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I recently took my pet for a cut and wash to a repeat groomer. After picking up my dog, all appeared well, but once in the car, my pet was bleeding all over my hands, clothes and himself. Not just a little blood, but a lot of blood. I immediately rushed back to the groomers for assistance and they took my dog into the back room to try and stop the bleeding.

My partner and I proceeded to walk to the back and into the bathroom to remove the blood off of our hands only to be told by the daycare manager that we couldn't be in the back due to insurance reasons. We proceeded to the front only to continue a long exchange of words with the daycare manager (it appeared that she was the only one in charge at the time). After hearing my pet yelping in the backroom I requested that my pet be returned to me if I couldn’t keep an eye on him while they attempted to stop the bleeding. She hastily went into the back room, picked up my dog and came up front and basically dropped the dog into my arms as if to say "get out, it's not my problem and I don't have a resolution".

I asked her if she would call one of the owners, their insurance company, or their local veterinarian. She said she didn't know any insurance information, she had no veterinary hospital I could go to, and refused to call one of the two owners. Not once did the daycare manager apologize for the incident nor did she take responsibility for the injury that they caused my pet. I'm appalled by lack of professionalism at her attempt to resolve this issue during an emergency. Once we got home, the bleeding stopped. We were able to see that a portion of his foot pad was completely sliced off. I understand that accidents happen and that my pet will survive, but I'm most upset in the manner in which they handled the incident. I'm disappointed that they never bothered to confess to the injury, over the phone or upon my arrival to pick up my pet. Maybe they thought I wouldn't notice.

I filed a complaint to the BBB and have yet to hear back from the owner. I was planning on calling one of the owners, in the next couple days, to get many of my questions answered. But aside from that, is there anything else I can do? Are they required to have an insurance policy for pets/injuries? If so, why would she hesitate to help me? I would like to put this behind me, but the knot in my stomach is a daily reminder and only infuriates me that they could get away with this type of business etiquette.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I would be livid if I was in your shoes. I understand accidents happen but the fact they wouldn't take any responsibility for it would infuriate me.

I would keep trying to get a hold of the owners and try to get their information. They must have insurance for these situations.
 

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Their attitude is appalling! Did you take your dog to a vet - a report from a vet would be very helpful in making a claim against the owners.
 

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They *should* have insurance. However, all that will do is pay a vet bill. There is no governing body requiring insurance for groomers, but it would be stupid to not have it. Yes, like you said, accidents can and do happen. But this was handled ALL WRONG and you have every right to be upset. They should have told you up front the pad was cut, and what to do if it started bleeding again. I am a groomer, and yes, I have cut pads before. It happens. We are working on moving animals with very sharp imstruments, and things happen. Pads rarely do not bleed right away, so its unlikely that the groomer didnt realize it was cut. Its possible that if the groomer was gone, the daycare manager didnt relay info from the groomer to you? Regardless, this was handled unprofessionally and rudely. I would put a call in to the owner of the business immediately, and call every day, every hour if you have to in order to speak with the person in charge. There isnt anything you can really do or get done, except a refund and to voice to the owner how you were treated. But that is enough, and if I were the owner, and this happened when I wasnt there, I would dertainly want to know, and heads would be flying! I am sorry for the way you were treated and I hope that you wont hold this incident against all groomers and pet businesses.
 

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They *should* have insurance. However, all that will do is pay a vet bill. There is no governing body requiring insurance for groomers, but it would be stupid to not have it. Yes, like you said, accidents can and do happen. But this was handled ALL WRONG and you have every right to be upset. They should have told you up front the pad was cut, and what to do if it started bleeding again. I am a groomer, and yes, I have cut pads before. It happens. We are working on moving animals with very sharp imstruments, and things happen. Pads rarely do not bleed right away, so its unlikely that the groomer didnt realize it was cut. Its possible that if the groomer was gone, the daycare manager didnt relay info from the groomer to you? Regardless, this was handled unprofessionally and rudely. I would put a call in to the owner of the business immediately, and call every day, every hour if you have to in order to speak with the person in charge. There isnt anything you can really do or get done, except a refund and to voice to the owner how you were treated. But that is enough, and if I were the owner, and this happened when I wasnt there, I would dertainly want to know, and heads would be flying! I am sorry for the way you were treated and I hope that you wont hold this incident against all groomers and pet businesses.
Absolutely agree with this!

