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Am I overreacting here??

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Okay, so I am in my last 3 weeks of grooming school right now. Today I was shaving a cat and was entirely done except about a square inch on the back hind leg. Well, the cat moved and the clipper sliced that thin skin layer wide open. The cut was about an inch and a half long and I could see right in the cats leg. I called to the instructor that the cats vet should be called right away, then went into the bathroom to stop myself from bursting into tears in front of everyone. I came out a minute or two later and found the instructor still shaving on the cat!! I told her to just stop and the vet can do it and her response was, in a super stern/pee'd off voice "just go take a break." I then grabbed my things and walked out.

Now, I suppose you need a little more background on how things are run there. Very recent examples...

A few weeks ago a cat was brought in to be groomed that was a recently adopted stray. The cat was hissing and growing in it's kennel. They took it out and put a muzzle and an e-collar on it. The cat was still hissing and growling and throwing itself around so 2 people held the cat down, while a scared new student was being yelled at to cut the nails fast. The cat got it's muzzle off and bit the new student sending her to the hospital. Animal control was called on this "vicious" cat, etc. sending the cat into potential quarantine. [My opinion is that the cat was overly stressed from being in a shelter, a new home, a vet and a groomer all within 3-4 weeks. If you put a blindfold on me and threw me down I'd fight back too, ya know?]

A day or two after that incident a dog was brought in that needed to be muzzled, was fighting the groomers, and stressing out so bad he was urinating every where and his tongue was turning blue. They pushed that dog so far insisting that he be completely groomed (bath, trimmed, nails, ears, etc.) that the dog dropped on the table and needed CPR!! To make it worse they didn't even tell the owners when they picked their dog up.

Today, with the cat, is it just me or should we have stopped and sent it to the vet immediately?? I realize that bit of hair would need to be shaved for stitches, but shouldn't the vet do that in sanitary conditions with sterilized tools?

I'm just so tired of watching them push things way too far. I'd never send my pets to a groomer if I had known they were like that. I feel really really terrible for hurting that cat, but I'm so so so angry at the way they handled it. I just don't know if I'm overreacting or what.
post #2 of 23
HOLYPOTATOES!!! Id be P Oed BIG TIME!!! I cant believe all that happened! If that happened to one of my pets and wasnt told about it Id be freaking livid and sueing the pants off those people thats CRAZY!! Is there anyone above the instructor you can go to about this that will do something I cant believe that...Geez I got reemed out because I cracked my knee off our bread drawer at work and ended up with a huge gooseegg and bruise from it and didnt file an incident report..I had to file one then because the manager was worried if something happened it could hurt my knee even further and they wouldnt be able to get my workers comp for it!! Id be flipping out if I were you!!!
post #3 of 23
You need to report them to the SPCA immediately. What they're doing is dangerous. Write down dates, times and specif incidents without letting emotions get in the way, then send it to the SPCA as well as your local humane society. Let me know if you need help finding contact details. You would NEVER groom an animal that is freaking out like that.
post #4 of 23
That's why you're going to graduate and become a fantastic groomer!!

Their behaviour is really disappointing but from what I hear, allot of commercial groomers treat their customers the same way. I was puppy-sitting out friend's dog when I realized how incredibly long her nails where! An hour later with allot of coaxing, petting, and a sock tied around her nose I did a half-butt job with the dremel, but at least they were trimmed. I asked, apparently it takes 2 burley men to hold her down at the groomers to do it and she still tries to bite everyone.

That treatment is obviously not helping the situation! She's a princess beagle x JR who is one of the biggest smallest PITA dogs I have ever met! If her owners would stop being scared of her and just do it themselves, I'm sure she'd get over her issues.

We adopted Kayla from another family who "were pregnant" so needed to get rid of her . They did live in a tiny home in the city with no backyard, a collie mix was a pretty ridiculous dog to have! Anyway, she wouldn't even let me touch her feet when we got her (almost 3 years ago now). Well it still takes both Hubby & I and backing her up into a corner to get her to settle down and have her nails done but she's getting better every time!
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
You need to report them to the SPCA immediately...
........I hope you can solve this....
post #6 of 23
I suggest you finish up any courses you have left, document everything you can, and the second you're out of there report them. Look up laws and see if you can get pictures of the injured animals without getting yourself in trouble (use a camera phone obviously). Get the customers names and numbers, surely people realize their pets are coming home injured or needing vet care... Again, check laws on doing that as well.
Go to the local paper if you need to.

