Owner Claims Groomer Burned Dog

Warning: This story may disturb some readers.

Jean Braley had to say goodbye to her best friend unexpectedly.

Her poodle, Buttons, was burned so badly that she had to be euthanized.

Braley said that Buttons was perfectly fine when she left her dog at the groomers, but when she picked her dog up, Buttons was in pain, lethargic, listless, and had burns all over her body.

According to the vet’s report, 60% of Button’s body was burned. Both the vet and Braley agreed that it was best to put Buttons to sleep because of the intense pain that she was in.

Braley then confronted Sandra Henderson, the owner of Pooch Parlor in Mauldin, South Carolina. Henderson said that she has never had a problem like this in her 13 years of experience.

She said she has done nothing wrong and does not use any heat in her grooming salon. She stated that she used the normal shampoo on Buttons that she uses on all of her other customers.

Henderson said she thinks the incident had to do something with the condition of Buttons when she arrived.

A local news team contacted the Better Business Bureau and did not find any other complaints against Sandra’s Pooch Parlor.

Braley said, “The only reason I’m doing this is only because I don’t want this to happen to their dog. I don’t want their dog to go through what my dog went through and I don’t want them to gone through what I’ve gone through.”

Source: WSPA (Warning: If you click on the link, please note that there are disturbing images.)

24 Responses to “Owner Claims Groomer Burned Dog”

  1. Lynne says:

    If she doesn’t use heat how does she dry the dogs?
    Why didn’t the groomer call a vet if the dog was obviously injured?

    This reminds me of a story I read sometime last year about a puppy that was burned to death after a dryer clipped to the cage was left on and forgotten about.

    This is also why I groom my own dogs.

  2. Denise says:

    something obviously went horribly wrong there.
    a necropsy would be able to determine if those burns are chemical or heat-related.

    the groomer uses a mixing machine for shampoo(never heard of that!).

    people should never, ever leave their dogs at a grooming facility…too many horror stories…if you have to take your dog to one stay there with them.

    how that poor dog must have suffered.

  3. Maria says:

    Denise is absolutely right; a necropsy is in order. The picture of the dog was horrifying; I cannot imagine the pain Buttons must have felt. After reading the story and viewing the picture, I think most dog owners would make the decision to either groom at home, or be present at all times when their companion is at the groomer’s.

  4. Nancy G. says:

    Right, if she doesn’t use heat, then the dogs in her care risk getting chilled and getting sick. This was almost certainly a heater incident gone bad, and for her to say she doesn’t use heat suggests she knows full well what happened. I agree, the pictues are beyond belief, how that poor dog must have suffered.

  5. Lis says:

    Many groomers use high velocity dryers with no heat or very low heat, so yes, it is possible to dry a dog without heat. And dogs are at less risk of chill than of over-heating.

    But that still leaves the dog’s condition unexplained, and a necropsy is needed. If she screwed up the shampoo mix and burned the dog chemically, that’s not better than burning the dog with excess heat.

  6. Poodlluver says:

    I dont understand this at all. I am very confused.
    I am a groomer, and I dont have anything in my shop that would burn a dog like that.
    *Lynne*, dogs can be dried without using heat. There are dryers with no heating element. Just like the cool setting that most human blow dryers have. My shop is located here in my home and I only groom 3-4 dogs per day (my choice)
    I’m sorry that you feel the way you do about groomers, but we are not ALL bad, I assure you. I have 6 cats and 2 dogs, 2 birds, and a rabbit. ALL are rescues and are spoiled rotten. If you are able to groom your own pets, that is wonderful! But please, dont try to add more negative feeling towards ALL groomers. It drives me crazy when I read stories like this. Its already bad enough that things like this happen, WITHOUT someone adding bad feelings to the innocent groomers as well! My clients trust me very much, and that is one of the best feelings in the world for me. I even petsit for most of my clients, in their home when they are out of town.
    I care for my clients pets as though they were my own (and believe me,
    that is a GOOD thing) I have always loved animals all my life! I even stop and pick up injured wildlife out of the road and take them to a wildlife rehab 1 1/2 away. You CANNOT put ALL groomers in the same category and truthfully know what your talking about!!!

    I would love for someone to post a link to a more detailed story on this.
    Because I want to know how this happened. It does not make any sense to me. What kind of burns were on this dog? I dont understand…..

  7. Poodlluver says:

    OH MY gosh! I just googled and found the images of the poor dog…..
    That is horrifying and YES I think the lady should absolutely sue the groomer.
    The groomer is definetly to blame for this in my opinion.
    The groomer says that she thinks that the dog had a condition before she was left, IF that were true then the groomer should have refused service.
    I dont think thats true though. It looks like chemical burns or something.
    I cant image HOW or WHAT could have caused that.
    I am sick…

  8. Concha Castaneda says:

    Probably tainted shampoo imported from China.

