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  • Advice on a 12 dog household

    Hey everyone, I was just wondering if any of you had any insights on this situation....Got a call from a lady who has 12 dogs(all different sizes and breeds), so I agree to groom them a few at a time so that she can afford to have it done...well now into the 3rd week of doing them and after initially thinking that she must own a chunk of land in order to house that many dogs, and realizing every time I show up the situation becomes worse....

    Not only does she not own any land, she houses these poor things in a duplex(my van is larger than the whole driveway) I've not seen all 12 of them at once, nor do I want to, and she is having me shave them all to the bone, so 6-8 months from now, she can call and I'll be able to do it again(NOT)!!!!!

    She has no intention of keeping them on a regular schedule, and I'm not even sure if these dogs ever go outside- there always locked in a bedroom when I show up---

    Is there any way to get out of this situation tactfully, or should I just finish the 12, and not ever reschedule----
    I'm also pondering calling animal services, not that I don't think her heart is in the right spot, I just feel so bad for these dogs, they never see the light of day....I don't think they are neglected, just have a bad feeling about the whole thing

    HELP!!!!!!! PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!

  • #2
    Hording or accuring more animals than you can adequatle take care of is a problem. She is probably not delibratly harming them but has gotten into a situation where she is overwhelmed and truly may need help. I would consider reporting her not simply for the dogs welfare but for hers as well. I guess finishing them is up to you.

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    • #3
      What condition are the dogs in to begin with? Are they matted or covered in excrement? If they're not in bad shape, have enough to eat, etc. Then I don't know that there's anything you really need to do. The shear cost of having to shave down 12 dogs every six months.. Well, I couldn't blame the owners for not wanting to have 12 dogs groomed every 6 weeks

      However unless there is a law in that area about the max number of dogs permitted per residence, then there isn't anything that could/should be done (IMO).

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      • #4
        dog limits

        In my county, any more than three dogs and you need a kennel license.
        You are limited to 7 , unless you have a litter with pups less than
        so many months old. I think, but am not sure, that if you have a kennel and breed, your suposed to have a permited use permit as well. That boils down to neighbors that don't mind.

        I think 12 is way to many if the place is that small. I have five, 2 of which are under twenty pounds and thats a lot to me. We do have two acres for them though.

        You can always check your zoneing and animal regs. and see.

        Does she look like she can afford food? Does she look healthy?

        I know I go through at least 2 large bags for the 4 and a small for the
        terrier that takes special food each month. I can't imagne feeding that many.
        If you groom them it will help her case, as she can prove she is having them done. I would check their health and see how it goes.
        I sure would keep a watch on the owner.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Peaster View Post
          Hording or accuring more animals than you can adequatle take care of is a problem. She is probably not delibratly harming them but has gotten into a situation where she is overwhelmed and truly may need help. I would consider reporting her not simply for the dogs welfare but for hers as well. I guess finishing them is up to you.
          i agree with peaster. i think people that do this usually start out with good intentions, but then things usually turn out bad because most people cannot take care of that many animals properly. then we read in the paper that this person has to go to court because someone reported seeing a dead dog tied to the tree in their backyard.( i saw that report not too long ago) it's very sad. maybe you should do them this one time and tell her after that you can only groom for people who keep their pets on a schedule of at least so many weeks. your choice. do they look ok? or do they look neglected? besides being matted, i mean.

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          • #6
            As far as their well-being, it wouldn't hurt to have her checked out by animal control. If you don't want the gig anymore, I would at least finish the first round, if nothing else for the pet's sake, and just inform her that you are no longer taking clients will not book every 8 weeks or less...or whatever you choose. As far as letting her go, there are many tactful ways to go about it. If she really is caring for them properly, I would continue to groom them and make sure to charge enough. Especially is she is a pleasant person...that is just my opinion from a business owner's standpoint.

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            • #7
              I have groomed at 2 12 dog households...1 I still do, the other I will not be doing again. One household I go to every 3 weeks and groom 6 of the dogs and brush out the other 6, the next time I groom the other 6. This woman has the means to take care of the dogs and actually hired someone to be there everyday just for the dogs. The other was a home of 12 pomeranians...they were a mess...all matted and covered in excrement, but otheriwise seemed cared for and well fed. They were to be an every 6 months form what I can tell, and they're about due. I will simply tell them that my schedule is full with clients on an routine schedule.
              don't find yourself up a creek without a poodle.

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              • #8
                Here is my thought... if you don't take care of their grooming needs then who will? Aren't you helping them?

                Most animal services won't do anything if she is "showing improvements" in their well being. This means, she gets them groomed, she keeps them fed and clean, they have fresh water and a sanitary environment.

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                • #9
                  Well......

                  Originally posted by rocky1 View Post
                  She has no intention of keeping them on a regular schedule, and I'm not even sure if these dogs ever go outside- there always locked in a bedroom when I show up---
                  ....as someone else said, can't blame her for not wanting to do them every month and a half, that would be a hefty chunk of change! Before anyone jumps on me for saying that, what kind of condition are the dogs in, anyway? Do they seem healthy, parasite free, well-fed, happy? Are their coats in reasonable condition, or are they filthy matted messes? As far as them being locked in a bedroom when you show up, I would personally think that was maybe just her way of keeping the whole 'herd' from tackling you on
                  arrival! ;-) After all, she knows when you'll be arriving.