The first thing I would do is get to a vet, get photos, and document EVERYTHING! Explain to the vet how this happened, and have them document every little detail of the pet's condition in the record. And get copies!

Then, go back to the groomer, copies and photos in hand, and request (POLITELY) to speak with the highest manager possible. Show him or her everything, and ask what they will do about it. Be respectful at all times.

If a solution cannot be agreed upon, seek a lawyer. And don't rely on the BBB to do anything. These days, they are not consumer advocates, but business advocates. It does not hurt to file with them, but don't presume it will solve your problem.

Good luck, and I hope everything works out!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all for your input. I did take my dog to the Vet, I wanted to make sure he was going to heal OK. The Vet put him on antibiotics and a paw cover/sock to prevent infection.

I finally received a call from one of the owners and we were able to resolve. They did apologize and will refund the grooming cost along with the vet bill. She mentioned that she would advise her staff that incidents do occur and, if and when they occur, the main objection would be to allow the customer to, at the very least, let the customer keep an eye on their pet while they assist in the injury, regardless, of the "insurance" policy and rules they have placed while the owners away.

Every case may be different if injuries occur; however, i still don't agree that the daycare manager has the skill to "fill in" while the owners away. To me that's just common sense. It's a big risk to take and they should train their staff for cases like mine.

The owner also mentioned that she was working at a nearby Vet hospital, when the injury occurred, had she known my pet was injured, she would have asked me to bring my him there for assistance.
 

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I am glad that the owner stepped up and made it right as best she could, and that changes will be made in her business to make sure this would be handled better should there be an accident again.
 

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Wow, that's horrible. Hope your pet is recovering fine and it wasn't to bad. I don't know much about dog grooming or how common this is, but I'd think if the pet was moving around, the professional should be able to make the call that the dog isn't calm enough to safely have a sharp object near them. Dentists won't work on kids that scream or move around, so I wouldn't expect a groomer to work on a dog that can't be still either.

Luckily they business owner is paying for the vet bills, so you don't have to take them to court. In the future or for anyone else wondering, taking someone to court (small claims) isn't hard or expensive and you don't need a lawyer. You just pay a small $20-$30 fee and tell your story to the judge and provide pictures and your vet bill.

Now I'm not a lawyer (I do online marketing & web design by trade), but I used to work in a dental office and while working there, I remember a few times the Dr having to go to small claims because a patient didn't heal right and believed it was the Dr's fault. Even when the Dr wins in court, it's still a big deal. Usually patients have to be rescheduled and some staff had to be given the day off just so the Dr and staff that witnessed the incident could appear in court. Each small claim ended up costing the Dr several thousand dollars. So it was a pretty smart move on the business owner to settle early and pay the vet bills. Not to mention being the right thing to do.

Being a marketing guy, I'd personally go one step further and make darn sure anyone who looked up the groomer on the internet was able to read my story. I'd be posting my story on craigslist, Yelp, Angie's List, dog forums, blogs, BBB, online newspaper websites (in the comments of a related story), etc. And to make sure the post appears for people doing a Google search, I'd use the business name and a few search terms in the title of the post (example: "Marth's Pet Grooming in Riverside CA - Dog Injured and bleeding. Worst groomer EVER!"). By phrasing your titles or heading right and putting them on popular sites, the bad review will show up on the first page of Google and in some cases will stay there for a very long time. In your particular case you probably don't need to go that far since they did their best to right their wrong. So maybe just a short review in Yelp and CL would do.
 

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If I turned away every dog that wiggled or moved,while grooming them, I wouldnt have dogs to groom, and no one would be getting their dogs groomed if all groomers sent away a wiggly dog. They are animals, and they move. Accidents happen, its how this situation was handled that was the problem, and the owner is doing everything in their power to rectify it as much as possible. Slamming them publicly all over the internet is just typical of the sue happy society we live in, and gets nothing resolved for this OP nor does it help someone looking for a groomer, because EVERY groomer has cut a dog on accident, and if they say they havent, they are either lying or havent been grooming very long. No matter how careful you are, you cannot always predict a dogs movement before its too late. Its a fraction of a second, thats all it takes.
 