If you say anything right now, any money you spent on courses will be gone.
post #7 of 23
A school like this should have set procedures in place for when an incident like this happens, so then instead of everyone freaking out, there is a SOP to be followed. You have certainly convinced me never to leave my pet unattended at a groomers. The story of that dog is particularly horiffic...yikes. I agree that you need to report this place.
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
Sadly, I'm afraid to report them. They know the owners at every grooming shop, have just not graduated people before, etc. so I'm afraid I'd be unable to get a job in the area if they put two and two together. I feel like they have me over a barrel here and it totally sucks because I feel so terrible about what's happening there with some of the animals. Oh, and I guess I didn't mention the instructors are the owners... Not only do they know people at all the grooming shops, they are involved in the DOA with lawmaking, board members of state dogs clubs, involved in AKC and UKC (not judges, but they give CGC tests and stuff, not sure what that title would be) so needless to say they could really prevent me from working in this industry.
post #9 of 23
Hmm, there's always that problem with being honest. If you're honest people hate you, if you lie/omit the truth and don't get caught (even if people know you're lying) it's accepted. Surely there are people who would be horrified to find out this is going on? And who would jump at the chance to set themselves apart from these people - "we use more humane handling" etc and use that as a way to get business. (or at least I would )

If you were going to open your own shop, I suppose it would be easier.
post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
You need to report them to the SPCA immediately. What they're doing is dangerous. Write down dates, times and specif incidents without letting emotions get in the way, then send it to the SPCA as well as your local humane society. Let me know if you need help finding contact details. You would NEVER groom an animal that is freaking out like that.

IMO that is a case of serial animal abuse.... They need to shoot down their doors.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Sadly, I'm afraid to report them. They know the owners at every grooming shop, have just not graduated people before, etc. so I'm afraid I'd be unable to get a job in the area if they put two and two together. I feel like they have me over a barrel here and it totally sucks because I feel so terrible about what's happening there with some of the animals. Oh, and I guess I didn't mention the instructors are the owners... Not only do they know people at all the grooming shops, they are involved in the DOA with lawmaking, board members of state dogs clubs, involved in AKC and UKC (not judges, but they give CGC tests and stuff, not sure what that title would be) so needless to say they could really prevent me from working in this industry.


OK, this may sound harsh, so I apologize in advance, but the way I see it you have two choices:

Put yourself first, and allow other animals to ccontinue to suffer in the future and these unethical people to continue to get away with such practices,

OR,

put the welfare of animals first and report them as suggested above. Once you graduate, you can always get a job grooming in another area, you don't always have to stay in the same town.

It boils down to who is more important, you, or the the animals that suffer at the hands of these scumbags.
post #12 of 23
You can certainly report anonymously, just explain to the ASPCA why and I'm sure they will respect your wishes.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingersMom View Post
OK, this may sound harsh, so I apologize in advance, but the way I see it you have two choices:

Put yourself first, and allow other animals to ccontinue to suffer in the future and these unethical people to continue to get away with such practices,

OR,

put the welfare of animals first and report them as suggested above. Once you graduate, you can always get a job grooming in another area, you don't always have to stay in the same town.

It boils down to who is more important, you, or the the animals that suffer at the hands of these scumbags.
I'm sorry but it's not that black and white... You have no idea how terribly I feel for these animals, but I am also the sole income for my family right now. I can't move out of this area if I am to let DH finish his degree. And I happen to live in an area that has one of the worst economies in the country.

I will call the SPCA anonymously, but the owner of the school is a board member of the shelter immediately local to them so that might do no good.
post #14 of 23
Think of it this way...you get PROOF of these incidents, you become a whistle-blower and the owners are all PO'd, talk bad about you to everyone they know, yet are in trouble with the law because of animal abuse.

The other grooming places have a choice: side with abusers or not listen to them. Would you really want to work for a place that sides with abusers?

That's just my thought.
post #15 of 23
It sounds as though you are between a rock and a hard place and that's a tough place to be. If I'm reading your post correctly, you are in a small area where everyone knows everyone else so it's pretty certain that if you blow the whistle they will know it was you. If that happened the owners of this grooming shop have the contacts and ability to prevent you from working in this field in any other groomer in your community. As the sole supporter of your family at the moment that is not an option for you.