                  Not trying to be argumentative here, just saying it's not enough info for us to say, "String her up!"lol Be careful and be sure before you come to a conclusion about the situation. :-)

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                  • #10
                    Check it out before judging please

                    I can keep several dogs the same as some people can keep one.

                    I know a lot from my intense interest in dogs, my background working in several vet clinics & generous people who have shared their secrets over the years.

                    If you are interested in grooming these dogs go check it out.
                    Erica

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                    • #11
                      I'm not sure about animal services, but if your not interested in returning you can tell her that you can not accomodate clients that are not willing to get their dogs groomed on a regular schedule. If asked to elaborate on that, you can explain that you have many regular clients that are willing to keep their dogs well maintained and you don't wish to steer away from your schedule, you have your route well planned and clients who are not able to reschedule can not be worked back into your route, etc.

                      I've explained this for people who expect us to work with their financial situation to the point that it does interfere with my own regulars and I tell them that I can not afford the time that it would take in excess to my regular work week in order to accomodate their financial needs. I would kindly explain that in order to get the services she wants only every 6 mos, she should find a shop or groomer who takes once or twice a year grooms.

                      OR, you could increase the price and explain that due to the poor ondition of these animals it takes longer, therefore it will take more $$$$$

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                      • #12
                        What about their vaccines?

                        While reporting them to animal welfare may not have any consequences as far as the condition of the dogs or the number of dogs, depending on where you live, I can only imagine that it's a pretty hefty chunk of change to get all of those dogs vaccinated yearly as well. I hope, and will assume that you aren't grooming without proof of vaccines. If you do decide to report her, that may get her into some hot water if any one of those dogs is not current. Just a thought.

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                        • #13
                          I wouldn't call anyone unless you see signs of neglect. If they are in reasonable condition (grooming wise) and seem well fed and up-to-date on rabies (at least)and otherwise healthy I see no reason to call. You said she locked them in her bedroom so I am assuming you went inside. What was the interior of her home like? Did it smell horrible like feces, or even worse like dead animals? I ask this because anytime you see a news story on animal horders there home is always a disaster and the reporters always stress on the smell of the place. Did you notice if there was someone living on the other side of the duplex? If she has that close of a neighbor and the dogs are not being cared for surely they would be the first ones to call.

                          As far as their grooming needs, I like what furrybeastjob does w/her client. Maybe you could talk her into doing B/B on half and full grooms on the other half on a more routine schedule (if you are interested). Even doing 4 every month could work if they are being shaved so close each time...just something to think about.

                          Anyway, that is just my input. But I would like to say that I think it is awsome that you are so concerned about your doggie clients welfare. I wish the Groomer Bashers that we see so often in the news would read some of these posts on this board and they could understand that there ARE groomers that actually love their jobs and do take them seriously! JMHO ;-)
                          SheilaB from SC

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                          • #14
                            Thanks for the advice

                            As for her home environment, yes someone does live beside her, and that is why I question them ever going outside---as for the interior of the house, I can't even begin to describe the smeeeellllllllll---They have removed all the carpeting, and painted the slab floor a dried blood red....it is not at all what I would call clean, but I try to stay as close to the front door as possible(for fresh air) the dogs are not neglected food wise, as she does leave food and water on the floor for them, however grooming wise, man oh man, I spent 4 hrs there thursday, on 2 dogs....they are matted(broke my 40 on pads),they smell as bad as the house, and I believe the last time they had a bath was when she last had them shaved head and tail included---they look like aliens after I'm done....
                            I will finish all 12 because I do feel so bad for the dogs, but I know she is not going to call me again until their hair grows back.....

                            I dread driving to the house now, I feel like I need a shower after leaving.......

                            Thanks again, for all your advice

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rocky1 View Post
                              As for her home environment, yes someone does live beside her, and that is why I question them ever going outside---as for the interior of the house, I can't even begin to describe the smeeeellllllllll---They have removed all the carpeting, and painted the slab floor a dried blood red....it is not at all what I would call clean, but I try to stay as close to the front door as possible(for fresh air) the dogs are not neglected food wise, as she does leave food and water on the floor for them, however grooming wise, man oh man, I spent 4 hrs there thursday, on 2 dogs....they are matted(broke my 40 on pads),they smell as bad as the house, and I believe the last time they had a bath was when she last had them shaved head and tail included---they look like aliens after I'm done....
                              I will finish all 12 because I do feel so bad for the dogs, but I know she is not going to call me again until their hair grows back.....

                              I dread driving to the house now, I feel like I need a shower after leaving.......

                              Thanks again, for all your advice
                              This is a job for social services, the health dept, animal reg, building and safety.

                              In the past I have seen puupy mills, I just can't stand them. When the little old lady has 6 matted to the bone mess, tries to get you down in price, its time to say good bye.


                              Stephen: While tring to post this I got an IE error "The message you have entered too short. Please lengthen your message to a least 5 characters"
                              What gives we now have a mimmun character count?

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