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The owner also mentioned that she was working at a nearby Vet hospital, when the injury occurred, had she known my pet was injured, she would have asked me to bring my him there for assistance.
That was a little odd that the daycare manager told you there was not a vet on call. In both grooming and daycare, accidents can happen and dogs can be injured. There should be a vet that they can use.
 

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Being a marketing guy, I'd personally go one step further and make darn sure anyone who looked up the groomer on the internet was able to read my story. I'd be posting my story on craigslist, Yelp, Angie's List, dog forums, blogs, BBB, online newspaper websites (in the comments of a related story), etc. And to make sure the post appears for people doing a Google search, I'd use the business name and a few search terms in the title of the post (example: "Marth's Pet Grooming in Riverside CA - Dog Injured and bleeding. Worst groomer EVER!"). By phrasing your titles or heading right and putting them on popular sites, the bad review will show up on the first page of Google and in some cases will stay there for a very long time. In your particular case you probably don't need to go that far since they did their best to right their wrong. So maybe just a short review in Yelp and CL would do.
If the owner apologized, refunded the grooming fee, and paid for the vet, I'm not sure I'd go out of my way to try to ruin her business. Hopefully the daycare manager also got an attitude adjustment or walking papers.
 

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Very well said!!!
If I turned away every dog that wiggled or moved,while grooming them, I wouldnt have dogs to groom, and no one would be getting their dogs groomed if all groomers sent away a wiggly dog. They are animals, and they move. Accidents happen, its how this situation was handled that was the problem, and the owner is doing everything in their power to rectify it as much as possible. Slamming them publicly all over the internet is just typical of the sue happy society we live in, and gets nothing resolved for this OP nor does it help someone looking for a groomer, because EVERY groomer has cut a dog on accident, and if they say they havent, they are either lying or havent been grooming very long. No matter how careful you are, you cannot always predict a dogs movement before its too late. Its a fraction of a second, thats all it takes.
 

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I think these things happen because of insurance. No insurance company would allow a customer where dogs can bite and scissors can cut, but who can keep a dog calmest? His owner. It's a catch 22 for the groomer.

I never had my old dog groomed because no way anyone but me could do any of that to him safely, either for him or the groomer.
 

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I think these things happen because of insurance. No insurance company would allow a customer where dogs can bite and scissors can cut, but who can keep a dog calmest? His owner. It's a catch 22 for the groomer.

I never had my old dog groomed because no way anyone but me could do any of that to him safely, either for him or the groomer.
This is why we dont really allow people to come in to the grooming area. our insurance wont cover them. Offcourse if we really need to, we do allow it. Such as a really agressive dog we could not get out of a crate. Had to get the owner in to come remove it. Same with a cat in a crate. We did once try to have a owner hold a very senior shih tzu for us while we tried to groom its face safley. all that happened was alot of blood due to the many bites it gave the groomer and owner. I do find 9 times out of 10 dog owners work their dogs up more then calm them down. Most dogs will act out even more when their owners are there.
 

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I think these things happen because of insurance. No insurance company would allow a customer where dogs can bite and scissors can cut, but who can keep a dog calmest? His owner. It's a catch 22 for the groomer.

I never had my old dog groomed because no way anyone but me could do any of that to him safely, either for him or the groomer.
I have never had an owner being there help in any way with keeping him calmer. All they do is try to climb on or look at the owner, etc and the groomer needs the dogs undivided attention. Owners being there in sight or near the table is an accident waiting to happen.
 

