I thank my lucky stars that I was chosen to be a servant to two Oriental Shorthair cats. In the same way the majority of shorthaired kitties are quite fastidious about their purrsonal grooming, ours are exemplary. In fact, our white Oriental Shorthair, Sir Hubble Pinkerton, will even occasionally place a highly determined paw on the top of my head and proceed go to town shampooing me to his satisfaction! Therefore, happily we have never been in need of the services of a professional kitty groomer.

There are a huge number of responsible pet grooming services throughout the country. These groomers not only take great pride in their profession, but they work very hard to maintain their excellent reputations. It is apparent they love taking care and beautifying their furry clients.

So I was quite disturbed the other day, when I ran across an article on Fox.com about California resident, Teresa Gilland, who is suing Petco after Sadie, her beloved Lhasa Apso, had to be euthanized following the tragic aftermath of a monthly grooming session at the store in Fair Oaks.

Sadie suffered heat stroke, burns, and internal bleeding while she was in a dryer cage that Petco groomers use. And even though she was rushed to the veterinary office later that evening, sadly she had to be euthanized due to the extensive injuries she received during the drying process.

“I couldn’t have known,” Gillant said. “It never occurred to me that they were putting her in that kennel. It’s nothing you can see . . . it’s not out there for the public to see. It’s an enclosed kennel, and they blow hot air in there.”

It’s been three years since Sadie died and Gilland has searched for two years to find an attorney who would take her case. This court case is the first of its kind in the United States. Fortunately, Gilland has the report in her possession written by the veterinarian who treated Sadie which documented that she had suffered “internal burn injuries and bleeding caused by heat.”

Apparently there has been quite a controversy concerning cage dryers. Gilland is also trying to get cage driers banned, and strongly suggests groomers who are using them should be mandated to post cautionary warnings about them for their customers.

In regard to Sadie’s death, Petco issued the following statement:

“We’ve been aware of Sadie’s story since it happened three years ago. We can’t comment on the case, as it’s currently in litigation, but it was a tragic loss and we take all issues of pet safety very seriously. Over the last few years, we’ve made a number of improvements in the grooming equipment we use and we are always seeking to improve our existing safety practices. One of those improvements is that we no longer use heat of any kind in the drying process in our grooming salons.”

Of course Sadie made the ultimate sacrifice in helping to prevent the needless death of any other animals. I do hope that Gilland can take some small comfort knowing that Petco is taking the necessary action to further ensure the safety of the pets they “pamper” while they are being groomed.