A former top footballer has highlighted the need to regulate in some way pet grooming salons or to improve the quality of the drying boxes used in grooming parlors in the UK.
Former Liverpool footballer, Daniel Agger, has lost his dog, Charlie, at a dog groomers. It is hard to write it, but Charlie was cooked to death. Too much heat was applied to him for too long.
In the stark language of Mr Agger’s wife:
“He went to the groomer and never came home again.”
It was the same old story – this exact same disaster has happened too often before. Charlie had been washed and was being dried in an drying box. These devices are commonly used by grooming salons.
In this tragic example of a not uncommon event we don’t know if the machine was faulty or if the machine was used incorrectly. It would be nice to know.
The same UK newspaper, the Daily Mail, reported a very similar story in April 2010 of a Shih tzu puppy, Daisy, who was simply “baked to death” at a dog grooming parlour.
The dog’s owner, Travis Melton, claimed the groomer had cooked their beloved dog to death. Travis left his dog at the parlour but when he returned to collect her he was told she was dead. Shocking.
What happened in this case was the employee put the puppy in the drying box and went on a lunch break. (S)he asked a colleague to keep an eye on the drying process. Clearly her colleagues failed to do as requested. Daisy chocked on her own womit.
A petition to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, UK, which closed on 22nd January 2014, requested that the dog and cat grooming industry be regulated with specific reference to the operation and type the drying cages used.
The petitioner states that the family’s 12 year-old dog, Dusty, was killed on 30th July 2012 in a metal dog crate with an industrial hairdryer pointed at Dusty. The groomer took a telephone call and forgot about Dusty, who was severely burnt internally and externally. She as euthanised.
The Problem and Cure
The problem seems to be two-fold.
The deaths were caused either by (a) careless use of good hair dryers/drying devices or (b) poor hair drying systems or devices were used.
Regulations should make it obligatory that all dog and cat groomers only use authorised devices and that the devices comply with certain standards which must include reference to an automatic cut-out after a set maximum time and that the temperature is automatically limited: an automatic cut out when the temperature reaches a certain ambient level (i.e. temperature in the box as opposed to the set temperature).
My gut feeling is that the majority or all of these catastrophes occurred because the dog was left in the dryer for too long because the operator failed to manually turn it off. Why isn’t there an automatic cut-out on these machines? Manual controls alone are not adequate under such potentially hazardous circumstances.
It should be impossible to override automatic cut outs. There will always be a possibility of operator error but all efforts should be made to minimise them.
In this article all the references are to dogs but cats can be injured at groomers too. My mind turns to Darlene, a friend of PoC living in America. She lost her dearly beloved cat, Hugs, at a groomers.