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  • Questions Surround Dog's Death At Groomer

    Thursday, Apr 12, 2007 - 05:00 PM

    CRANSTON, R.I. -- A local pet owner wants answers after his 4-year-old dog died in the care of a groomer.

    John McGinn said he dropped off his golden retriever, Sam, at a Cranston animal groomer on Monday for a bath and haircut.

    "Last thing I said to her was, 'That's my baby, so make sure you take care of him,'" McGinn said.

    McGinn said an hour later, he got a phone from the owner of Artistic Dog and Cat Grooming that left him and his wife Tara shocked and in tears.

    "He said that my dog just dropped. A 4-year-old golden retriever just doesn’t drop,” McGinn said.

    Groomers told McGinn that they performed CPR and Sam was rushed to Atwood Animal Hospital but it was too late. He was dead on arrival.

    The McGinns ordered a necropsy, which they said found choke chain impressions around the dog's neck. Cranston police ordered their own necropsy from Tufts University, and they are waiting for the results.

    McGinn said Sam's groomer broke down in tears and admitted she left the dog unattended for a minute or two.

    "A dog on a choke chain. You don't leave a dog on a choke chain, and that's what happened -- he hung himself," McGinn said.

    The McGinns claim the grooming place was negligent but the owner, Daryl Noonan, refuted that.

    Noonan agreed to an on-camera interview with NBC 10 but changed his mind on advice from his lawyer.

    Instead, Noonan sent a statement that said, in part, "After the bath, two groomers picked up and placed the dog on the floor and then walked Sam to the drying table area. Sam was hooked to the back of the table. The groomer turned to get a dryer from another table, when the groomer turned back around the dog collapsed on the table."

    The McGinns are looking into suing Artistic Dog and Cat Grooming, but a lawyer said their options are limited under Rhode Island law.

    "Those damages are limited to the value of the animal, and it doesn't take into account the pain and suffering or emotional distress," attorney Kristin Rodgers said.

    The McGinns said they're not thinking about a lawsuit for the money and that no amount could bring Sam back.

    "I just want people to be aware that a simple procedure of grooming can end up in death if someone isn't paying attention to your dog," McGinn said.

    The owner of Artistic Grooming said Cranston Animal Control checked out his facility and found no wrongdoing on the part of the salon.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

  • #2
    Piercing the Corporate Veil

    I am using this tragedy to give you an example of how the protection of a corporation can become worthless.

    IF, note IF, this groomer is found grossly negligient the owners could proceed to get a judgment against the corporation, and even so far as to request the corporate protection be eliminated to collect the judgment from assets of the owners personal property, and not just corporate assets. Some states have additional strong protections against the latter but in cases of gross negligence it can be granted. For example, this would be extremely difficult in Nevada. In the end it will matter by case law of the state in which your business resides, as each has their own corporate law and procedure for corporations. However, I have seen this happen to a pet care provider first hand.

    However, RI is a state that puts value only the replacement of the pet. However, many states have reversed such a statute and allowed the first case to ask for pain and suffering, etc. The more media attention and proof the salon owner is at fault, the more likely this can happen.

    Carry malpractice insurance.

    ...

    IF, note IF, it is true about the choke chain marks, this dog more likely hung itself and they placed the dog back on the table. Actually having seen such cases the eyes tend to bulge, in other words there will be other signs. Yes, perhaps something the pet owner did to leave marks? Well, I guess there's another reason for a close inspection before accepting a pet. Was the choke chain from the owner? Obviously a groomer should know to never use one and use loops and breakaways etc. only. So much unanswered.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

    Comment


    • #3
      The way a business attorney at my small business class explained piercing the corporate viel was a bit different than your description of gross negligence.

      He told us If you were to consistently mix personal and business monies in a less than professional manner that it would leave you open to personal liability in the case of a lawsuit. He didn't mention anything about the protection being waived by the court due to just negligence.

      Intersting subject though, I'll have to check into it further.

      Stephen: Happens all the time even in other industries. What you describe is possible, but certainly not the only route.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wish for once we would get the WHOLE story out of these "grooming incident headlines".

        As for: "He said that my dog just dropped. A 4-year-old golden retriever just doesn’t drop,” McGinn said. - Yes, sometimes 4 year old dogs DO just drop and die. Many a young, 'healthy' dog drops dead of an unknown heart condition or some other cause. Unfortunately I've seen that happen at a groomer.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Chicken View Post
          I wish for once we would get the WHOLE story out of these "grooming incident headlines".

          As for: "He said that my dog just dropped. A 4-year-old golden retriever just doesn’t drop,” McGinn said. - Yes, sometimes 4 year old dogs DO just drop and die. Many a young, 'healthy' dog drops dead of an unknown heart condition or some other cause. Unfortunately I've seen that happen at a groomer.
          Agree. Happened with a cat while it was boarding with us. Unknown heart condition.
          Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job. ~Franklin P. Jones

          Comment


          • #6
            So sad, but, yes, indeed, dogs do 'just drop'. For that matter, so do humans. Goldens can have a heart problem, SAS, that would, indeed, cause the dog to drop dead. Hope the necropsy finds the truth here.
            Old groomers never die, they just go at a slower clip.

            Groom on!!!

            Comment


            • #7
              corporate laws

              Would a person just talk to their lawyer to find out theirs state corporate laws?
              I would hate to loose my personal assets if anything ever went wrong in my business.
              And I pray nothing ever does go wrong!

              Comment


              • #8
                Any news updates.

                Living close to where this happened I think we probably heard about this before most people. I have been watching for updates but have found nothing. Does anyone seen any additional info?

                Who uses a choke chain for grooming?

                Jason

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jaeinn View Post
                  Living close to where this happened I think we probably heard about this before most people. I have been watching for updates but have found nothing. Does anyone seen any additional info?

                  Who uses a choke chain for grooming?

                  Jason
                  I know a lot of Goldens and Labs that you can't control without a choke chain. A few that you can barely control even with a choke chain. I wouldn't use one on them in the tub or table, or tie one up while wearing one, but for walking them from one place to another, yep, I'll use one.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Like others stated, I'm in agreement. Dogs do "just drop". I've seen it. Not while grooming, but I've worked at a place that was boarding 2 healthy German Shepherds. One started to bleed profusely and died instantly. After a necropsy, that dog was found to have cancer and a bunch of other things wrong with it.

                    Also I posted a thread on here a couple months ago about a Lab that was boarding at my current job. He was perfectly fine, the next day when he was at home, he just dropped and died. Turned out he had cancer too. His cancer was so bad, the vet didn't even know where it started.

                    Heck, if a dog stresses enough, no matter the health, it can die. More than not it will have a seizure or something else. But death can be an immediate reaction to severe stress.
                    Becky

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree with you guys. Just a few months ago a woman came running up barely able to carry her big shepherd mix, he was only 2 years old if I remember correctly. They were playing ball and he just fell over dead. There was nothing they could do, they tried reviving him but he was gone...It was hard for all of us to watch, and of course the owner was really upset.

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