Dog badly burned by groomer's dryer cage, Leicester magistrates told
A beloved family pet had to be put down after it received horrific burns at a dog groomer's.
Seven-year-old golden cocker spaniel Trudie suffered burns and internal injuries after being placed in a homemade drying cage at Yensid Dog Grooming, Wigston, on October 6.
The animal spent 20 minutes in a device made from a steel cage with a heater attached, which had been covered in a tarpaulin, before dog groomer Jo Taylor took her out.
Taylor (31) immediately took Trudie to Vets4Pets, in Oadby, but her injuries were so severe that staff put her down.
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Following the incident, Taylor, who runs the business from her home in Culworth Drive, was interviewed by the RSPCA.
She was charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure the welfare of an animal in her care.
Giving evidence at Leicester Magistrates' Court yesterday, Taylor described what had happened.
"She was sitting up the whole time she was in the cage and I was there the whole time," she said.
"She made a little whimpering sound when I put her in but that's normal for a lot of dogs.
"She responded to my voice but made no moves to come out when the drying had finished.
"I reached in and she stumbled. I saw the injuries on her leg and I thought the rash had become inflamed."
Vet Emma Drabble said Trudie was given antibiotics and pain relief before having aloe vera and bandages applied to her wounds.
"Her skin had started to peel and blister and when we took a blood sample it showed she was dehydrated," Ms Drabble said.
"Her temperature reduced to normal after a couple of hours but the internal bleeding continued."
The vet and Trudie's owner agreed to save her suffering and have her put down.
Taylor admitted the injuries were caused while the animal was in her care but said the cage was a popular method of drying dogs. Before October, 81 dogs, including her own, had used the cage.
She said: "I've also groomed 100 more dogs since the incident and no problems have been encountered."
Taylor said she had placed her own pet in the device for 70 minutes with no ill effects.
Magistrate Peter Tyler said: "We find it difficult to accept the evidence that the dog, Trudie, was checked every few minutes.
"The injuries were caused during the drying process. You failed in your duty to keep her from harm."
Taylor was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 court costs.
After the trial, Trudie's owner Maureece Sarell, 55, said: "It's disgraceful that she was left in that box unsupervised."