dogs with flat muzzles, older dogs, dogs with heart problems, dogs with respiratory problems, etc. Finally, the dryers are run by mere mortals, who work for a largely unregulated industry. On any given day, a person can be distracted, tired, hung over, ill, depressed, or just plain stupid—any of which could cause a careless mistake, leading to tragedy…

Read the full entry on KP’s Dog Blog.

Commenting is closed.
  • Katie-rose says:

    To be honest it probably wasn’t even the groomers fault entirely. It was the fault of the facility for even having such equipment available. Cage dryers that use heating elements are dangerous because if they malfunction they cause fires which may result in death or severe injury and if the salon were to get busy and the employees were not able to check up on the dog in a timely fashion again there are horrible consequences. Also this device that was used IS NOT a virtual microwave please research before making ridiculous claims such as this. A microwave used MICROWAVES RADIATION. This device that was used used heat probably from electric coils of some sort. Microwaving a dog would cause it to bake from the inside out resulting in the dog exploding. At boarding facilities that offer to wash your dogs beware I know people that have worked at those places and because the businesses main concern is with being a boarding facility the baths that the dogs receive are not worth the money. Mostly they just hose them down with a normal garden hose the water pressure is painfully high with those and then just let the dogs run around in a dog run to let them dry out. It is important to dry a dog by hand towel drying and using a force dryer because otherwise the water will sit on the dog and create a harsh smell. As for just letting a dog shake dry? When you put your clothes in the washing machine do you just shake your clothes dry? No that’s not efficient and your clothes would likely get mildew and you would have to wash it again. Many of the dryer implements used in grooming salons also help blow out excess hair which helps a great deal with preventing undercoat matting. We of course also use towels. But once again the drying devices we use like the force dryer or fluff dryer not a heated kennel dryer! help a great deal and are the most efficient. I am not a groomer myself but I do work in a grooming salon as a bather people have to realize that when they take their dogs and cats to a grooming salon their pets have NO IDEA what is going on. When a pet comes to the grooming salon they are introduced to a stranger put in a kennel and exposed to loud noises strange dogs and strange people. They are then picked up and put in a tub and washed but they do not know that. All they know is that they are being handled by a stranger and being bombarded by loud noise and a steady stream of water. Then a towel comes out of no where and the towel and the stranger start rubbing them. Why? A dog would have no idea. They are then picked up by the same stranger and dried off with a loud high velocity blower. You know those hand blowers in a public restroom? Try that but multiply it by 100. It’s not painful to the dogs but it is very terrifying because once again they do not know whats going on their owners are no where in sight and a stranger is touching them. This is the reason why pets are seen shaking in fear at grooming salons. Not because we’re beating them but because in their eyes they were abandoned by you and are now being attacked! In this case your pet may act completely unlike themselves. I have been biten more times then I can count. I have scars that extend all around my arms and hands. Puncture marks deep scratch marks. Never have I tried to hurt an animal in retaliation for their actions against me. Not one of my coworkers have hurt a dog either. It goes against ones human nature to be attacked viscously and do nothing about it. If you were at your job and a client of yours punched you in the face and stabbed you with a knife I think you would do something about it. When one of my clients rams me against a wall and bites down on my hand and thrashes about in an attempt to shatter my bones I do nothing except calmly extract the dog from my limb. I do not beat or kick your dog to defend myself and in most cases I greet you when you come into the salon and tell you that Baxter is having a rough day and that we hope to see him in better spirits next time. Dog groomers and bathers deserve more credit then they are receiving we love our jobs and your pets. Over time we are able to build relationships with your pets and as your animal gets used to the salon their time with us is a less stressful time. Please do not write us off and say that our careers are fluff and they were are evil. Grooming is a very important part of a dogs life. I have seen dogs come in that are soo severely matted that their whole body is entrapped in one big mat. They have open sores ticks fleas and dirt festering underneath their mats. I have heard dogs screaming in pain as we merely touch their ears because dog owners have allowed their dogs to suffer with ear infections. I have had to turn dogs away because their nails are soo long they are buried deep within their pads and they need a vets care. As for whoever said who cares if a dog gets hurt because of a groomer? We care! The owners care! and the dog cares! If you meet a groomer that doesn’t care then they are no longer a groomer regardless of what their title says. When a dog is cut in our salon the groomer and the whole salon feels horrible. In all cases where a dog is cut it is because the dog caused it to happen but blame can not be put on the dog because once again the dog has no idea what’s going on and is acting in the best way it knows to protect itself. When a dog is squirming around or trying to bite our clippers accidents do happen. Any accident that is due to the groomers lack of skill or is deemed their fault like razor burn or cutting of flesh on a dog that is standing still their commission is taken away and their reputation is hurt. Though some people here seem to think that we are heartless and we just do whatever we want to your pets with out a care in the world in actuality we depend on you! With out your support we are all out of a job. Oh and ps pedipaws is a horrible device. Many of our clients come in to us for nail grinding. We use the professional nail grinder. I know a dog that comes in from time to time that has a whole claw missing. The pedipaw device ripped his nail off he is a mastiff it takes a lot of power to rip a mastiff’s whole nail off ripping it from the socket. I know many clients that are now getting their pets vets bills covered by the company.

