Puppy dies after ‘improper use of a heated cage dryer’ at groomers

Harry's owner has launched a petition calling for Scotland's grooming industry to be regulated following his death.

Puppy dies after ‘improper use of a heated cage dryer’ at groomers Pamela Rodgers via Change.org
Harry: Puppy died after suffering a collapsed intestine.

A pet owner has launched a petition calling for Scotland’s grooming industry to be regulated after her puppy died following a visit to a groomers in Ayrshire.

Harry, the nine month old cockapoo, had to be put down after suffering a collapsed intestine when he was said to have been left in a heated cage dryer for 30 minutes.

Harry’s owner Lisa, from Kilmarnock, has been left heartbroken by his death and said he died due to “negligent grooming and improper use of a heated cage dryer.”

The SPCA have said Harry’s death was not clinically attributable to the groomers, but backed the petition.

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Through the online petition on Change.Org she is hoping to gather enough support to bring forward legislation that will see the pet grooming industry regulated.

On the petition page, Lisa describes how around an hour after dropping Harry off at the groomers, she received a call saying he had collapsed.

After rushing him to a vet, she was advised to go to Glasgow for specialist treatment.

However after two days of trying to save him, Harry had to be put down.

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The petition, which has been signed by over 3000 people since it was launched last week, is looking to raise awareness of the dangers posed by the heated cages and the fact that there is no legal requirement for groomers to tell owners that their dog has been in one.

It says: “Are you aware of the dangers of heated cage dryers? Are you aware that dogs have died from heatstroke in these dryers?

“In all likelihood your dog has been inside one, but you won’t know that because groomers don’t have to tell you.

“Harry died as a result of negligent grooming and improper use of a heated cage dryer.

“The groomer responsible is still a groomer.”

She added: “There is no regulation of the pet grooming industry. Groomers do not need qualifications and are not licensed.

“They are subject to no rules or regulations, do not need to disclose information to you about how they will groom your animal or the equipment they will use, and are not even obliged to tell you if they have injured or killed an animal during grooming previously.”

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The petition calls on Scottish ministers to use their powers to introduce regulation for all dog groomers.

It says: “If this petition gets enough signatures, Scottish Ministers can be asked to consider introducing regulations which will help to keep our beloved pets safe. 

“This petition seeks to influence Scottish Ministers to use the powers legally available to them to regulate the pet grooming industry.

“This industry must be regulated to ensure the safety of beloved pets is protected by good practices, licensed groomers, and safe equipment.”

The groomer involved has since responded to the claims, saying: “I’m totally devastated by this and for the owners.

“We have now stopped using the cabinet dryer and have signed the petition.

“The SSCPA have now stated that Harry’s post-mortem has come back and was not heat related nor unrelated condition.

“Harry died of “intussusception”, this is when a part of the intestine telescopes or folds in on itself.

“It can occur in dogs all shapes and sizes and around 80% of affected animals are less than a year old.

“We are still heartbroken this has happened, and our hearts go to Harry’s family.”

Scottish SPCA chief inspector Laura McIntyre said: “In May 2021 we investigated the heart-breaking death of a dog when he fell ill at a groomers shortly after being in a drying cage.

“The dog was taken to a private vet where his condition sadly deteriorated and he was ultimately put to sleep. We arranged for a post-mortem to take place, by an external organisation, in order to fully investigate the circumstances. This post-mortem found the dog had not died from heatstroke.

“A follow-up check was also undertaken by a Scottish SPCA vet. Given the clinical view from veterinary experts was that the cause of death was not heatstroke or any other issue attributable to the treatment in the groomers, the investigation was closed.

“Expert opinion from veterinary professionals is crucial to any investigation the Scottish SPCA carries out.

“Dogs should be under constant supervision whilst at a groomers. It can be a stressful situation for some dogs and every step should be taken to ensure they are safe and comfortable at all times.

“The rapid increase of dog ownership in Scotland has led to a boom in businesses such as groomers. Whilst many are reliable, well-trained and care about the welfare of the dogs they groom, the Scottish SPCA backs greater regulation of the industry.

“Owners should do their research, check reviews and try to use a reputable groomer at all times.”