Animal Abuse at the Groomers

I have worked with animals since I was a kid, doing anything that was available to do at any place that would train me to do it. I have always felt more of a connection with animals than people and I loved the idea of merging my passion with my profession, allowing me to get paid to do what I loved.

Animal Abuse at Pet Groomers

I started off when I was 7 years old volunteering at an animal shelter near my home. I have always been more of a dog person but my most vivid memory of my time working there, besides the early morning doughnut run on the way to the shelter, was the white fluffy hair on a pink faced kitten with ringworm. I was instructed to only handle the kitten while wearing gloves but was encouraged to give her as much attention as possible since she was sick. While holding the soft animal that seemed so innocent I never could have imagined the animal abuse I would see take place and I definitely wouldn’t have imagined that someday I would work at a place that would hit, choke, and even kill animals. Looking back now, through the eyes of an adult who no longer believes there is good in everyone, what’s even more unbelievable to me was that I couldn’t do anything about it.


My first professional gig working with animals was at a pet shop that sold puppies and kittens. I know now how terrible places like this are and that NOBODY should EVER buy a pet from a store. I could write an entire article on what really happens there but I will save that for later, just keep in mind, this was my first job and I was just beginning to see what disgusting things people are capable of doing to pets, I just wanted to get paid to play with dogs, I wasn’t trying to save the world just yet.

As I acquired more skills and the timing lined up, I found myself hired on as a bather at a local pet groomer. My duties included washing and blow drying pets as well as clipping nails, cleaning ears, and cleaning the facility at the end of the day. I got paid cash per dog and I was bringing home more money that I ever had before, this was perfect for me. I even liked my boss because she reminded me of my parents who lived about a 2o hour drive away from me, little did I know she was beating, choking, and hurting all of her clients dogs as she groomed them.

Is Your Child Ready for a Puppy?

I worked in the back as a bather so I was as oblivious to the abuse as the customers were at that point but once I seen it take place, they (3 of the 4 groomers that worked there, including the owner) no longer hid their behavior and it became a regular display getting more violent each time. After expressing my disgust to the staff and to customers that either didn’t believe me or didn’t care, it was obvious to me that I would lose my job if I were to continue to run my mouth and threaten my coworkers like I had been. I decided to contacted animal control and the department of agriculture to report what was going on and knew that if I quit, they may look at me as a disgruntled employee and assume I made this up. I reported what I had seen and left many messages with people who were unwilling to help until finally someone from the department showed up and took a tour of the facility.

I told him stories of dogs being repeatedly beaten with hair brushes, cats hanging by their necks from the noose of the grooming table while being screamed at by the groomers and named names, I explained to him that stopping in unexpectedly would be the best way to catch anyone in the act. I offered to record things that took place with his help as I didn’t have access to a camera in those days but he insisted on coming back several times to catch what was taking place in person. He assured me that something would be done but as I feared, he never returned. I couldn’t get anyone to help me and it was clear that nothing was going to change so I began telling anyone who would listen what was happening and hoped someone who cared would help. Eventually I quit because I couldn’t handle it anymore and knew if I didn’t get out of there I would be the one getting into trouble, not for hurting the animals but for assault and battery of my coworkers.

groomers Animal Abuse

Unfortunately that was just the beginning of the abuse, torture, and murder of animals I would see in my career. A few years later, I began working as a vet tech for a local animal hospital who sometimes treated the animals hurt by the groomers I used to work for. I worked there for three years, long enough to have hundreds of stories to tell but it seems fitting to end this with my last day there. A woman came in holding her yorkie pup, covered in blood and missing his ear, the groomer had clipped it off while giving him a shave down. I rushed the injured dog to the operating room for immediate care and returned to the lobby where the woman was one the phone. I waited for her to finish her conversation, she was talking to the owner of the grooming shop and wanted to make sure they could get her dog back in that afternoon to finish the haircut because she was throwing a party that evening and wanted him to look his best.

What would you do if you found out your pet was being abused at the groomers? If in the same situation as the yorkie’s owner would you return to the groomer who cut your pet’s ear off and believe it was an accident?