  • Junko M says:

    I don’t know why such mean groomers get to keep jobs. Where do they get their licenses to practice? Or does US not require all pet groomers to have certificates? If it doesn’t then I recommend that you require periodical renewal for such certificates and lisences so that this VERY PREVENTABLE tragedy does not repeat itself.

  • BBR says:

    How sad! I hope she plans on suing them. But for what? Money will not bring back her precious dog. Why the hell would someone make a machine that goes up to 100 degrees to dry an animal? And then to think tha dog needs to be in there for 30 minutes? We as humans won’t even stay OUTSIDE for 30 minutes on a 100 degree day. I live in Texas and know first hand how hot it gets outside at 100 degrees plus! So why would I put a dog through that inside a machine? What happened to actually doing work ourselves? We now have a machine that dries our towels AND our dogs. Is it that difficult to blow dry a dog by hand?

  • Cheryl says:

    I have a Bichon who also gets groomed every 6 weeks. I have taken her to different places until I found one that blow drys my dog by hand. Whats really upsetting is when you go to one with a lot of groomers and hearing them yelling at the animals and everytime the door would open to the place where they are grooming I would see these terrified dogs shake like there on a viberating bed. I take my dog to a private groomer where you can see everything and hang around if you want to.

  • Jonna says:

    I do think this is really sad!!! I have 3 toy poodles who need their hair cut in the summer they are black. I take them to a groomer who I trust. I have never had a problem AND I will keep taking them there!!! I don’t want them to get over heated in the summer with their long hair!!!

  • Stephanie says:

