We were out with friends the other night, dining on the outdoor patio of a restaurant, maintaining social distance from the other diners, compliments of COVD-19. The four of us are dog lovers; they brought their dog, and we brought one of ours. Thank goodness for dog-friendly restaurants.
Our friends were telling us a story about dog cruelty as told to them by a friend of theirs who had witnessed the cruelty. According to our friends, the groomer had a dog hanging from a leash and was punching the dog. Let that sink in. I know it happens, we had a dog die at the hands of a groomer, but I am still horrified every time I hear another story. My heart is broken for the cruelty the dog endured, and heartbroken for the owners who are likely unaware their dog suffered while entrusted to the care of a groomer.
However outraged a story like this one makes us, the reality is the pet grooming industry is not regulated, requires no licensing nor inspections, and cruelty or worse continues. Would it happen with licensing and regulatory oversight? Of course, but far less often, and there would be penalites for violations and recourse for owners. Currently, violations largely go unprosecuted and unpunished. Granted, grooming pets is frustrating at times. We have one Yorkie who is quite the handful during bathtime, but I would never hurt her because she is difficult to bathe, or for any other reason.
Groomers are people and have breaking points that may lead to uncharacteristic cruelty, but hurting an animal is never acceptable. Groomers who become frustrated need to let the animal owners know, and have a backup plan for those times when a pet presents grooming challenges. Taking a moment to step back and regroup is simple enough and may spare the groomer and the dog. I suspect most pet owners would gladly pick up their pets if groomers called and offered another time, or suggested another groomer instead of harming pets out of frustration.
When God created the universe He breathed life into His creation. Animals are sentient beings, are consciously aware, and experience emotions much like humans; some people they like, others they don’t. Clearly, Harley and Chardonnay didn’t care for the groomer whose negligence cost Harley her life, but I misinterpreted their dislike of going to the groomer as dislike for grooming, not the groomer. I wrongly assumed people choosing grooming as a profession cared for the animals entrusted to them.
COVID-19 has dominated our lives, the news, and legislators for the majority of 2020, and now the battle over the upcoming elections rages on. We have lost sight of other important issues, and regulating the grooming industry is only one. If you know of an animal or pet that suffered at the hands of a groomer speak up, and speak out. There are legislators who are listening. We owe it to the ones who bring us so much joy, love, and companionship…..
How you can help:
Contact the Humane Society of America, your state representatives, or check out Bijousbill.com – the grassroots effort of one fur parent who lost her beloved dog to the negligence of a groomer.
If you are a groomer and believe the industry needs to be regulated, please let your voice be heard.