Nine-month-old puppy Harry was placed in a drying cage, a contraption used to efficiently dry-off a wet animal. The dog then fell ill and subsequently passed away shortly after.
A thorough investigation was conducted by The Scottish Society for Prevention of Cruelty for Animals (SSPCA), concluding that the cockapoo’s death was not due to a heat stroke but a collapsed intestine - something that its heartbroken owner believes was caused by the drying cage.
Mum of one and Harry’s owner, Lisa O’Neill thinks that being locked in such a small space would have made the doggie jump around leading to the intestinal problem.
She had brought the cute cockapoo to the award-winning dog groomer once previously in February 2021.
But when the dog returned in May 2021, Harry was left in the drying cage for a total of 30 minutes when he collapsed.
Ms O’Neill, who has refused to name the establishment, went to pick him up and brought him to her local vets in Ayrshire, and the next day was taken to a Vets Now Hospital in Glasgow where he was put to sleep on May 8.
According to the owner, a vet had described the use of drying cages as ‘death traps’ and now Ms O’Neill is campaigning for further regulation of the dog grooming industry.
Groomers are currently not required to inform customers whether or not their animal will be put into a drying cage, so are not vulnerable to specific negligence laws relating to their industry.
The contraption is a small cage which should only hold one pet. Warm air is then blown at the animal to dry it and is normally done through a stand dryer.
However, drying cages are known to present issues for animals such as skin irritation, discomfort and overheating - often caused by device malfunctions or when the pets are left unattended.
A petition has been issued to the Scottish government and has already received around 10,000 signatures
This cause has also been fully backed by the SSPCA, who told GlasgowWorld that groomers have a responsibility of care and that more needs to be done.
“Dogs should be under constant supervision whilst at a groomers. It can be a stressful situation for some dogs and every step should be taken to ensure they are safe and comfortable at all times,” they said in a statement.
“The rapid increase of dog ownership in Scotland has led to a boom in businesses such as groomers. Whilst many are reliable, well-trained and care about the welfare of the dogs they groom, the Scottish SPCA backs greater regulation of the industry.
“Owners should do their research, check reviews and try to use a reputable groomer at all times.”
If you would like to sign the petition to regulate the Scottish pet grooming industry, click here for more information.