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Groomer Sentenced

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Poor little dog - the photos (which I can't copy) are awful :mad

A former Canberra dog groomer has pleaded guilty to animal neglect charges after nine dogs were injured at his salons, most of them severely burned by dryers trained on them as they were trapped in cages.

The burnt skin was not always immediately noticeable under their hair and, in one case, a dog suffered for three weeks with the burns as her owner and vet tried to work out what was wrong with her.

Jenny Dawson, of Banks, at home this week with Miley, one of nine dogs injured or burnt at salons owned by former Canberra dog groomer Lance Baker. Miley is still not 100 per cent and cannot go for long walks.

Jenny Dawson, of Banks, at home this week with Miley, one of nine dogs injured or burnt at salons owned by former Canberra dog groomer Lance Baker. Miley is still not 100 per cent and cannot go for long walks. Photo: Graham Tidy

The burnt dogs had to endure dead skin being sloughed off and surgery that sometimes meant they had to suffer with open wounds as they healed.

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The thermal-type burns also did not become noticeable until days later as the skin started to scab.

The groomer, Lance Baker, 54, formerly of Macquarie, pleaded guilty in the ACT Magistrates Court to two charges of neglect animal so as to cause pain.

Magistrate Beth Campbell on November 25 fined him $6000 and sentenced him to a four-month jail sentence, fully suspended on him entering an 18-month good behaviour bond.

But Baker, who has been declared bankrupt, is unlikely to pay the fine or the thousands of dollars in vet bills.

He has also relocated to Melbourne so was not able to be sentenced to any community service.

The offences occurred at two salons then owned by Baker – Dog World at Hume and Animal Attractions at Macquarie – between June 1, 2013, and September 6, 2013.

Eight of the dogs were burned – Banjo, Boo Boo, Cupid, Bella, Theo, Molly, Miley and Ella. A ninth, Angus, fell off the grooming table and injured his leg.

The owners of Miley, Jaid and Jenny Dawson, of Banks, believe Baker got a "quite lenient" sentence and were upset there was nothing to prevent him from working with animals again.

"I feel a little bit disgusted," Mr Dawson said.

Miley suffered third-degree burns at Dog World on September 7, 2013.

At the time, the couple said their much-loved spoodle, now seven years old, looked like she had "basically been put in a fan-forced oven".

The Dawsons spent $11,000 on vet fees and $5000 in legal fees trying to locate Baker. They were given a $5400 donation from dog lovers after their story appeared in The Canberra Times.

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Mrs Baker said she understood the limitations placed on the magistrate.

"But the worry in the end is you can't be sure it won't happen again.," she said.

Baker maintained that another employee had caused the injuries but as the owner of the two salons, he took responsibility.

He promised the owners publicly in The Canberra Times in November 2013 that he would repay their vet fees but none of them have seen a cent.

A statement of facts tendered to the court outlined that Baker's partner, Claire Carmody, who co-owned the salons, confirmed to RSPCA inspectors that the "small dogs were placed in cat carry cages and left with one of the dryers blowing on to them".

The cages would become extremely hot and the dogs had no way to escape the blasts of heat.

Another staff member, when questioned about her qualifications, told the inspectors Baker had taught her.

Charnwood woman Nadine Morton's then five-year-old Maltese-cross, Boo, suffered burns at Animal Attraction on July 27. His vet fees were $1800. She said on Friday she was disappointed with Baker's sentence.

"Really, we were expecting it," Mrs Morton said.

Mrs Morton said after her dog was injured, another six were burnt at the salons even as she complained to Baker about the treatment Boo had received.

"If he had of listened to us when we were worried about Boo's injuries, all the other dogs would have been saved," she said.

Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/former-canberra-dog-groomer-lance-baker-fined-6000-and-given-suspended-jail-sentence-for-animal-neglect--charges-20151203-gle67t.html#ixzz3tOoW1ot3

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Oh dear, here you go blink: LINK

Some people may find the pictures disturbing, FYI.

Edit: Beaten by a minute!

Edited by Thistle the dog

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Roova   

How could they possibly not realise?? The cages must have been hot to the touch when they got the dogs out and wouldn't the dogs have been yelping or crying? The poor little things :(

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There's no regulation of the grooming industry, any fool can pick up a pair of clippers and scissors, announce themselves to be a "groomer" and set up shop.

This man has a long history of poor treatment of animals and clients alike from the early days of "Jims" to the Macquarie premises.

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Scratch   

Yep, there is absolutely nothing stopping anyone from hanging out their shingle claiming to be a dog groomer. And unfortunately there are a lot of people from kids just out of school to second career professionals and everyone and anyone In between who seem to reckon "it's only dogs" "how hard can it be" with pretty much zero experience with the equipment or dog handling, who do exactly that across Australia each and every day.

The quality of the hairstyling is secondary to the treatment, handling and conditions for the dogs. Personally I would like to see enforcible minimum industry standards as well as a licensing system. Not so much targeted at the ability to put out a smashing style but at least to understand the animals and recognise best handling and safety practices.

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Snook   

How horrific. Those poor bloody dogs. All I can say is that I'm so very thankful that Justice has his bath and nails done by blinkblink, where I know he's safe and extremely well cared for.

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How horrific. Those poor bloody dogs. All I can say is that I'm so very thankful that Justice has his bath and nails done by blinkblink, where I know he's safe and extremely well cared for.

Yup.