  9. Poodlluver says:

    Concha Castaneda, you have a very good point.
    I wouldnt be a bit surprised.

  10. furmom says:

    If the dog had some condition before she started, the groomer wouldn’t have touched him with clipper, shampooer or anything else. Obviously something caused this dog’s terrible burns. If the groomer has no idea, then she’d better stop work until she finds out what happened or it will happen to another dog. Clippers can overheat, bathwater can be too hot, maybe the shampoo, or dryer is the problem but the cause must be identified before work continues on other dogs.

  11. Scratch says:

    The groomer should have taken this poor dog to the vet IMMEDIATELY. An explanation for this lack of action alone is in order. I hope this dog did not sit at the groomers in pain for hours?

    Something is missing. If this dog was in that bad of a grooming condition I would expect to see a very shaved down dog. Not one with that much hair left on the ears, etc. Unless the dog was caked underneath with something??

    Grooming blades can get burning hot and a groomer must touch them every minute to make sure they are only warm. Groomers often have to change the blades many times on one grooming. Maybe the blade heat was not checked?

    I would like to know if the person who groomed this dog was experienced?? Was it the owner or an employee?

    When the dog was washed was the water temperature right? One rinses from the top down. Maybe the temp was okay in the beginning of the rinse and burning hot at the end of the rinse? Typically the underneath areas are rinsed last.

    If it was the shampoo, we would see burns in more areas, not just underneath.

  12. Lynne says:

    Poodlelover, thank you for answering my question about the heat. That’s why I asked it.

    As for trashing all groomers, I don’t believe I did that. I simply pointed out that I groom my own dogs because I’ve never found anyone I completely trust them with. There is also the cost factor. (I’m paycheck to paycheck). I do not, in fact, believe all groomers are like this. Not by a long shot. Sometimes it is as harmful to take offense as it is to give it.

    My question about the groomer/vet remains unanswered.

  13. highnote says:

    I do not understand this at all. If it was heat or shampoo then the whole dog would have a problem I would think but only the under half seems to be bad. Plus the burns look so very deep! It almost looks like they sat the dog in boiling water and made the poor baby stay there, and yet the legs do not look burnt.
    Don’t some groomers use those stirup things to put the dogs in while they are grooming them? The stirup thing would be on the underhalf side of the body. I wonder what type they use and if this lady used it.
    I do think it looks like a chemical reaction because it is so deep. I do not understand why this person would not notice something like this and call the owner right away or get the poor baby to a vet quickly!! I do not know what I would do if this were my dog but I certainly would want this person out of business quickly before they harmed another pet!

  14. Nora and Rufus says:

    That poor little dog…….so pitiful. Those are critical 3rd degree burns that destroyed all the layers of skin down into the muscle. Horribly painful. That poor little dog was in shock and blind with pain. I have had 3rd degree burns on my lower leg, I know. ( and yes, this looks like a boiling liquid burn) I just cannot imagine how this happened. A visit to the groomer should make a dog feel better, NOT DEAD!

  15. Michelle says:

    There is definitely a whole lot missing to this story. And after viewing the images- my heart cries out for that poor dog and her owner. I can’t believe the dog got burned THAT bad, and the owner didn’t call ANYONE to have them pick her up. Also, when Braley went to pick up Buttons, didn’t she face the owner right away when she noticed the burns? Or did the burns start to get worse after she left? Either way, she obviously noticed something, which makes me wonder why she didn’t say something right away. But either way, the owner definitely did something to harm Buttons. Maybe Buttons has an allergic reaction to the shampoo, but that’s impossible because her body wouldn’t be BURNED like that. I really want a follow up with this story. I’d like to know the determination of where the burns came from, and if Braley plans on sending the owner to court, which she most definitely should.

  16. Rose says:

    I hope this groomre looses their business license and a full investigation into animal cruelty charges along with a lawsuit takes place.

    This episode erodes trust in the folks out there who are good at both grooming and ethics.

    My sympathies for what Buttons went through and her human who has a sad loss. This is so unfair.

  17. Lynn says:

    I have heard stories of groomers who put the dogs into crates after bathing them. These crates only have ventilation in the front, where the groomer parks the dryer and the air blows into that opening. The groomer then goes off and works on another dog and the poor animal in the crate is left with nowhere to go if the temperature on the dryer is too high…..or even if it’s not high, but has been on for a long time. [Like a windburn you would get.]

    This is horrible. It’s definitely got to be the groomer.

    Shame on every pet guardian if you take your pet in and don’t supervise the entire process.

    Poor Buttons and her guardian.

  18. Don Earl says:

    RE: “There is definitely a whole lot missing to this story.”

