Springfield MO groomer fired after throwing dog against the wall
Springfield groomer is fired after she throws dog into wall, killing it; couple is devastated - ky3.com
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A couple is devastated after their dog died during a grooming session at a local veterinary clinic. They call it murder.
It was supposed to be just a standard grooming. This dog had seen this groomer twice before. Now the groomer is out of a job and the dog is dead.
At 4:30 Thursday at the Calhouns' house, it was dinner time for the early birds but nobody was hungry. That's because of an empty place under the table. That's where Darby used to sit.
"I know she was a little dog, I know she's not a child, but to us she was a child," said Barbara Calhoun as she sat beside her husband, Bill.
They say what happened to their 3-and-a-half-year-old Maltese is child abuse.
"She was murdered. It's hard, very hard. He's not slept, we've not slept," she said.
They took Darby to the groomer on Wednesday morning but she never got groomed.
"Got a call about 9 o'clock from the vet and he said Darby had been hurt, she wasn't in good condition. He told me she was on oxygen full, pulmonary contusions, and there was bruising and bleeding on the lungs," Barbara said, reading from a notepad where she jotted it down during the phone call.
It wasn't until Barbara and Bill got to Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital that they learned why.
"I said, 'What happened? What happened?' and the doctor said, 'Well, she was thrown against the wall.'"
The groomer said Darby attacked her when she reached into the dog's cage.
"I don't know exactly what happened but she tossed the dog away, evidentally with enough force to cause some pretty severe injuries," said Dr. Ted Betzen.
The Calhouns made it in time to see Darby die.
"I laid down on the floor and I just screamed," Barbara said with tears running down her face as she relived it.
Clinic owner Dr. Betzen says everyone at Spring Valley, including the groomer who was let go on Thursday morning, is just as devastated.
"I know she felt horrible immediately. She regretted it tremendously," he said.
He also says what she did was wrong.
"I'm not going to condone what she did; she did overreact. You can understand it but you can't excuse it. It's inexcusable what she did."
Barbara and Bill aren't ready to forgive. At 4:30, when they were supposed to be having dinner, they instead were visiting Darby's grave.
"Why, why?" they asked. "She said she feared for her life so [she] threw her, and I don't know, feared for a life from a little eight-pound dog?"
The Calhouns say Darby had never bitten anyone before, and they didn't see any bite marks on the groomer, but Betzen says he did. He says she was bleeding, so much so that it got on the dog.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department, not Springfield police, handles cases like this one, but neither the Calhouns nor the clinic called them.
Horrible ... hope the groomer is charged with something/anything that will punish her for killing the dog.
It's horrible. I will say this, depending on the strength of the groomer - if the dog latched on to her arm or hand and the groomer instinctively flung her arm out, depending on what the dog potentially hit it could of caused severe pulmonary damage.
That's why trained technicians and groomers and other staff should be able to handle. It should not get to the point where an animal is latched onto any part of your body. Proper restraint and handling should also be known so that in case of a bite you react properly and avoid hurting the animal.
I've seen more little dogs than I can count go after one of us at work all while the owner states the animal has NEVER bit. Owners tend to be in denial about their pets. But again a trained, competent person should never get to that point.
One of my doctors had a 4 month old kitten, her husband was holding it when the kitten bit his hand. He instinctively flung his hand, and the kitten flew into a cement step in the garage, breaking it's femur in two places. It had to have an FHO and pins to repair the distal fracture. If the kitten had of hit against his chest that could of caused these kinds of injuries.
So I agree with the doctor. I feel if the dog did go after her, her actions could be understandable yet still wrong, depending on what exactly happened (Now if the groomer picked up the dog and threw it against the wall, THAT is completely different than instinctively flinging your arm and the dog flying)
It called cruelty to animals and is a felony in the state of Fla. Better a cop gets him or her rather than a good ole redneck from down here in the south. I hear groomers make excellent shark chum and alligator bait if you can get em. I would be pretty tempted to at least give it a try.... That is sooooo sad.
Oh she should be punished, fully, don't get me wrong. But did she pick the dog up and throw it? Or did it bite her and she flung her arm, causing it to fly into something? THAT makes a big difference. Both wrong and stupid choices, but define the person differently.
