Max, a healthy 7-year old Poodle and Cocker Spaniel mix, was dropped off at the groomer for a routine visit. Instead of coming home to his loving family after his bath, cut, and nail trim, however, the rescue dog died an excrutiating death. And this isn’t the first time a pet has died at the hands of this Michigan groomer.
“If you’ve had an animal, they’re part of your family,” Maureen St. Clair, devastated over the death of her beloved dog, explained to FOX2. “And that’s what Max was.”
Max was healthy and happy when Dennis and Maureen St. Clair dropped him off at Shaggy Dog Puppies and Supplies in Shelby Township, Michigan last Thursday for a routine visit. When the couple didn’t receive their usual call to pick him up that afternoon, they grew concerned. Dennis returned to the shop to check on Max.
“I saw the groomer, her name was Cindy, and she was coming out the back door with a dog wrapped in blankets and just soaking wet,” he said. “And I looked and said oh God, I hope it isn’t my dog, and it was Max, foaming at the mouth.”
Max’s body was covered in chemical burns, his newly groomed fur falling off in clumps. Dennis immediately rushed Max to the veterinarian where he died from his injuries.
Shaggy Dog Puppies and Supplies told the couple that Max had been barking too much, so they put him in a utility closet in the back of the store where gallons of unknown chemicals were stored. Somehow, the chemicals were spilled, soaking Max’s body.
“I can see if the dog is barking, put it in a room, fine,” Dennis said “But with chemicals? There shouldn’t be anything in that room. There’s no excuse for that.”
The St. Clair’s filed a police report and are initiating a civil lawsuit against the groomer. They ultimately hope to shut the groomer down for good. Especially after their lawyer informed them that this isn’t the first time a dog has died at Shaggy Dog Puppies and Supplies. Years ago, another family dog was killed after being left in a cage under a heat dryer for too long.
“This shouldn’t have happened a first time, now a second time?” Maureen said.
This may, actually, be the third time. Another pet owner has now stepped forward claiming Shaggy Dog lost her dog in 2007. Joanne Gouleche was told that her dog, Gunner was tied to a fence behind the building and had slipped from his harness and run away. Gunner was never found.
The groomer is also under protest by animal advocates as a retailer of puppy mill dogs.
The owner of Shaggy Dog reportedly contacted the St. Clairs to apologize and offered them a new puppy. The groomers have refused to allow the couple or any reporters into the room where Max was soaked with chemicals.