groomer kills pets


    Three pet owners say their animals have been abused at a Wilton Manors grooming salon called Happy Pawz.

    The Wilton Manors Police Department is investigating the shop after receiving complaints from customers that the owner, Mark Goldstein, mistreated animals.

    Police confirmed receiving two complaints against Goldstein, but would not elaborate because of the ongoing investigation.

    Happy Pawz was operating until the end of October, but a new shop called Grooming Greg's has since opened at the same address, 2225 Wilton Drive.

    Brian Butler says he brought his 16-year-old poodle Spike to the shop last month for a haircut, and the next day his dog was dead from broken ribs and internal bruising.

    "This is inexcusable, unforgivable," said Butler, a Wilton Manors resident who said he has filed a police report. "I brought my dog there for a nice bubble bath and haircut ... Spike didn't deserve to die like that."

    Goldstein declined to comment, but his attorney, James Benjamin, said he was aware of only one complaint, concerning Spike.

    "To my understanding, there was a 15-year-old dog that left my client's place of business and passed away after that," Benjamin said. "This dog could've died from brittle bones."

    Butler said he took Spike to Happy Pawz about 10:30 a.m. Oct. 15 for a haircut. Goldstein was the only groomer in the shop, he said. About six hours later, Butler said he returned to pick up his dog and saw blood trickling from Spike's mouth.

    Butler said he asked Goldstein why his dog was bleeding and was told Spike had bitten his own tongue. When he brought Spike home, the dog appeared sluggish and disoriented, he said.

    Butler said he and his partner, Skip Geel, took Spike to Family Pet Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale about 5 p.m., where the dog was put on oxygen and given morphine. Spike died the following afternoon.

    According to the dog's autopsy report, the gray-haired miniature poodle died from "lesions consistent with very forceful blunt trauma ... causing rib fractures" and that his third right tooth was "displaced sideways toward the lips."

    Butler said he was so distraught after Spike's death that he crawled into his dog's cage so he wouldn't forget the way his pet smelled.

    "Spike was a member of this house for 16 years; it's like my 16-year-old child has been beaten to death," Butler said.

    Other pet owners say their animals have either died or been mistreated in Goldstein's care.

    Fort Lauderdale resident Carol Semus said that when she went to the salon in September to pick up her cat, Panda Bear, a black-and-white Persian, she found her feline howling in pain. Semus said she later took her 2-year-old cat to an animal hospital, where Panda Bear was diagnosed with a broken front right leg.

    "She has a permanent limp now," said Semus, 40, who said she has filed a complaint with police. "And she's still afraid to have people touch her. She's definitely not the same cat that she was before."

    Chester Therrien, of Fort Lauderdale, says he recently walked into Happy Pawz and saw Snowball, his $1,000 Himalayan cat, lying dead on the table.

    Therrien said when he and his daughter, Michelle Longway, asked Goldstein for an explanation, they were told Snowball, 2, had died of a heart attack.

    "I was like, `Excuse me?' said Longway, who said she saw her father cry for the first time. "I couldn't believe my eyes. The cat looked like it had drowned. His mouth was all purple."

    They too said they filed a police report.

    Pam Lauritzen, executive director of the Texas-based International Society of Canine Cosmetologists, a nationwide grooming association, is unaware of the accusations made against Goldstein. But she said animal mistreatment at pet salons is widespread because the industry is unregulated.

    "Anyone can open a shop," Lauritzen said. "We've heard many instances of animals getting injured severely."

    Lauritzen said the most common types of injuries that animals suffer from at pet salons are broken limbs, nicks and abrasions.

    Three organizations, including her own, certify groomers, but it's not required to do that job. But by verifying a groomer has certification, owners can have more assurance their pet is in good hands, Lauritzen said.

    Can you believe this? People like this make me sick. No wonder I don't want to take my cats to the vet and leave them there.
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  3. by   sbic56
    Nothing infuriates me to the core more than this type of sick, worthless excuse for a human being. I would not be responsible for my behavior had this cowardly freak done anything like that to one of my pets. Stories like that send me out of my mind with thoughts of the most brutal revenge possible. Arghhhhh!!
  4. by   night owl
    I hate reading stuff like this! It always leaves a sick feeling in my stomach. Those poor pets...
  5. by   VivaLasViejas
    This is one of the only two actions (the other being hurting or killing a member of my family) for which I could intentionally harm another human being. People like this ought to be taken out into the street and beaten to within an inch of their rotten lives. They don't deserve "three hots and a cot" in jail......they should have to suffer a little of what those poor helpless animals went through at their hand.:angryfire
  6. by   EastCoast
    THere was just a case somewhere in the west where it was incredibly warm and the groomers placed a dog in front of this big doggie hair dryer and the dog died. I remember that the owner of the shop didn't even call the people he just told them when they came in to pick up their dog who was truly a member of the family. For some reason it sticks in the back of my head that because it was not 'intentional' no charges could be pressed or even damages collected.
  7. by   TitaniaSidhe
    I say send a copy of this link to PETA & let these people get a good dose of payback. Those that hurt the innocent such as elderly, children or animals deserve the worst they can get...
  8. by   Rapheal
    This makes me sick. I just had my dog groomed yesterday and am so glad I didn't read this first because she might not have gone. No matter how nice the groomer seems, you really don't know what goes on in the back room.

