Glamour Paws dog grooming appointment death family seeks answers
Hours after a routine grooming appointment for their dog, Samson, Stephen, and Jennifer Laddy sat with him at a veterinary clinic while he was bleeding internally, his organs failed from heat stroke, and he was given an injection that ended his life.
Samson, 5, was in good health when Jennifer took him to the Glamor Paws Boutique in Mahwah for care last Thursday, the family said. He was listless when she picked him up a few hours later, unable to get up, his eyes and gums were red.
“Our family is devastated,” said Jennifer in an interview on Sunday.
The laddys who live in Mahwah and have three children posted Samson’s story on Facebook over the weekend, where dozens of people commented, offered condolences and spread it on the social media platform.
Days after his death, the laddys don’t know exactly what happened to Samson, how their healthy dog suddenly suffered heat stroke – they were told that his temperature was up to 109.5 degrees when he got to the vet, which is eight degrees Degrees above normal. They said they wanted to share their story as a warning.
“Please we ask everyone reading this NOT to take your dogs to any groomer AND ask how they dry the dogs,” Stephen Laddy wrote on Facebook.
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The owner of the Glamor Paws Boutique did not immediately respond to an email sent on Sunday evening asking for a comment and did not respond to a message left at his home on Monday. The store is closed on Mondays and open Tuesday through Saturday as stated on its website.
When he requested a change of use for his dog grooming business three years ago, the owner announced to the Mahwah Board of Adjustment that he had been in the dog grooming business for three years and graduated from the New York Academy of Grooming.
While there’s no way of knowing if Samson’s death was related to the grooming session, there was a push a few years ago to require a state license from pet hairdressers after several dogs reportedly died after being in pet salons from chain stores had been cared for. The proposed law is called Bijou’s Law – named after the Shih Tzu of a Northvale woman whose death was allegedly linked to a 2011 care session.
The state parliament passed the bill a few years ago, but it was not put to the vote in the Senate. The legislation is pending after its reintroduction.
By Monday afternoon, more than 400 people had signed an online petition asking them to “hold” the groomer “accountable” for what happened to Samson. The ladies said they had been informed that some people were planning to demonstrate outside the store on Tuesday morning.
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Jennifer Laddy said she spoke to the owner of Glamor Paws boutique before taking Samson, a 175-pound Newfoundland dog, and another smaller dog, Chester, for grooming. She asked if he had any experience of Newfoundland and said he had it.
When Jennifer picked up her dogs, she said Samson was sitting behind a counter next to a fan in front of the store. She said the owner told her it was hot and needed water. The temperature on Thursday was in the mid-1990s. Jennifer said Samson tried to get up but his back legs gave out. The owner, she said, told her the floor was slippery.
“It’s just hot and he’s tired,” said the owner, according to Jennifer.
When it became clear that Samson was having difficulty walking, Jennifer said she was excited and asked what had happened to her dog, raised her voice and finally yelled. She was told she said nothing happened. She called her husband and they held up Samson’s hind legs with a towel while they helped him outside.
Ramsey’s Deidre Manniello, a Glamor Paws client, said she was at the store Wednesday and witnessed Samson’s plight. She said Samson started running and then fell, his legs gave out, and “he was panting very, very hard.”
She said she left while Jennifer was there and later called the store to see how Samson was doing. She said she was told the dog “went well”.
The ladies took Samson to the Ho-Ho-Kus Animal Hospital, where they were told he was suffering from heat stroke and had a very high fever. The laddys said staff applied alcohol swabs and water enemas but were unable to bring Samson’s temperature below 106 degrees. The veterinary clinic did not immediately respond to a message on Monday asking for information about the incident.
The laddys were told to take Samson to an emergency animal treatment center, BluePearl in Paramus. When they got there, they said that Samson’s organs were failing and he was getting red spots from internal bleeding.
“My wife and I looked at each other,” said Stephen. “We knew this was the end and we started crying.”
“He was the best dog in the world, the gentlest, cutest and most lovable dog,” said Jennifer.
As they sat with him at the end of his life, a vet told them that Samson, although his eyes were open, could not respond to them, but maybe knew they were there. Their other dog, Chester, had come from the groomer and they put him next to Samson so he could say goodbye to his friend.
“It was heartbreaking,” said Jennifer. “Chester’s face was right next to Samson’s. They were best friends.”
Abbott Koloff is an investigative reporter for NorthJersey.com. To get full access to his watchdog work protecting our communities and democracy, subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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