Friday, March 24, 2023

Dog Dusty dies after burns at Grays grooming salon

Jaqueline Ward (12/05/68) of Little Bentley, Basildon and Victoria Ellis (16/07/74) of Scott Road, Chadwell St Mary were found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to a Lhasa Apso dog named Dusty who died after being badly burned by a dog dryer at Ward’s grooming parlour.

This is the fourth case in less than two years of a dog suffering terrible burns at a grooming salon and the RSPCA is calling for licensing of the dog grooming industry.

Ward and Ellis appeared at Basildon Magistrates’ Court for sentencing after being found guilty in their absence of causing unnecessary suffering under the Animal Welfare Act, after they failed to attend court on previous occasions. They were both ordered to do 120 hours of community service and fined £1,000 each. Compensation of £250 was ordered to be paid to the dog’s owner.

The court heard how 12-year-old Dusty was taken to Ward’s former business in Towers Road, Grays, in July 2012 and, after he was bathed and clipped, Ellis left him in a metal dog crate with an industrial dog hairdryer pointing at him. She went away to answer the phone before returning to find Dusty suffering from burns.

Dusty’s owner was told that he had received a small burn from the dryer and was advised by Ward to put cream on it. He was taken to the vets, but deteriorated over the next few days and the owner had to make the heartbreaking decision to put him to sleep.

The vet said Dusty was in a state of shock and that most of his sides and body were red, swollen and very warm. An expert vet said Dusty would have suffered and that the environment was made even more unsuitable as he could not escape from the heat.

Neither Ward nor her employee were qualified dog groomers at the time of the incident.

RSPCA inspector Lewis Taylor said: “This was a horrific case which could so easily have been prevented had Dusty not been left unattended. Although such cases aren’t deliberate, owners entrust the care of their beloved animals to dog groomers and deserve to know that they are leaving their pet in safe hands.

“Although Ward was not there at the time of the incident, business owners have a duty to ensure that animals do not suffer whilst in the care of their staff.”


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