    I wonder if I should take her to Pet's Mart. They have the groomers work in a room that has glass walls so that you and the public can see what is going on. I know I am probally a little paranoid after reading this....... and I once had a bad experience with a groomer.

    I had a big gentle dog with a thick double coat. I took him to the neighborhood groomer and she showed me the grooming area and the cages where the dogs would wait to be picked up. I like to be called when my dogs are done so I can pick them right up. The first grooming seemed ok. The second time we went I dropped my dog off at 8 am. At noon I called to see if he was done. The groomer got snotty with me and told me she hadn't even started yet. I went to pick him up anyway figuring I would wash him myself. When I got there HE WAS IN A CAGE IN A LITTLE TINY DARK CLOSET WITH THE DOOR CLOSED. He was shaking. I took him home and never went back.

    The next groomer I got charged me over a $100 because he was so hard to do. She was nice to him and he was licking her after she was done. At least she was honest. Obviously the problem with the first groomer was that my dog was big and so time consuming. She just should have told me she didn't want to groom him. No need to be so mean that I wouldn't take him anymore. After that I groomed him. People who are mean to animals should be in jail. Sorry for the rant- I love animals.
  9. by   jnette
    Originally posted by mjlrn97
    This is one of the only two actions (the other being hurting or killing a member of my family) for which I could intentionally harm another human being. People like this ought to be taken out into the street and beaten to within an inch of their rotten lives. They don't deserve "three hots and a cot" in jail......they should have to suffer a little of what those poor helpless animals went through at their hand.:angryfire
    Oh, how I DO agree !!!

    This makes me sick to my stomach... and I'm sick enuff already.

    I have a VERY vivid imagination, and I cannot help but "see" these poor animals in my head... their facial expressions as they were being exposed to such brutality. The dog.. trusting, yet frightened.. eyes darting from side to side.. with those "sad" doggie eyebrows moving up and down... wanting to defend himself yet "knowing better".... the cat's eyes wide and terrified, ears flattened, certainly attempting to claw, scratch, or flee.

    This groomer had some serious issues (impatience) and it was probably nothing more than a "positioning" thing. The animals weren't sitting just the way he wanted/needed so he got angry and attempted to force them into the position he could best work with. As he "forced", the animals became frightened, lost their trust, and reluctant to comply. This then turned into a power play. The more frightened and reluctant the animals became, the more forceful the groomer got with them until the finale of "I'll show YOU who's boss" scenario of rage and breaking bones.

    I really can't spend much more time dwelling on this or I'll weep a puddle of tears into my keybord.........

    Ppl like that need to be tied to a lightpost with their britches pulled down and a fresh pound of meat and gravy tossed at their a**... then let all the dogs and cats in the neighborhood loose.
  10. by   colleen10
    That is just absolutely horrendous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think it is horrible that people like this would do that to poor defenseless animals, but even worse that they would do it so many times. Did they not think that they would get caught? That finally someone would investigate and press charges?

    It makes you wonder about some of these places. I agree though, I would probably stick to a well known groomer or a place like PetSmart with windows or one of those travelling groomers where you can be in the same area as you pet.

    When I was younger we had a family dog that we took to the groomers frequently for bath, flea dip and clipping. I remember we had only had him for a few months and he was only a year or so old, when we picked him up from the groomers and he seemed to be having trouble with his hind legs and sitting and has no energy, general malaise. The very next day we took him to the vet. After examining him the vet said he had major inflammation and probably the beginning of infection of the glands around his perineal area. It turned out that the groomer had "cleaned" his glands as part of his grooming, and done serious damage and pain to my poor pet. Apparently in our state it is was illegal for a groomer to perform such a procedure. I believe the vet reported them to whomever you would report in such a case.
  11. by   kids
    Things like this just make me feel sick.
    If a groomer abused my dog you can be darn sure there would be charges filed but they probably wouldn't be against the groomer.
    We take our dogs in a couple of times a year, when it is too cold to bathe them outside (we have warm water access outside). We have used the same person for years, and have never had any hint of a problem...the girls don't balk going into the shop and the always come out happy and cheerful.
  12. by   canoehead
    I just adopted a cat from the humane society. She's 15 years old and very regal, but she came to them with eye and ear infections and her tail has been broken. It healed with a kink in the end, but doesn't appear to be painful now.

    When she got home she was shy but within a day was following me around like a puppy, winding around my legs and snuggling if I ever sat down. She must think she's in kitty heaven, but I can't imagine what was in the mind of the person who let such a sweet cat suffer, and then just abandoned her.

    Does anyone watch Animal Planet's shows on animal cops? When I see that I just thank goodness that my kitties are safe and healthy.
  13. by   ladyjane
    This makes me very sick. I used to take my dogs to a lady who "specialized" in their cut. schnauzers have a look you have to maintain, or it can take months to grow out correctly. it made me mad one day when i went to get them, and she wouldn't let me see them "behind the door". she would open the door part way and talk to me. the place had an awful odor too. never trusted what she was doing, and didn't go back, told others too. jnette, i too can "see" their little terrified faces being abused and very confused at why this person is hurting them.
  14. by   CarVsTree
    My friend used to own a grooming shop and she had it setup so you could see the grooming are through the window and from the counter.

    This is a very sad story.