    This is Tucker’s story with his grooming accident. I will be more than happy to share photos of Tucker before during and after the accident. Only if you ask. Some people do not like to see photos like this. Please take time to read this and BE AWARE OF GROOMERS Help Protect Our Furbabies February 13th 2007 1209 pm Just to be able to catch everybody up to date on what happened with Tucker. I want each pet owner to be aware and LETS protect our Furbabies Tucker went to the groomer on December 16 2006 for just a regular visitbath trim nails etc The morning of December 17 2006 when Tucker woke up his left eye was matted shut with green gook coming out of it. We had to use a warm washrag to get his eye open. During the day he kept his eye squinted. As the day went on I noticed a pin point dot in the middle of his eye. I sent an email to my breeder to ask her what I needed to do. She said that it sounded like Tucker had an eye ulcer and pink eye and that I needed to get him to the vet ASAP. Thank goodness my vet is in on Sunday afternoons from 400600. I got Tucker there right around 400 and he confirmed what my breeder stated and we started the first of many rounds of eye drops and creams. I told my vet that Tucker had been at his office the day before to be groomed and it was determined that some type of accident happened while being groomed. We are not sure if it was a shampoo burn blow dryer burn from the brush or from clipping around his face. Tucker made 11 trips to the vet from December 17 to January 17 for follow up visits to change his medication and to see if the ulcer had cleared up. They check the ulcer by doing a dye test in the eye. If the eye stains green then there is still a lesion on the eye. After the 11th trip to the vet he recommenced that we go to a special Eye Dr.we only have one in our county and it is not close to our house. I hate to drive the interstates but you will do ANYTHING for your furbaby and went the following day. The vet stated that the ulcer had cleared and put him on drops to clear the scar in the eye. Two days later we were back at the vet. The drops from the Eye Dr. made his eye worse. Tucker had his first Corneal Graft on January 31 2007 and when we went back the next week for his follow up it was determined that the graft did not take. The graft is where they take part of the white of the eye from the top and make a slit in it and fold it down and stitch it over the lesion. This is to help heal the lesion. Tuckers 3rd eye lid was so far below that they could not pull it up and use it. Tucker had his second surgery on February 7 2007 and they had to remove the first graft shave part of his eye down and harvest pig guts to place over the “hole” in the eye and they did the corneal graft from the bottom up this time. He goes back to the Eye Dr. on Friday to determine if this graft is holding. This will be the 20th visit between the vet and Eye Dr There is a slight possability that he could loose his eye. We are praying that this does not happen. We do know that he will be partially blind in the eye but should be able to see from the sides. My Vet did ALL that he could do to help clear Tucker’s eye up and PRAISE GOD the vet has picked up each and every bill. We all know how much office visits are. Can you imagine how much the surgeries would have cost? I have figured out that the three visits to the Eye Dr. are WAY over $2000.00 and my vet is handling the bills. I have spoken with a local groomer in my area and he made the suggestion that when looking for a groomer for your pet to walk in without notice and ask for a tour of the grooming area if they do not want you to go back there then they MAY have something to hide. We all need to be aware of what happens behind those closed doors when we leave our babies. I am still going to use my vet for medical reasons but I have not made up my mind if Tucker or Tanner will ever go back to the groomer. I am looking to see if there is a groomer who has special handling for ShihTzu’s in my area. LETS KEEP OUR BABIES SAFE!!! Paw Hugs Kisses Stephanie Eye Update February 16th 2007 109 pm Mommy took Tanner to be “snipped” this morning and he will be back home tomorrow morning. After mommy got home she put me in that darn box called a crate and took me to the Eye Dr. GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!! The Dr said that my eye is healing as it should. I still have to wear my lamp shade another 5 days because mommy told on me saying that I like to rub my face on the covers. I go back to the Eye Dr. in two weeks and they will do a tear test to make sure I have enough tears in my eye. If all goes well we are looking at hopefully having the graft removed in about 5 weeks. Thank You All for your Paw Prayers they are working. 030207 YEAAAA went to the Eye Dr today and the graft is taking. They plan to remove part of the graft in 3 weeks and I also get to start coming off my eye drops. Man 21 days until go back to the Eye Dr. That will be the longest time to wait…Thanks to all my PupPals fror keeping me in your prayers. 031607 Well one more week until Tucker goes back to the Eye Dr. and they are suppose to remove the graft that holds the blood flow to the pig implant. Lets say a prayer that all is well. We will know next Friday the 23rd. I told Tucker last nite that we are on countdown until we go to the Dr. I do not think that he wants to go but I think that I am going to have his daddy go with us maybe that will make him feel better. I have made the decision to go ahead and take Tanner to the groomer tomorrow 0324 BUT I am first going to call them I am going by faith and going back to the groomer at my vet office 032307 WOOHOOO Went to the Eye Dr. and got the graft removed. I do not have to go back to the Eye Dr unless a problem occurs. 051807 WOW cannot believe it has been almost 2 months since the eye graft was removed. Tucker is doing better. He still shys away from the bath that I give him. I am going to contact a Myspace Groomer who lives in my town and speak with him about bringing both Tucker Tanner to visit him and see what kind of reaction Tucker gives. This sorta makes me a little scared. I have been protecting him since December and am now trying to get him use to the “normal” life again. 052507 Tucker Tanner are going to visit a new groomer in the morning. This groomer knows what Tuckers issue is and has promised me that Tucker will be much Loved during his visit. I still worry. 052607 Whew we made it thru the groomer just fine. We even got home earlier than we thought. The groomer must have wore us out. We came home got water and layed down and have not gotten up except for mommy to take more pictures. 080608 Tucker Tanner still use the same groomer that I found on MySpace. Aaron and Britta are the best. Tucker still gets scared when we get in the car but once he is in the front seat he calms down. I thank Aaron and Britta for being patient with me and for the care that they give Tucker Tanner. I usually always take photos of them when they get to the groomer and when I place them in the cage. Yes I get to walk all thru their office. They hold nothing back. Much Love and Kisses Stephanie Tucker Tanner

