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Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Sun Oct 12, 2014 9:38 pm
by Jen
My cousin is on Guam right now, and she boarded Pepsi. He bit their groomer, and she got this email. She wants my advice, but I have no idea what to say/do.

I'm thinking right now there's nothing she can do. Even if she could leave her work right now, there's no way to change her ticket for anything like a reasonable cost. I'd want to know the circumstances behind the bite - he's a very fearful dog, I'm guessing they didn't handle him properly. He's not aggressive at all from what I've seen and what she's shown me/told me. But I could see him lashing out if he was handled improperly. Should she contact someone else about having him evaluated before Animal Control comes back? Thoughts?

The good news is that Pepsi is clean and okay. The bad news is he bit the groomers hand in the bath tub and drew blood so we had to inform Animal Control (she did have to get medical attention but she is okay). We have to keep Pepsi in the kennel for 10 days (no potty breaks or handling) as a mandatory of quarantine. After that Animal Control will come back and evaluate him and hopefully and likely we will be able to take him out again if he does not show any aggression, if he does I’ll let you know and we will email more about options.

I’ll be back in the office and on email on Wednesday and I can give you an update then if you’d like. I have kennel attendants here tomorrow and Tuesday, but no reception staff here except for two hours tomorrow morning. I will check with my supervisor Debra, but I believe after the ten days we will be allowed to handle him and take him for potty breaks again. He has a 10x4 outdoor space to potty in while he is kenneled and we will spot clean the entire kennel – it has a middle sliding door so we don’t need to interact with Pepsi while we clean.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news while you are out of the country. I am not sure if we will be able to groom Pepsi in the future but if you wanted us to try we will write a note that he will need to be muzzled.

Pepsi seems to be in okay spirits.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 12:03 am
by Amanda
I lost the post I was writing, but the gist was that she may be responsible for the medical bill for the bite. I am not sure how that works with the groomer's workmans comp, etc. She should also make sure, but I believe where she lives (based on my memory) the city does not have additional vicious dog statutes. They comply with california state law which requires two bites before action is taken against the dog by labeling vicious/dangerous. She will have to be very careful in the future. Future bite(s) will result in this labeling which would require her to carry a hefty insurance policy in order to keep him as well as muzzling and/ or property modifications. I learned a lot when we went through this with Scout. If it happened here where I live, he'd already be in trouble. :(

I'm sorry this happened with her so far away. How stressful. The good news is that Pepsi will survive 10 days in the kennel and it's likely better for him to not have interaction for a bit. He's probably over threshold on his stress and needs a chance to chill as much as is possible there. I hope all works out as best as is possible.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 4:56 am
by connie
Well, that's off-the-charts stress for everyone ... I'm so sorry.

I agree that there is nothing she can do until the 10-day hold is up. And all the points Amanda made are excellent. I would probably want to set up an appointment with a vet behaviorist, when your cousin comes back, as I would want to know if Pepsi's bite was from fear, pain, or something else. I'm fairly certain this is not the first bite incident at the kennel, and they know how to proceed, it sounds like from the e-mail.

:( Sorry for all involved.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 5:40 am
by QBert
shame. but really it sounds as if the facility is well able to handle the required quarantine and there's nothing that needs immediate intervention. The email is professional and reasonable, it strikes me as a little unfair to suggest "improper handling". Was the staff made aware beforehand that the dog is particularly fearful and likely to be a fear-biter? Had they groomed/boarded him before?
It seems to me there is nothing to be done for now but evaluate how to proceed now that Pepsi has an 'official' bite history.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:29 am
by KatrinH
Stupid question, but what is a 10 day quarantine supposed to do? Aside from depriving the dog from human attention and exercise which will make it likely more hyper/unsure/aggressive or whatever is going on?

I am sorry your cousin has to go through this. I hope you can figure it out.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:45 am
by maxs_mommy
They quarantine the dog for 10 days and watch it for signs of rabies, IIRC. It's SOP.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:46 am
by maxs_mommy
Poor Pepsi, he's had a long go of it. I agree that there's nothing to do right now. Will your cousin be home during the quarantine period?

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 6:00 pm
by emmas_mom
If your cousin won't be home before animal control returns to "evaluate" him, I would want to have someone I know and trust there to observe the evaluation. I have seen some pretty badly done evaluations that resulted in perfectly fine dogs being labelled "vicious" and in one case in my province that evaluation resulted in a first-time offender being ordered euthanized. Your cousin also needs to obtain a copy of the bylaws for the area where the dog is boarded and read them thoroughly, as well as relevant state laws.
I was recently bitten quite badly while getting a terrified dog (not one of mine) out of traffic - got the dog to safety but a moment's inattention while I was tethering him in my car and he nailed me - small dog, big bite on little finger, breaking skin and bone all the way through, and sending me to emerg. Took the dog to animal control first, but we both agreed this was not a vicious dog in need of reporting - just an undersocialized guy left with a careless petsitter, who bolted (the dog not the petsitter) and found the big scary world of cars whizzing by more than he could handle. I suspect Pepsi's case was similar - owner gone, anxiety already up, stressful situation, moment's lapse by handler, brain disengages.
I hope this all ends well.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Mon Oct 13, 2014 9:40 pm
by Jen
I don't have a ton of time to respond, but thanks to everyone who did!!!I'll copy/paste to her.

By improper, I didn't mean to imply the groomer had done anything wrong. Just that Pepsi isn't aggressive; if he bit, it was because he was scared and it's not like J can't control him so *I* don't think he's a "vicious dog." I'd want the groomer to point that out to the evaluator.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Tue Oct 14, 2014 4:53 am
by QBert
I get ya. I'd imagine the groomers will support that if the evaluator is interested in hearing them out. There are actually some reasonable people in the industry! There's a dog boarding with my friend right now who's in the same boat. Not an aggressive animal, but frightened and defensive and willing to bite to get his point across. He could very easily end up in the same position if someones' attention or judgement were to lapse for just a moment while handling him. I hope everyone involved in Pepsi's evaluation is reasonable and fair, and this all becomes just a smirch on his record with no lasting serious impact.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer - update

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 9:24 am
by Jen
This is the latest email from the kennel. J says he has been boarded/groomed with them in the past and they are well-acquainted with this temperament and bolting history and have been good with him in the past.

Sounds like they don't blame him or her, and that's the best we can hope for.

He is still with us. My supervisor D is checking if he will be allowed to board with us again once this stay is up, because usually it is policy after a bite breaks skin under our care we do not allow animals back. This is under review right now and we can talk about it more when you pick up, but assuming Pepsi does not bite someone again, I do not believe there will be any other long-term consequences, nor do I believe there will be any additional fees. Animal Control may want to speak to you directly or have some different information I am not familiar with, I’ll find out more on the 22nd.

We all still all like him here and we all talk to him and give him kongs and special treats, we are just not allowed to remove him from his kennel until the 22nd once animal control probably releases the quarantine. After that we will be very cautious but his potty breaks should be able to be resumed as long as he does not display any further aggression.

Re: Pepsi bit his groomer

Posted: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:15 pm
by JudyL
That sounds like a positive email to me considering the situation. Maybe they would allow him back for grooming if he wore a muzzle in the future.