A New Jersey family is heartbroken after their beloved dog, a 5-year-old Newfoundland named Samson, died after a visit to a local grooming salon.
Jennifer Laddy went to pick up Samson at Glamour Paws Boutique in Mahwah last week when she noticed her dog was struggling to breathe and stand up. They immediately rushed him to the vet, where they said he was suffering from heatstroke.
“They took his temperature which was 109.5 at that moment,” Stephen Laddy, Jennifer’s husband, told ABC. “Immediately, they had said heatstroke.”
Jennifer suspected that the groomer was drying Samson with hot air, which is not recommended for certain breeds because it can cause the dog to overheat.
“Newfies have two coats and you have to dry them with either cool air or towel dry them, but you shouldn’t be using heat on them,” Jennifer said.
Now, the family is calling on the grooming salon for answers as to what happened to their beloved dog. The local news station visited the salon and the doors were closed upon staff noticing that they had brought cameras.
The Laddys are now joining a community effort in the state calling for dog groomers to be licensed. This movement was started by Rosemary Marchetto, whose dog, Bijou, died at a grooming shop in New Jersey eight years ago.
“The people who are grooming your dog are not licensed,” Marchetto said. “The reason why they aren’t licensed – a license doesn’t exist.”
Marchetto is the founder of Bijousbill.com, a website dedicated to pushing for reform in the grooming industry and to get groomers licensed.
Bijou’s Bill passed with flying colors in the New Jersey State Assembly in October 2018, and it is now awaiting passage from the State Senate. It has garnered support from several animal groups, including the American Kennel Club and the New Jersey Dog Groomers Alliance.
When Jennifer dropped Samson off at the grooming salon that day, she had no idea it would be the last time she’d see her beloved dog healthy.
“The owner came out and said, ‘Oh your dog was hot so we put him out here to cool him off. We put him in front of a vent and we were giving him some water,'” Jennifer said. “I called (Samson) and he tried to get up and his back legs gave out.”
Since Samson’s death, the Laddys have received an outpouring of support from the community, and a protest is set for this Saturday at the grooming salon. While nothing can be done to bring Samson back, with enough effort and public pressure, more can be done to ensure that other dogs don’t suffer the same fate that he did.