    Yeah, no foolin’.

    The dog couldn’t possibly have looked like that when it was dropped off, and it’s almost impossible to imagine it looked like that when it was picked up if there was even a second’s delay in getting it to the vet. It’s also hard to imagine a groomer with 13 years experience and zero complaints having things go that far wrong out of the clear blue sky.

    I wonder if a supplier messed up? My cousin ran a beauty shop for many years and I recall her mentioning once that some of the stuff is very caustic in the form it’s delivered. In giving a pet a bath, it’s a lot easier to rinse off the top and legs, than underneath, plus everything runs to the tummy side. That looks like where the damage was done.

    If a heavy duty beauty store produce was mislabeled, went into the shampoo, wasn’t completely washed off, then continued to react after drying and pickup, that might explain what happened.

    Whatever happened, it’s pretty terrible. We need a whole lot better liability and valuation of our pets to keep this sort of thing from happening. Our pets are priceless to us and we spend billions of dollars every year to take care of them. Those who profit from the value we place on our pets should be held liable for the valuation that allows them to profit in the first place.

  19. Gagegang says:


    Here is more to the story……

  20. Michelle says:

    Wow, I’m speechless. I don’t want to jump ahead without knowing the straight facts of this case. I really would like for you to do follow-ups on this story. It’s going to be interesting to know the outcome. Maybe when this is far and over with it. The public will keep there eye out. Articles stating on “how to protect your pet’s from groomers” And I’m sure alot of grooming schools are going to take a long look on their policys. And reinstate it. As well as groomer on wheels business.


  21. Nancy VB says:

    I take my 3 dogs to a local groomer that started her shop about a year ago.
    Before that we went to Petsmart for lack of any where else to go. I wasn’t happy with Petsmart grooming because these groomers have way to much to do all at once. They take the dogs in the back to bathe and dry, we can’t see them and neither can the groomer because while your dog is drying, she’s grooming someome elses dog out front. I used to sit in the parking lot and watch and I made sure they knew I was there.
    The groomer we use now is a small operation and before I decided to use her, I asked to see where she washes and drys the dogs and she showed and explained everything to me, she answered all my questions.
    BEFORE you hire someone to groom your beloved pet, check out the operation. If they don’t want to show you or act perturbed at your questions LEAVE. Not everyone that deals with animals likes or cares about them.
    I feel so bad for that poor burned little dog and it’s owner. If I went to pick up my dog from the groomer and she looked like that, I can’t say what I would do and I can’t imagine a shampoo causing burns like that.
    This is sad.

  22. Realist says:

    This is so sad.

    On a similar note, no matter who washes your dog please make sure you are using a natural shampoo with no chemical additives. At the self-service dog wash I’ve seen people using human shampoos and I can only imagine how that poor dog’s skin must feel. Their ph level is so completely different from ours. Buddy Wash is a good shampoo that uses essential essences and oils to give it a nice smell without adding chemical fragrance. The bonus is that even you can use it when camping as it is phthalate and phosphate free.

  23. DeeDee says:

    Well the press took one side of this story and ran, and everyone has judged Sandra upon this. What the public does not know is that Ms Jean Braley’s boyfriend had cleaned Button’s carrier with pure Clorox bleach (adding no water to it) then without rinsing the carrier or drying it they placed poor Buttons in it for a ride to the groomer. I know Sandra and she has a very deep love an concern for all pets. The pets comfort was her main objective in grooming. She infact, rehabilitated many dogs that had been mistreated and hurt by other groomers and regained the dogs trust in grooming. The shampoo machine Sandra used was a Hydrosurge that highly dilutes the shampoo (50 parts water to 1 part shampoo)and she had groomed Buttons along with several other dogs that day with the same solution and none of the other dogs had a problem. Sandra never had a “drain” problem and has never even had Draino nor any other product like it in her shop. Boy how easy it is to judge a person from the media story!

  24. DeeDee says:

    I left some information out of my earlier post. The reason I know these facts is that upon hearing of this incident I was concerned that a groomer could stay in business after this. So I set out and interviewed dozens of people to find out what to do to stop this from ever happening again. I was shocked to discover the REAL story. Sandra requested a necropsy the day after the incident but was denied because Ms. Jean Braley had swiftly creamated Buttons immediately after the euthanasia…sounds suspicious huh? The reason you have not heard any replies from Sandra is that she is a devout Christian and believes in FORGIVING not GETTING EVEN. Sandra believes that God is the ultimate judge and that “vengance is mine sayeth the Lord”. Sandra does not believe in fighting battles, she believes that God will fight her battles. Unfortunately Sandra has quit grooming because this incident broke her heart. We have lost a trully caring, compasionate, and loving groomer to take care of animals that may otherwise get mistreated at another groomer as often is the case.

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