Doggie parlour fires groomer for 'cutting off Yorkie's ear'

By Kirstin Buick
12 August 2015

A Lonehill pet parlour has dismissed one of its most experienced groomers accused of accidentally snipping a dog's ear.

"We did not try to conceal it. What is true, it did get snipped. We did not know that at the time," one of the parlour's partners told News24. "We were in the front, our other partner was here, we were just chatting. The client was in the front in the seating area, looking through the window seeing exactly everything that is being done. The whole area is open."
'We were oblivious to anything that had gone on'

The partner said the groomer, who had 20 years experience, had been dismissed.

After the grooming had been completed and the client left with her two dogs, it appeared nothing was amiss.

"We were oblivious to anything that had gone on, it appeared all happy to us," the partner said.

‘1cm of ear cut off’

A social media frenzy began on Saturday when Jodi-Ann Pearton, one of the owners of the dogs in question, posted a photo of one of her Yorkies on Facebook covered in what looked like blood.

Jodi-Ann Pearton caused a stir when she posted this image on Facebook. Jodi-Ann Pearton caused a stir when she posted this image on Facebook.

In the post, Pearton wrote: "Utterly disgusted by #Pompeiipets.co.za the new pet salon at Lonehill Shopping center. We took our dogs their [sic] today and they cut 1cm of our Yorkies ear OFF and didn't tell us - tried to hide it by putting him in his bag and we got home to our dog covered in blood and with half an ear. Revolted by them. Poor angel now en route to the vet, they of course won't take my calls."

Another of the groomer's partners, both of whom declined to be named due to fear of victimisation, said it was common sense once a person gets their dog groomed that they would check to make sure it has been done properly.

"If you ask for a cut, you will check that it has been cut. This part of us concealing it, I don't know where that's coming from," the second partner said.

"Our groomer snipped an ear. She did not tell us. We have dismissed her, we have reprimanded her."

‘We want one-on-one’

The first partner said their role at the groomer was to interact with clients in a transparent environment where service was prioritised.

"We've had clients go and stand with their dogs as their dogs have been washed. We take a limited number of dogs per day because we want as much one-on-one with the groomer and the pet," he said.

"The groomer had plus 20-years of experience. People are snapping back saying 'Oh, how you pulling people from the street?' She was trained, she had 20 years worth of experience, she was literally the most qualified one there. We trusted her.

"We have got the best equipment here possible, we paid a lot of money for it. Why? Because we want our groomers to be empowered to give the best groom. They shouldn't be sitting there with a blunt scissors."

He said what was disappointing was that the groomer chose to hide what happened instead of telling them.

"The vet is literally 30 seconds away down the road. Why would we not want to go to the vet? We know things like this can happen. We know what comes first, to do things right. We have principles and guidelines and we stick by that."

In most parlours

They said the reason the cut may have appeared far worse than it actually was, was due to potassium permanganate likely being used on the cut to stop any bleeding on the dog's ear.

The second partner put some of the chemical on his hand and added water to demonstrate, with it immediately becoming runny and resembling the colour of blood.

"Potassium permanganate, it is something you will find in most parlours. It helps to stop the bleeding," he said.

"If an entire ear has been severed, this will not stop the bleeding. It would then need stitches, and be taken to the vet. This however did stop the bleed which means it was just a nip. It looks bloodied and that's what's on Facebook."

Pearton on the Sunday posted a photo of another of her dogs which could apparently not walk due to a "severed toe" which she alleges happened at the parlour.

"We questioned the groomer on that, since she's the only one that does the actual grooming and she doesn't know anything about a toe being nicked so clearly the only thing she did fess up to was the ear being nicked," the first partner said.

Waiting for a vet report

He said the reason Pearton could not reach them was because they had shut up shop around 15:00 on Saturday and left the work phone at the parlour.

They were notified the next morning by friends who had seen Pearton's Facebook post, and they immediately rushed back to the shop and contacted her.

"We offered to pay her back the full vet fees, we offered to refund her fees, at which the response was 'You will be hearing from me. I'm getting the lawyers and I'm getting the vet report'," the first partner said.

"Still today we are waiting for the vet report to come to see exactly what's been done."

While they waited for the vet report, their offer to fully compensate Pearton still stood.

"We are not hiding. As soon as we found about the fault we chose to address straight away. We weren't ignoring it," the second partner said.

The Sandton SPCA said on Tuesday they were aware of the incident, and their inspectors would look into the matter.

Pearton did not respond to requests from News24 for an interview.

News24

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