An incident involving the unfortunate death of a small poodle and cocker spaniel mix has made headlines this past weekend as the dog’s owners are filing both a lawsuit and a police report to the groomer’s place in which it happened. Seven-year-old Max was visiting the groomer’s for a routine trim for his dark grey fur at his usual Shaggy Dog Puppies in Michigan. Max never did make it back home.
His owners, Dennis and Maureen St. Clair, dropped off their beloved pet and became worried after they never received the usual call to pick him up. Dennis decided to drive to the groomer as an attempt to find out what was going on. He still had hopes that maybe they had just forgotten to call him back, and made the drive quite anxiously. What he saw next is an image Dennis might just never forget.
As soon as he got through the door, Dennis saw Cindy, the groomer, as “she was coming out the back door with a dog wrapped in blankets and just soaking wet,” Dennis explained to Fox News. “And I looked and said, ‘Oh God, I hope it isn’t my dog,’ and it was Max, foaming at the mouth.”
Max had been a regular at Shaggy Dog Puppies, and had just been there the previous week for his usual trim and a nail clip. Max’s body was in a terrible state, fully covered with chemical burns and his grey fur falling out. Dennis quickly drove Max to the nearest veterinarian, but there was nothing the vet could do. Max was in terrible condition and passed away.
Cindy and the staff at the groomer told Dennis that Max was barking a lot and nobody could make him sit quietly, so they then shut Max in the closet to try to calm him down. The utility closet had numerous gallons of chemicals on stands, some of which apparently fell down and poured over Max’s body. They were not told, however, what type of chemicals were spilled or why nobody had called them sooner – something that may have just been able to save Max’s life.
The St. Clair’s lawyers told Fox News that this particular groomer had already had a previous incident some years ago after a dog died when being left alone in a cage with a hot dryer. The owner of Shaggy Dog Puppies attempted to offer a new dog to the St. Clair’s, but they promptly denied and will instead be filling a police report as an attempt to shut down the store.
The sad story of Max’s death serves a reminder to always be careful where you leave your dog as you can’t always ensure it will be taken care of in somebody else’s hands. Always look for recommendations and try to visit any facility before leaving your dog to see what type of services are given and the care that is given to the dogs they are handling.