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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70515
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Dear sir/madam, I have recently had to have my 3 year old

Customer Question

Dear sir/madam,
I have recently had to have my 3 year old pet cavachon put down. Roxy was a healthy and well looked after pet until she went to the groomers on 14 june 2014. She came out of the groomers with a cut on her neck which I took her to the vets about. I was given a cream for this. Roxy still wasnt herself, lethargic, not wanting to go for a walk and yelping or crying when I tried to put her lead on so I took her back to thr vet. I was told she had slight trauma to her spine and to bring her back the next day. By the next day roxy was very wobbly on her back legs and within 24 hrs paraplegic. I was advised by the vet that they could not guarantee whether this would get better so we had to put her down. Roxy's medical report showed she was healthy before this and nothing had happened at home for such injuries to be caused. The groomer text me to offer their condolences and told me to send the medical report to their insurance company. I have done this but received a reply which basically says that roxy should of been groomed more often as her coat was very matted. Surely this is not an excuse for bad treatment of an animal? Could I take this further? Thank you
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Hi.
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
Do the vet's say that the groomers are responsible?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi jo, the vets won't say in the medical report that the injury to roxy was sustained at the groomers but verbally the vet has said its a coincidence. The vets receptionist told me she gad heard complaints about groomers. I dont think they will actually state this in writing though

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No, you are probably right.
Are you hoping to claim for the sum of the vet's bills?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I am. Not that its about the money, its very sad and unfair. I also dont want it to happen to someone else's pet.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes, I understand.
You could always make a report to the RSPCA although we probably both know how useful they can be!
You could sue for the actual sum of money that the dog was worth but, in truth, that will be nothing like the sum of money that he was worth to you. Dogs have a value to their owners that vastly exceed the sum of money they would fetch on the open market.
You do obviously have a claim for your actual losses but they seem to be offering to pay for that anyway.
In terms of putting her out of business though, unless the RSPCA prosecute her the practical reality is that its not likely to happen.
You could take out a private prosecution yourself but that would be expensive and unless the vet is going to say that the conduct of the groomers amounted to a wrongful act its not likely to succeed.
I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Jo
Jo C. and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, they're not offering to pay for anything, the letter from them more or less says they dont accept liability.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You could sue for the vet's bills.
Then it will come down to whether or not the cut was an act of negligence. If the dog was very badly matted then injury can occur although there are steps a groomer can take to address that.
Obviously grooming is an act that can lead to injury essentially because dogs can move about as you cannot explain the need to stay still to them. That can be mitigated to an extent with a harness.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

How do I sue for vets bill

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You can just issue here
www.moneyclaim.gov.uk
You should really send a letter before action first making clear that you will sue if they do not pay within 14 days.
Bear in mind that they are insured so you will probably end up suing an insurance company.
That said, for this amount they might well just settle as its not worth the cost of contesting it.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

will it cost me anything to sue and should i send the letter direct to them or their insurers. Can you advise what i should put in the letter? Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Yes but a very small amount. It depends on the sum of your claim.

You just write to them setting out why you think they were negligent. Its not enough to show that the dog was injured. You have to say what the negligence was. You incurred costs and want to be compensated by x date and in default you will sue
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Am I breaking any law sending the groomers a letter stating I will sue? Should Icontact the money claim agency first or a solicitor and should I send a copy of the letter to their insurers??? Thank you

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No.

You are perfectly free to send them a letter before action.

You can write to them directly.