We empathise with Pompeii - pet parlours

2015-08-14 19:15
The photo Pearton posted to social media. (Facebook)

The photo Pearton posted to social media. (Facebook)

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Johannesburg - It's possible for pets to be cut at grooming parlours, says a group of five Johannesburg pet parlours.

The pet parlours have empathised with fellow parlour, Pompeii.

Pompeii has been at the centre of a social media frenzy since Saturday after pet owner Jodi-Ann Pearton posted a photo on Facebook of one of her Yorkies covered in what looked like blood.

In the post, Pearton wrote she was "utterly disgusted", accusing the parlour of cutting 1cm off her Yorkies's ear. She alleged the parlour did not tell her or the dog's other owner about the incident. 

In a statement from the five grooming parlours, they said incidents where animals were nicked could happen.

The parlours, which requested anonymity, said it was however important the way in which such incidents were dealt with.

It said it empathised with the Lonehill Pompeii parlour to a degree because they knew it had the pet owners' best interests at heart.

Groomer dismissed

Pompeii told News24 on Tuesday that their groomer had failed to tell them what had happened. The groomer was reprimanded and dismissed as a result.

Pompeii also said it was possible the picture of the Yorkie appeared to be much worse than the actual incident.

Potassium permanganate, a substance they said most parlours used to treat cuts and stop bleeding, becomes extremely runny. Its colour is similar to blood when water is applied.

"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," Pompeii said at the time.

"We know what comes first, to do things right. We have principles and guidelines and we stick by that.

Said the parlour group: "The reality is, it can happen, but it's dealing with it in the right way and training your staff to follow the correct protocol."

'Animals suffer from separation anxiety'

It said the pet grooming business was very work intensive and stressful, since groomers were fully responsible for pets.

"Animals display very similar characteristics as a child would act in a crèche. They suffer from separation anxiety, they possess different degrees of reaction to certain stimuli i.e water, dryer, scissors, clipper, etc," the group said.

"No matter how brilliant a groomer you are, you’ve got the added pressure of a dog or cat wriggling around, trying to bite or scratch, while you’re trying to handle and not hurt the fragile being."

This takes place while also trying to attain the perfect style in line with the owners' "exceptional" expectations in the expected time frame.

Such time frames are even shorter as a nervous pet requires lots of petting and attention to calm it down.

Any reputable grooming establishment knows that with any new experienced groomer, much training is required, they said. 

Skill technique, handling, and general parlour rules and regulations need to be adhered to to get them accustomed to the expected level of performance.

"The turn-over is high and there is always a demand for skilled groomers, so unless you have a great employee retention model, parlours can’t afford that kind of training."

Highly emotional audience base 

Parlours dealt with a highly emotional audience base and any business in the service industry had to learn to deal with being a target sometimes.  

The public was not unjustly fueled by the love for their pets. However, if there was any sign of a blemish or dissatisfaction with their animal, conclusions were reached and extreme measures were taken without a "good old fashion calm conversation".

"You hear the bad things. What about the good? We’ve discovered so many tumours we can’t count, growths in their pads from excessive de-matting... internal bleeding, bite marks, and pregnancies." 

But they said it was not disputed that bad parlours existed.

However, these parlours had "got away with a lot worse than Pompeii, who seemed the scapegoat for the industry".

It was important for pet owners to do their research. There were very good parlours among those dragging the name of the industry down, the group said.

Tips for pet owners

The group suggested a number of tips for pet owners to consider when taking their pet to a grooming parlour. 

These were: 

- Look behind closed doors to see how staff treat animals. It also enables owners to see for themselves the standard and cleanliness of facilities.

- Check if the parlour or mobile groomer sanitises their equipment, towels, cages and counter tops.

- Ask how many animals are groomed per day and how many staff members there are. An average of seven per day is a good number. It indicated the necessary time taken to do the job properly.

- Ask whether staff received on-going training.

- If you can see what is happening in the back of the parlour, that is a good sign that the parlour has nothing to hide.

- Ask around to get an idea of the reputation of a parlour or mobile groomer.

- Do you get a detailed report on your animal? Is the parlour just doing the grooming or is it conducting a thorough examination of the animal for its general welfare?

- Is the parlour air-conditioned or is there a cooling system? Parlours can become very hot due to the constant use of dryers.

- Is the equipment, such as scissors and blades, serviced and sharpened regularly?

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  animals

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