Now, if that is right, then perhaps you need to get documentation, i.e., sneaky photos, etc. and bide your time until you are in a position where speaking out will not cause you financial ruin.

Perhaps in the meantime you could sort of be around when folks pick up their animals and "shyly" apologize for the "owie" on their animal. Eventually they may stop using that groomer which is going to hurt their pocketbook.

I agree that we need to consider the animals, but we also need to ensure we can feed ourselves so it's not a good idea to jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool if we can't swim.
post #16 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yosemite View Post
It sounds as though you are between a rock and a hard place and that's a tough place to be. If I'm reading your post correctly, you are in a small area where everyone knows everyone else so it's pretty certain that if you blow the whistle they will know it was you. If that happened the owners of this grooming shop have the contacts and ability to prevent you from working in this field in any other groomer in your community. As the sole supporter of your family at the moment that is not an option for you.

Now, if that is right, then perhaps you need to get documentation, i.e., sneaky photos, etc. and bide your time until you are in a position where speaking out will not cause you financial ruin.

Perhaps in the meantime you could sort of be around when folks pick up their animals and "shyly" apologize for the "owie" on their animal. Eventually they may stop using that groomer which is going to hurt their pocketbook.

I agree that we need to consider the animals, but we also need to ensure we can feed ourselves so it's not a good idea to jump off the diving board into the deep end of the pool if we can't swim.
I like the way you think. That makes the situation somewhat better for the animals right now without putting the OP out of a job and home, while paving the way to put this place out of business in the future.
post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
I just spoke with another woman that I am in school with who told me that they refused to let anyone see the injury, they refused to let anyone clean it, told them all that it was a surface cut. [!!! I know what I saw!!! For crying out loud if it was a surface cut I'd have taken care of it myself with peroxide and neosporin, not insisted a vet be called immediately.] AND they did not call a vet nor did they tell the owner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Could you imagine?!?!

I'm having a near impossible time mentally preparing to go back in there tomorrow and keep my mouth shut. I don't live in a small area; I'm in metro Detroit. They just have that large of a network. Being that I don't have any proof I'm stuck if I want to get a job, because believe me...they're fantastic at making up stories. If anything further happens of course I can document it and report it later. We aren't really aloud to talk to the owners...I'm sure you can see why they'd want us quiet.

The worst part of today is that yes, accidents happen and it was a common one unfortunately. They just didn't want to be out the money to get the poor baby stitches so they pretended like it never happened. One of the owners even told the students that "it could have been an old injury that just reopened".
post #18 of 23
A few months ago my Dusty had an ultrasound at the vet's office. When I picked her up the vet said he nicked her belly and had to put a stitch in.

It happens. Don't be so hard on yourself. If even a trained vet can nick a cat, it is not that unheard of that a groomer would do it if the cat moves suddenly.
post #19 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty's Mom View Post
A few months ago my Dusty had an ultrasound at the vet's office. When I picked her up the vet said he nicked her belly and had to put a stitch in.

It happens. Don't be so hard on yourself. If even a trained vet can nick a cat, it is not that unheard of that a groomer would do it if the cat moves suddenly.

Thanks. I've teared up today feeling guilty about it, but I keep reminding myself that I was being careful and it was an accident.

But...at least the vet told you that it happened and didn't just ignore it and send the poor kitty home with a hole in her belly.
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteforest View Post
Thanks. I've teared up today feeling guilty about it, but I keep reminding myself that I was being careful and it was an accident.

But...at least the vet told you that it happened and didn't just ignore it and send the poor kitty home with a hole in her belly.
Yes, I respect the vet for that.

I do think it was crummy for the school to try to cover it up. I agree with Yosemite.
post #21 of 23
If you can make an anonymous complaint then I would. At least then something is on record so if anyone else complains, or if they have previous complaints then further action can be taken.
post #22 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
If you can make an anonymous complaint then I would. At least then something is on record so if anyone else complains, or if they have previous complaints then further action can be taken.
Good and wise ADVICE!....
post #23 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
You need to report them to the SPCA immediately. What they're doing is dangerous. Write down dates, times and specif incidents without letting emotions get in the way, then send it to the SPCA as well as your local humane society. Let me know if you need help finding contact details. You would NEVER groom an animal that is freaking out like that.
I agree totally! They are abusing those poor animals
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