SPRING, Texas - "He was very near death," said Taz"s owner Karen Bailor. "If we had waited very much longer to take him in to the vet, he would have perished."
Bailor says she had to rush her 3-year-old dachshund Taz to see an emergency specialist after taking him to a dog groomer at Pets Supplies Plus in Spring.
"It was very chaotic. I looked at my dog and could tell he was in major distress by the way his body was hanging. He was very limp, his tail was down," said Bailor.
She says two vets told her Taz was suffering from an acute choking event. He spent three days in an oxygen chamber.
"I went back to them last week, and they have since terminated the groomer, and they offered to compensate me for the vet bills," Bailor said.
"There are no certifications or permits anything that's required, so you can just go out and become a dog groomer. You could go and open your own business tomorrow," said Elizabeth Gibb, a nationally certified master dog groomer.
Since there are no requirements to being a dog groomer, pet owners need to be cautious.
"I've learned a lot about doing homework and research on groomers," Bailor said.
"I would definitely recommend just going to the salon and check it out do a meet and greet before you even book an appointment, see how the energy is in the salon," Gibb said. "Can you see the groomer in a bad mood? Do they enjoy the job? How are the dogs responding to being in that salon? Those things make a really big difference in finding the right groomer."
In a statement, Pet Supply Plus said, "We are sorry to hear about Taz's experience, but are relieved to hear he is now doing well. We understand how pets hold a special place in our hearts, which is why we take every measure possible to protect their health and well-being. In this case, upon further review, the owner of this independently owned store took immediate action to terminate the groomer, and the pet parent is being compensated for her veterinary costs. We want the community to feel safe bringing their pets to our stores for grooming services, knowing we require all of our groomers to pass our safety upon hire, which are audited quarterly. In addition, for new students who want to work at our stores, we provide free, paid training through the world-renowned Paragon School of Pet Grooming."