  1. Robin+Rue+(@massholemommy) says:

    OMG I am so upset reading this. I guess I am naive and always just assumed that groomers were all animal lovers, but apparently not. How can anyone be so cruel?

  2. I don’t understand people. Are you serious you want your dog to look their best for a party when they just lost an ear?! That woman was the worst!

  3. Whoa, stories like these just blow my mind! I can’t believe anyone would treat living creatures with such disrespect and cruelty! I’m not an animal person at all, I’m not even a fan of petting dogs or cats. But even I know that animals deserve to be treated well and not manhandled or hurt, intentionally or accidentally! It just makes me mad, the things people are capable of :-(.

  4. This is just awful. I could hardly stand to read this. I never took my dog to the groomer – and thankfully!

  5. Fortunately I never had to bring my cats to the groomer. If I ever found out if someone abused my pets I would really be livid. They better hide because my pets are my family and I protect my family.

  6. I don’t trust anyone with my pets. I groom them all myself, because I worry about stuff like this.

  7. It’s really upsetting to hear that people like that continue to get away with abusing animals. Before this article I would have thought someone would have to love pets to want to be a groomer.

  8. This is an eye-opening blog post. It is really important to carefully choose your groomers.

  9. We consider our yorkie one of the family so I would NEVER send him to a groomer that didn’t treat him well. I had no idea this type of abuse happened regularly. It’s really disturbing.

  10. Rebecca Swenor says:

    In my opinion this Yorkie owner should never have pets if all she thinks about is image and how the dog looks for the party. This actually makes me so mad. I would never return to a groomer who cut off my dogs ear. My sister was a vet tech and had some horrifying stories also.

  11. I am glad somebody finally listened to you. We have two dogs that we put on kennel when we go on vacation so this type of things makes me weary.

  12. Some people are just so mean. I would never trust my pet to a groomer I don’t trust.

  13. This is so sad! But it’s so glad to hear that YOU are doing your best. I’m going to hug all my animals now.

  14. This is horrible! Do you think they do that in places like Petsmart? I’ve been dropping them off for 2 years, they never came back with a scratch and the girls seem to like animals!

  15. Maggie+Branch says:

    I have heard so many stories like this in the past year and it is heartbreaking! Even big name groomers like Petsmart has had terrible press this year. This is the exact reason that we do all of our grooming at home now.

  16. I am lucky to have a friend that knows how to groom dogs. I always brought my dog to her and we would chat while she worked her magic on him. It is so sad that this happens. I would never go back to a groomer that hurt my dog. The Yorkie owner needs to sue the groomers.

  17. I am a very big advocate for animal rescue and animal rights. I get so upset and angry when I hear stories like this. I have had animals my whole life and can’t tell you how many I have rescued and treated. I have volunteered at animal control and humane societies and I have been fortunate that I have not had experiences like these. I would be extremely angry and probably file a law suit against whoever hurt my babies. I am very lucky that I take my girls to a groomer for a nail trim and I get to see them do it. When it comes to grooming, there is a girl who works at my vets office. My soon to be ex-husband went to school with the girls who work in there and I consider them my friends and animals lovers too. I would continue to report anyone who I felt was an animal abuser and I think you did the right thing telling the truth!

  18. This is absolutely disturbing to hear but it is something that does go on. How terrible that you witnessed such horrible things but did the right thing in reporting it.

  19. Wow you are brave for standing up to them and contacting animal control and sucks they took so long to send someone over!! Wow I honestly don’t know what I would have done in your place. People can be so horrid!

  20. Bonnie+@wemake7 says:

    I actually can’t believe that someone would bring their dog back to finish up a bath after they cut his ear off. How terrible.

  21. It’s crazy to hear stories like this. I have always imagined things like this taking place, but hoped it wasn’t true.

  22. Gosh, I just wanted to close my eyes and stop reading after I saw your heading. It is really sad, I dont know how people can live with themselves after doing this.

  23. That is disturbing on many levels! I have always had a funny feeling about most groomers. This confirms it. Thankfully, I groom my own dog.

  24. Deplorable! I cannot even bring myself to read this. But, on another note, that is a great photo (the main one).

Speak Your Mind