Owner of cocker spaniel who burned to death in 'drying' cage at dog groomers tells of her horror at losing her beloved pet


Much loved: Maureece with Trudie the cocker spaniel

A spaniel was virtually cooked to death in a home-made drying cage after her owner dropped her at a dog groomer.
The next time Maureece Sarell saw her pet Trudie, the animal was critically ill at a vet’s. A court heard the seven-year-old had to be put down after suffering internal bleeding, blistered skin and dehydration.
Magistrates were told the golden cocker spaniel spent 20 minutes in groomer Jo Taylor’s contraption – made from a tarpaulin-covered steel cage with a heater attached. When she released the pet she realised something was wrong and took her to the vet, but little could be done to ease the animal’s suffering.
Taylor, 31, was convicted of failing in her duty of care towards the animal following a prosecution brought by the RSPCA.
Yesterday, an inspector said Trudie’s death highlighted the need for stricter controls on the unlicensed dog grooming trade.

Devoted: Maureece described how she has only ever been apart from Trudie for 10 days

Taylor admitted the injuries were caused while Trudie was in her care but said the cage was a popular method of drying dogs.
Before the incident in October, 81 dogs had used the cage – including her own pet for as long as 70 minutes at a time, the court heard.
She told Leicester Magistrates’ Court: ‘I’ve also groomed 100 more dogs since the incident and no problems have been encountered.’

Horrific: Trudie the cocker spaniel was literally burned to death in a homemade dog drying cage which she was left to cook in for 20 minutes. This picture shows the injuries she suffered

The groomer said Trudie ‘made a little whimpering sound’ when she put her in the cage, which was ‘normal for a lot of dogs’, and claimed she had been standing beside the cage the entire length of time the pet was inside.
Magistrates, however, said they found it ‘difficult to accept’ evidence that Trudie was checked every few minutes.
Taylor, who ran Yensid Dog Grooming from her home in Wigston, Leicester, was cleared of causing unnecessary suffering but convicted of failing in her duty of care.
She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 costs.

Awful: The seven-year-old doe-eyed golden cocker spaniel suffered burns and internal injuries after being placed in the cage by dog groomer Jo Taylor

Trudie's owner Maureece Sarell, a nurse, fought back the tears the final moments of her beloved pet were revealed.
After the case, divorcee Mrs Sarell, 55, said: ‘It’s disgraceful that Trudie was left in that box unsupervised.’
RSPCA inspector Sally Kearns said: ‘The injuries were absolutely horrific.
‘It was basically the same as when a dog is left in a car on a hot day. You can only imagine the pain.’
She said groomers often use similar cages to dry dogs and she had seen other animals burned by groomers.

Much-loved: Trudie is pictured before she died. After being in the heater, her skin had started to peel and blister and tests showed that she was dehydrated

Heartbreaking: After realising the extent of her injuries, the vet and Trudie's owner, Maureece Sarell, agreed to save her suffering and have her put down

She said: 'It was the only time she moved the whole time she was there when I arrived, the vets said she hadn't shown any signs of life before then.
'She was black and blue and I have seen a lot of things in my life as a nurse but that was one of the worst things I have ever seen.
'Trudie was at the vets being treated until about half past five in the afternoon, it was then she was put to sleep.'

The offending business: A sign at the firm owned by Taylor

Mrs Sarell shared her bedroom with Trudie, who had a basket at the end of her bed, and said she was numb after her best friend's death.
She said: 'I had only ever been apart from her for ten days since we had her as a puppy.
'This wasn't the first time she had been to be groomed but I had no idea about the "homemade dryer" Jo was using.
'I actually went around to see Jo after it happened and she had the dryer on then, it was very loud and I can't see how you could hear anything over it.'
Vet Emma Drabble said Trudie was given antibiotics and pain relief before having aloe vera and bandages applied to her wounds.
Ms Drabble said: 'Her skin had started to peel and blister and when we took a blood sample it showed she was dehydrated.

Dangerous: This image shows the homemade cage which was used at Yensid Dog Grooming

Homemade: Jo Taylor runs Yensid Dog Grooming from her home in Wigston, Leicestershire, pictured

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 Mrs Sarrell said: 'I can't believe she is still allowed to groom dogs.'

Suffering: Magistrate Peter Tyler said he found it difficult to accept the evidence that Trudie was checked every few minutes while in the heater. Maureece Sarrell is pictured left

source: dailymail