A family is still in mourning after the death of their dog Piper while being treated.
The groomer said it was an accident, but it doesn’t help the family’s pain.
Now the family is suing Alexis Anderson, the owner of Bow Wow Boutique, a mobile grooming service they previously used to groom Piper, a 4-pound toy poodle.
Piper was tiny but held a huge place in the hearts of the Dion family.
“She went everywhere with us,” said Katherine Dion. “There was nowhere we went that Piper didn’t go.”
In September, the family hired Bow Wow Boutique to visit their home in order to groom Piper.
But less than 10 minutes after Piper was whisked out of their house and into the mobile grooming unit parked outside, tragedy struck.
“She came back to the door with Piper and Piper’s neck was broken,” Dion said.
In their lawsuit, the family quotes the groomer as saying “Piper fell off the table. “
“I loved him,” Dion said. “I still cry every day that she left.”
“I thought she was a very skilled groomer because she presented herself that way to me. However, I now know that she has absolutely no education, ”Dion said.
According to local law, no groomer needs training in pet grooming, a fact that does not suit Gulf Coast Humane Society Executive Director Gary Willoughby.
“It’s a bit of the Wild West at times with working with animals,” Willoughby said.
Groomers can get certifications from specialty pet grooming schools, but the Gulf Coast Humane Society confirms that groomers are not required to take formal training of any kind.
“Those of us who work in this area would like to see tougher laws, more punitive laws to prevent this kind of thing from happening,” Willougby said.
Dion said otherwise anyone can go out and say he’s a dog groomer.
WINK News contacted Alexis Anderson, owner of the Bow Wow store, and the groomer who was with Piper when she died but had no response.
“This unexpected loss of life is really difficult to overcome. We never want to forget that and we want to try to do better, ”said Willoughby.
The Dion family are still shocked by Piper’s death but want to prevent it from happening to other families. Dion said she advises people to find out about their qualifications and proof of animal grooming experience.
“There is no amount of money you could pay me to replace her,” Dion said. “I can’t get it back.”
Willougby said he hopes the company will make changes.
“I hope this company, if it even deserves to be in business, will try to make improvements so that it doesn’t happen again. Put more security measures, ”he said.
In Florida, pets are still considered “property,” so pet owners can only sue for the cost of replacing a pet.