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Reply with quote  #1 

I am re-visiting this topic because some have posted in past discussions that the groomer/shop is responsible for vet bills.

The recent article "The Kindest Cut" by Jennifer Nelson in the AKC Family Dog Sept/Oct issue, Jennifer quotes, Beth Cronk a New York groomer that also advocates paying vet bills in the "Nicks and Cuts" section of the article  - "If an injury does happen the groomer is responsible and must pay the Vet bill and inform you immediately".

The whole point of the article advocating that groomers should pay for vet bills is to:
1. point out that inexperienced careless groomers need to be held responsible because no training and licensing is required.
2. encourage pet owners to keep their pets hair/coats in better condition  and to notify experienced  groomers of their dogs allergies and sensitivities
3. to reduce or prevent risks inherent in grooming from happening by choosing a  experienced conscience and trained groomer. 
"Most of these will not occur with an experience conscience groomer "says Bohman. 

I understand some of the reasoning behind requiring the inexperienced untrained groomers to be required to pay Vet bills. As I said on another post " all my years of grooming I have never nicked or cut a dog". I have never razor burned a dog either. Sensitive areas "the side of a poodles face" sure, had that happen a few times in the early years. But only because the owner did not know their dog was sensitive to their wool carpet in their home. We all know how dogs rub their faces especially faces against something when shaved as close as the customer wants it to be. But a little education provides the knowledge needed to understand about irritations that can affect a dogs skin. Unfortunately because so many are entering the field today with no training at all more dogs are developing skin sensitives for the reason mentioned in the article. Many of these new groomers today entering the field, even those trained by schools or that are apprenticed, are not required to learn about dogs skin sensitivities. 

Those that have no training that are being so careless are causing even professional groomers, to have the opinion that groomers should pay Vet bills.

Here is what I suspect and fear if this opinion is allowed to stand.

Some insurance companies already offer malpractice policies to groomers.
I suspect more insurance companies are positioning themselves to offer such policies to all groomers when licensing does take place.

A whole bureaucratic group is waiting in the wings to take as much of our incomes as possible, not if, but when licensing happens.
I suspect some are influencing opinions in our field right now, with such opinions as "groomers should pay vet bills", and as some insurance companies have already shown are ready to step forward to meet that growing need caused by the lack of required training.
I fear State licensing will require all groomers to have malpractice insurance shortly after licensing takes place.

Then we all will be demanding a cap be placed on the amounts licensed groomers will have to pay for vet bills. Why? Just to keep groomer malpractice insurance premiums down. Have you aware of some of the extraordinarily high cost owners are willing to pay a Vet today.

If you think we are not licensed yet because groomers efforts to stop licensing from passing is the reason, think again.
The delay is so the bureaucrats and special interest groups, that have been watching and participating in our field and on message boards, will have more time to influence new groomers and professional groomers opinions.
The opinion that groomers should pay vet bills in only one area they are influencing. As I said, the delay is purposeful and gives the special interest groups more time to get our profession and professionals prepared and ready for State licensing. 

This "pay the vet bill" opinion express in the article by a groomer that groomers should be responsible for vet bills is no longer just an opinion.
It is being accepted as a matter of fact by customers and even some Judges.
Yesterday on court TV a judge awarded a pet owner the cost of an emergency vet bill of $96 dollars stating it's customary for groomers to pay Vet Bills.
With out going in to the details, be assured, any professional groomer would agree that the The judge was wrong. Because noone knew (the owner nor the groomer) that the dogs already had an unknown virus that was the reason the dogs got sick and stopped breathing after being picked up by the owner from the groomers shop.

The Judge, even after reading the Vets diagnoses that said the dog had an unknown undiscovered virial condition and that condition was agravated by the time the dog was at the groomers. I would have said, a well dog would have not have been affected by the time at the shop and based on that I think the groomer should have been cleared of any responsibility, but the Judge said, it is customary for groomers to pay vet bills.

We need to be very cautious about supporting unethical business practices, accepting or promoting opinions that go against professional reasoning.

New groomers entering our profession have not had the time to gain the experience they need to understand some things or the wisdom to know an opinion may be prejudiced. Prejudiced by person(s) that may or may not be professional groomer(s). AS I said some on boards are there to influence opinions that will support their special interest group.
Groups that have nothing to do with pet grooming but to be beneficiaries of groomers incomes and our professions eventual licensing.        