I agree 100% Anubis. Depending on the underlying cause does make a bit of a difference. However a person that is reactive like that should not be working with animals because everybody knows thay are unpredictable and capable of doing things unexpectedly. If your not mentally prepared for the job you do this type of disaster will happen. It isn't a matter of "If", but merely a question of when. I know that I would not be a great groomer, but I do have a pet and I do take good care of her, I just don't have the intestinal fortitude to do that on a large scale. Just sayin...
I have been bitten. It's part if the job and the training. My job is to get bit and keep the Dr and owners safe. I take a bite. But I have been trained and doing this for years. But still, when unexpected your instincts take over. A cat grabs your hand, you instinctively shake your arm. A dog grabs your leg, you kick out. It's instinct.
I have seen a mild mannered sheltie bite a Dr in the neck while she was carrying it. 4 punctures. Out of instinct the Dr dropped the dog, who wouldn't. The dog was fine. But we were all shaken up. And the Dr looked like a vampire got a hold of her.
The groomer should be fired, as she was. The owners are rightfully devastated and should be compensated. But how do you compensate the loss of a beloved pet? I don't know that you can. I would be horrified and destroyed if this happened to one of my pets. I can't fathom their pain.
At the first sign if aggression, the groomer should have shut the cage and gotten help. A lot of heartache could have been prevented. Towels, bite gloves, and a leash could have kept this dog alive. I can't believe anyone would actually been in fear of their life with such a small dog.
At my clinic we are quick to call an owner and tell them we can't safely work on their dog. Better than the alternative. We don't want to hurt someone's dog. We have lots of dogs that get sedated before grooming to prevent stress and bites.
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Eh, I'll admit something here that makes me very ashamed - we had a hit by car cat come in, likely fractured pelvis, VERY painful. The dr and other tech on duty were arguing about restraint methods etc... her a VERY experienced tech. We took the cat to do xrays. WE made mistakes, were not restraining like we should of. The cat had an IV catheter in, in hindsight we should of given some propofol or fast acting sedative. I was scruffing the cat, the other tech went to slide him back to get his hips in the shot. The pain caused him to scream, alligator roll, and rip a chunk out of my palm near the base of my thumb (to this day I have some mild numbing nerve damage). I let go of the cat out of reflex, it continued to roll and fell off the table. With a broken back and pelvis.
We euthanized the cat, not due to that but due to overall pain and money issues.
I felt HORRIBLE. I stood in the corner just sobbing, because I let this poor painful animal fall off the xray table. Out of an instinctual move. It took me close to a week to really get over it. And I'm never over it. It was a major mistake on my part that caused a scared dying animal unneeded pain. It was a simple mistake we will all unfortunately make. I did not lose my job because otherwise I am a great technician, and no animal died due to my actions. And I did unfortunately learn a lot from that instance.
Great, another bad groomer story. :( It weighs heavy on my heart to hear about things like this happening.
In this case at least, it sounds like an accident, a split-second reflex in the heat of the moment and not a deliberate attempt to cause injury. Still no excuse, and I'm sure the groomer feels terrible.
Accidents like this can happen. It happened in my salon once--I didn't see what happened but apparently, my bather was bathing a cat, which was being very calm and docile in the tub. But when he turned the blow dryer on, the cat flipped out and attacked the bather, then went off the table and hit her head. Her eye immediately started to swell so we rushed her to the vet. I paid the bill, the cat did recover and was fine, but I felt absolutely horrible and so did my bather. He was in pretty bad shape as well, with severe bites and scratches. I had to send him to the doc-in-the-box for a shot of antibiotics.
I really don't think he threw the cat against the wall or anything like that, he didn't seem like that kind of person, but I guess I really don't know. He quit a few weeks after that incident anyway. This was probably 15 years ago and thankfully I haven't had anything like that happen since.
It's why you learn to watch body language on a dog in a crate. I never reach in blindly into a crate and pull a dog out. And it's why I keep a leash on certain dogs, because I do groom a few dogs that are fear biters in a crate. Take them out and they are fine to groom. There have been times in the past that I've been unable to safely get a dog out of a crate. Those guys just get sent home.
Personal opinion, just going on my grooming experience of 35+ years, I have difficulty believing that this little poodle was latched onto her hand, and she flung it. Any time I've ever been bitten at a shop, the dog bites and releases quickly. I've never had a little dog grab and hold. Even my worse bite ever (Lhasa) was a deep, but quick, bite. Like I said, just my opinion.
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