A Hawaii pet store's groomers cut off a dog's ear and tried to cover it up by gluing the ear back on, a lawsuit claims. Careless groomers at the same store also allegedly snipped the tip of another dog's tail.
The painful trims allegedly occurred at a Petco store in Kaneohe, on the island of Oahu, Honolulu's KGMB-TV reports. Two dog owners are suing the store for negligence and emotional distress.
The plaintiffs have a big dog, legally speaking, in their corner: Michael Green, a prominent criminal-defense lawyer known for his colorful courtroom attire, is representing both dog owners.
One of them just happens to be Green's wife.
"My dog -- they offered another free grooming," Michael Green told KGMB about Petco's response to his dog's disfigured tail. "I guess they wanted to take off other body parts," he quipped.
The other dog owner is also upset. Her dog came back from its Petco grooming with bloody ears, Gladys Kapuwai told KMGB. "When I took her to the vet, the doctor told me it looked like they tried to glue it back," Kapuwai said.
You can watch KGMB's report here:
The Petco dog ear- and tail-cutting lawsuit claims the store's negligence caused the two dog owners emotional distress. Negligence requires plaintiff's attorney Green to prove Petco breached a duty to the dog owners, and that the breach caused injury to the owners.
In this case, the mangled groomings and alleged cover-up seem to establish a breach of duty; injuries to the dogs, which are considered as property under the law, could suffice to show the owners were harmed.
The emotional distress claim may be more difficult to prove. When negligence leads to emotional distress, a plaintiff often has to prove she suffered a physical injury as well. Injury to a dog may not cut it for a jury.
Petco declined to comment on the ear- and tail-cutting lawsuit. In addition to pursuing money damages, Kapuwai says she hopes Petco will better train its groomers so the dog-trimming mistakes don't happen again.
- Petco Sued For Allegedly Cutting Dog's Ear Off And Gluing It Back On (The Huffington Post)
- Kaneohe Petco is accused of mutilating 2 dogs during grooming (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)
- Pets as Property? (FindLaw's Writ)
- Who Would Win This Dog Attack Lawsuit? (FindLaw's Injured)