  • Phill says:

    Why would you put a dog in a virtual microwave? Would you dry yourself in a cage? No! You use a TOWEL! Groomers should dry dogs and cats with TOWELS too! TOWELS DON’T malfunction use electricity and are WAAAAY cheaper than machinery! It’s a no brainer!

  • S says:

    I work at PetCo myself and we don’t have “dryers to put the dogs in. We put them in a kennel and put a blower on them that just blows air at room temperature. I can’t imagine why they would put a dog in a dryer….. I mean they’re not laundry.

  • trista says:

    I’d like to know if the groomer responsible was held accountable. The sad thing is probably not because who cares if dogs are hurt at groomers. I hope the groomer gets sued!

  • r says:

    A dog a living being in a fckn DRYER Is this insane…YES IT IS. I believe the human race is on the verge of collapse. If not then how do we explain ALL THE insanity GOING ON ALL OVER THE WORLD…for lack of intelligence thinking and compassion or just common sense

  • allison says:

    I used to work for groomers at PetCo. The head groomer had some questionable practices but eventually she was arrested for drug possession and child endangerment so my favorite groomer became the boss. Aside from this criminal everyone else there absolutely cared for every single animal that came through our door. I took the utmost care to treat them all like my own personal pets with patience and love and kindness. We had strict time limits for dogs in the drying cages and we checked on them every 15 minutes. Usually we dried them by hand anyway. We got many cases of neglected cats and dogs with fur so matted it came off like a carpet. So for those who are against all groomers keep in mind that some people won’t brush their dogs and the groomers are the only source of relief for these poor puppies and kitties. Yes some groomers are shady but this is why you need to meet the groomers and make sure it’s a place where the public can watch what goes on in the grooming area. Visit the place and meet other customers do your homework. Anyway I loved every single minute of that job even cleaning the cages after each dog which gets gross sometimes and I never EVER put any animals in danger. Not every groomer is Evil!

  • Maureen says:

    I stopped taking dogs to these places years ago after an ex employee told me the horrors that often happen. If you must use them stay alongside your pet!

  • claire says:

    Why would you want to put a dog in a dryer anyway?people should wash their dogs at home and let them dry in the sun. Let dogs be dogs groomers suckJust comb your dogs fur at home!.Aweful.

  • Derek says:

    Have you seen the TV advertisement for a product called Peticure? It’s a nail filing machine that is supposed to keep from harming dogs when cutting their nails. I’ve seen 3 different versions in which the dog recoils in pain after a person clips its nails too short. The scene is disturbing and I don’t understand why they have 3 different versions and harm 3 different dogs. Though this product seems designed to ease suffering during grooming the company is torturing dogs on TV just to sell their product.

  • B.J. says:

    This is all horribal. my bichon has had her nipple cut off and has had a horrible ear infection because of mean groomers. Later we found a very nice groomer to do our dog and sadly when she did ours dogs ear our dog cried of fright however now that she has been groomed many times our dog trusts our groomer with her ears. That groomer even left her job at petsmart to go to a better place because the groomers a petsmart were cruel. Now we see her at another grooming salon and always trust her with all of our dogs.

  • roxanne says:

    Why can’t they let the dog shake himself dry. My dog did that and he dried himself and wet me at the same time. what is wrong with people?? Dogs are not an accessory a mutt is the best way to go. All they need is LOVE and a little food. what the hell is all this grooming stuff????