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I have a similar experience with my groomer and need advice. Ive been going to this groomer for 5 yrs about 2/3x a year. My dog is now 7yo and has a torn ligament in her back right leg (vet doesnt recommend surgery?. We warned our groomer of this so to take extra precaution/care. They call for me to pick her up and when i arrive one of the groomers says, "your dog had an accident but dont worry shes fine. Her back leg fell off the table but i caught her before she fell. Her pad must have got hit or caught and she started bleeding a little bit but we bandaged it." When i asked if our vet should be consulted her reply was, "no just keep it wrapped a few days it should be fine." Why i asked a dog groomer a medical question...i dont know. But now both my dogs back legs are injured. I decided to consult my vet to make sure no infection or stitches had to be done. I called the groomer to get info on exactly what happened, severity of injury an she was very friendly. The moment i brought up expecting them to pay any ver bill her tone of voice changed and her language used was that of a high schooler. She said she didnt think they had to pay because it was not in their error. I talked to the owner who agreed that it was our dogs fault because she backed off the table. I told her i understand it was an accident an it happens but my dog was under their care. The owner stood her ground with an attitude that they were not at fault and a sarcastic apology. My vet and vet techs all agreed with my side that a dog can not be held accountable and they should have held her better and taken responsibility. Im very fristrated and im not sure what to do. Luckily my dog was ok and only split her nail which will heal in 5 wks.
 

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As a groomer, I would not pay a vet bill like this. The dog likely was favoring the other hind leg, and because of that, was putting all its weight on the good hind leg, which grew tired, and he stumbled and slipped off. It happens. The groomer did the right thing by preventing a fall. Its hard enough keeping a dog on the table with 4 good legs, much less one with an injury that affect weight bearing. Its a risk you take when having an injured dog groomed, IMO. If your dog is a large dog, it makes it even harder, as the groomer has to steady a heavy dog, that is stumbling to the side, likely the side of the table the groomer isnt standing on, to prevent this. I guess it could be compared to a mentally disable person getting a haircut. If they dont understand hold still, and the hairdresser nicks them when they turn their head sharply, whose fault is it? IMO its no ones fault. It happens. Luckily your dogs injury is minor and he will be fine in a few days. In this day and age I know how everyone is sued for everything, etc., but there really are instances of "just accident" where no one is at fault. I understand being upset, and I am guessing the groomer was upset when you called them, upset, and felt defensive because you are a multiple repeat customer, they have taken good care of your dog numerous times, and an accident happens where they did all they could to keep your dog safe. Unfortunately, they resorted to unprofessional behavior and because of that, you will have to decide whether to find another groomer or not.
 

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I have a high strung big dog (giant schnauzer) -- b/c of concerns like these... I learned to groom her myself, and got pretty good at clipping (I walk her in SF and get stopped all the time by people asking me who I take her to for grooming)....
 

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Benena, I am just so sorry to hear about your problem, but I am glad the the owner responded. How long was it though for the owner to do something?

Accidents DO happen and by leaving our beloved pets in other people's care, we take the risk of an injury happening out of our sight. I also understand the "employee's only" policy and can sympathize because it is a direct result of our litigious society and any business has a right to protect itself. That said, the way this was handled was completely unprofessional. My main problem is with the so-called "manager", who clearly has no managerial experience whatsoever.

Any manager should know about insurance, injuries and what to do in case of an emergency. Also, any manager should know how to deal with unhappy customers and treating you as if you were nothing is definitely the WRONG way to handle it. Not to mention the manager was obviously lying if the owner was working for a vet when the incident occurred. I cannot believe for a second that the manager didn't know this. Also, I cannot believe the manager couldn't reach the owner in an emergency.

The manager should be fired or at the very least, retrained and told to offer you an apology.

I am a human nurse and believe me when I say that I have dealt with a ton of unhappy family members for various reasons. Usually it's not that they are mad at us for our care, but they are in fear. The fear is worry that their loved one is hurt, or in pain coupled with the fact that we don't know or understand that, which of course we very much do. In the end, the best way to handle any situation is to reassure them that we understand their fears, that we will do everything we can to make them comfortable and that they will be well taken care of. 95% of the time this really helps them relax and helps resolve the entire problem.

You unfortunately got none of this, so that adds to the stress of the situation.

If you do decide to go the route that Vindicated suggests, please be sure to also include that the owner did resolve it. This lets the public be fully informed, so that they can make their own decision. I know I certainly wouldn't want to use their day care, if nothing else.

I hope your baby is feeling better soon.
 
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