I (obviously) don't use Blinkblink but im fussy. There is a local place, where you can also DIY - ive had to use twice in a week - once for a regular bath & once the ither day for an emergency "he rolled in poo" bath.

Both times ive seen them walk away with dogs on tables for extended periods.

Chills me to the bone.

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Scratch   

How horrific. Those poor bloody dogs. All I can say is that I'm so very thankful that Justice has his bath and nails done by blinkblink, where I know he's safe and extremely well cared for.

Yup.

I (obviously) don't use Blinkblink but im fussy. There is a local place, where you can also DIY - ive had to use twice in a week - once for a regular bath & once the ither day for an emergency "he rolled in poo" bath.

Both times ive seen them walk away with dogs on tables for extended periods.

Chills me to the bone.

I will leave dogs on tables.....there I said it!!!

but....... Some dogs are much happier and relaxed sitting on a table with a humane well fitted tether , than in a crate where they scratch and scream until their feet and or mouths bleed. If I leave a dog on a table it is always tethered and always in my line of sight. I designed my salon specifically so that either directly or reflected in the wall mirrors, I can see what any dog is up to at any time, no matter where it is in the salon. On the rare occasion I do leave a dog tethered on the table it is after considering the safety and happiness of the dog. Some are simply much happier sitting up on the table for just a few minutes after their groom until the owner arrives, or while I do a quick walk in nail trim on the other table. Of course the dog on the table will be immediately removed to a safer spot if it shows any inclination for trying to jump down or slip off or becomes agitated. I groom one at a time so most dogs that are waiting it's only for a short time, and there are minimum distractions for me or the dog.

Most dogs are happy enough to sit in the trolley or a crate for a short time with some treats or a chew, but Some dogs are simply happier and/or safer spending those few minutes perched up on the table safely tethered.

There is however no excuse what so ever for walking away from a table from an un tethered dog, or leaving the line of sight of a tethered dog.

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This was leave the room, serve at front counter, have a chat. Both times.

Wont be leaving Scott there on his own.

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Scratch   

This was leave the room, serve at front counter, have a chat. Both times.

Wont be leaving Scott there on his own.

Eeek! My front counter is literally one step from my main grooming table. I run a completely open shop. Not only can I see what is going on anywhere in the salon at any time, but also can my clients.

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I'm just thinking about this from a practical/common sense perspective. If you went over to a cage or crate and it was really hot to touch wouldn't you think "Oh dear, that blow dryer is too hot, too close or on too high a speed."? If the dog was panting and trying to hide away from the dryer, if it was shaking or making sounds of distress or if he was very hot or painful to touch/pick up in the salon wouldn't that also indicate the dryer had not been used in a way that wasn't safe for that dog? Do you use a dryer the same way on say a teensy yorkie as you would a standard poodle? Of course you shouldn't - size does sometimes matter. So even without formal training couldn't staff use some common sense?

So even if the industry doesn't standardise or bring in licensing it is appalling that people convicted of causing harm (particularly in a commercial profit making environment) don't end up paying compensation or being banned from being able to do it again. It shouldn't matter that this guy has moved state. What actual impact has this conviction had on him so far? His jail time was suspended, he's out of the state so can't do community service, has conveniently bankrupted so wont be paying any fines or reimbursing the vet fees as he promised. What actual punishment is there? What redress is there for the victims?

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This was leave the room, serve at front counter, have a chat. Both times.

Wont be leaving Scott there on his own.

Eeek! My front counter is literally one step from my main grooming table. I run a completely open shop. Not only can I see what is going on anywhere in the salon at any time, but also can my clients.

Yup.

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Snook   

This was leave the room, serve at front counter, have a chat. Both times.

Wont be leaving Scott there on his own.

Eeek! My front counter is literally one step from my main grooming table. I run a completely open shop. Not only can I see what is going on anywhere in the salon at any time, but also can my clients.

That's why I don't mind you answering the phone or attending to someone who's walked in the door while Justice is on the table, on the few occasions when that's happened. I know you're only a metre or so from him the whole time and that he just waits patiently and stays still. For anyone who doesn't know, in addition to blinkblink's salon being completely open and visible from reception as she's described, there's a waiting room for owners to sit in if they want to wait while their dog is groomed (Justice only takes about 20 minutes from start to finish so I wait) that's just off to the side of the reception and you can hear everything that's happening.

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Scratch   

I can't do anything about the cowboy groomers out there. All I can do is lead by example and hope that not only other groomers might stop, think, make positive changes to their practices, but also owners might stop and look and think, and ask questions of the grooming services they might find themselves using

Safety should always always always be the primary concern in the salon.

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I've mentioned it before but Saxon was booked into this place for his first ever groom as a puppy. I hadn't dealt with dog grooming before I had him so I didn't think to ask whether could stay and watch and when I got there it was impossible to see the grooming area and when I asked to look I was very bluntly told by a staff member that no I couldn't look out the back. A manager (maybe the owner?) came out and more politely explained it was for insurance reasons that I couldn't go beyond the tiny, enclosed reception area but I just had a really bad feeling about it and couldn't bring myself to leave Saxon there. Thank goodness I didn't!!

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It's also the same salon that had a little Papillon client allegedly escape out the front door while it was there for grooming and was never seen again, despite a huge campaign to find it. It was widely suspected the dog had died but the salon didn't want to admit it. You never know of course, maybe the salon was being completely honest but there was a lot of suspicion.

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