Ref: AKC Family Dog Sept/Oct Issue

Posts: 77
Reply with quote  #2 you think that the shop should be responsible for the vet bill and not the individual groomers?... or are you saying that all vet bills should be the responsibility of the owner?
I'm not sure what my stance is on this subject as of yet. It's hard when I can speak for myself and say that I will do everything in my power to not harm a dog, but what about dogs that get hurt at shops from pure negligence...i.e. un maintenanced dryers, broken blades, etc... I think then the shop should be responsible...I'm just not sure how you prove one over the other.

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Reply with quote  #3 


 I (the shop) am the employer, I (the shop) am responsible for my (the Shops) employees.
So in the event an employee is negligent, then I (the shop) am responsible for an employees negligent actions.  
It is an employers responsibility to see to it that an employee is not negligent. It's called monitoring and supervising employees.
There is where the problem is for most grooming shop employers. Most employers/owners of shops must groom full time to make enough money to afford employees. As a result owners have little time to observe let alone supervise their grooming employees. I don't have that problem.

Business employee policies and the businesses grooming practices are very important and should be documented so all employees understand what is allowed, not allowed.
Even if it is only one employee an employer should have a "Employer Standards & Employee Policies Handbook" for employees.
This Employee Handbook should not be confused with the employees job description but compliment it.

For instance, it should spell out all the policies of the employer that the employer expects the employee to comply with.
My policies make the employee's responsible to report (in writing) any business equipment such as dryers that may need repair maintenance. Maintenance does not mean regular cleaning and normal replacing of dryer filters.   

Policy spells out that each blade should be checked each and every time before the clippers are turned on or a blade is places back in the blades holding box. (By the way - I "the employer" supply all employee blades, tools and equipment.)

Often I think this issue (groomer pays Vet Bills) gets confused with past practices where groomers have been independent contractors; so to be perfectly clear here, we are talking about employees. So yes!!! employers (the shop) are responsible for the negligence of an employee.

As far as proving me as an employer being negligent, I leave that to a pet owner and a Judge. A Judge would have a hard time proving I or one of my employee's as being negligent when I show him my business and employee policies handbook. Employee discipline histories would show a Judge that I don't tolerate employees that don't follow rules and policies. Yes I have discharge/terminations histories of a few employee I fired because they violated business practice policies and safety rules before they could hurt an animal in their care.

If an employee was falsely accused by a pet owner of negligence, I have my employer/employee policies and videos to back up an employee if something would ever go to court.

If in the end an employee was proved to be negligent, I (the employer/shop) am responsible for that employee and I (the shop) should be responsible for the vet bill, not the individual grooming employee. Be assured if it was proven to be due to negligence by the grooming employee, the employee will be fired.
My insurance company would not accept anything less, I don't think.

As far as ...."all vet bills should be the responsibility of the owner"... Yes!, because my shops policy as stated on our  shops intake form say's basically, that the pet owner accepts any Vet bills resulting from any need for vet attention cause by or resulting from the grooming unless proven to be due to shop/groomer negligence.

The burden of proof still is the responsibility of the person making the accusation in our court systems, not the person defending them self.
But I "as the employer/shop" can and will with confidence defend an employee of mine when and if needed. If I could not feel that way the employee would not be an employee working for me in the first place.

Posts: N/A
Reply with quote  #4 
Originally Posted by GroomJingo

 I (the shop) am the employer, I (the shop) am responsible for my (the Shops) employees.
So in the event an employee is negligent, then I (the shop) am responsible for an employees negligent actions.  

FINALLY, something I agree with you on. But I do respect the other viewpoints as long as it is made clear what the policy of the shop is.

Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #5 
    Make sure your pet can stay with you for as long as possible by caring for it when it gets sick. A payday advance can help you pay for your visit to animal doctor, which is very expensive otherwise. It is not something you can pass up on when your family pet is sick either. It is very important to make sure your pet is being taken care of and loved.


Posts: 1
Reply with quote  #6 
So if I cut a dog your saying my employer should pay for it through their liability insurance? Does that mean the shop takes it out of my check? You know for me to pay the shop back for a vet bill?
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