Dear PoPville – A Warning About our Dog Groomer

“Dear PoPville,

I want to alert others in the area to a horrific experience my husband and I had with our dog’s groomer, who I know has many clients around Eckington and Bloomingdale. I hope that by sharing this experience, I can prevent other dog parents from going through a similar trauma.

We picked up our little guy from his grooming appointment last weekend, only to find that the white part of his left eye was completely blood red. The groomer claimed that nothing out of the ordinary had happened, even though our dog had clearly been injured. The groomer downplayed it and acted like there was no reason for us to be alarmed. As soon as we got home, we noticed that our dog was having trouble seeing. He was running into furniture, etc. Even more disturbing was that he was behaving as though he was shell shocked. He was pacing nonstop and cowering in corners. He was clearly terrified.

We brought him to the emergency vet at Friendship Animal Hospital, where the veterinarian discovered deep purple bruising beneath his fur, all the way around the exterior of his eye, in addition to a cut on the inside of his eye. She determined that his injury was likely the result of some kind of blunt force trauma, whether an accident or intentional.

My husband and I are absolutely sick over this. We love our dog more than anything, so to think that we put him in harm’s way is incredibly distressing. He’s been to three vet appointments due to this injury, and we are so thankful that he seems to be making a full recovery and has regained his normal sight. If anyone would like the full details, I am eager to share them, and would also be happy to share the report from the vet. You can contact me directly at mmkashino(at)”

32 Comment

  • So who was the groomer? Shouldn’t that be stated so others can avoid?

  • Can you please disclose the groomer? I am very glad your pet is on the way to being 100% again. That’s horrible what happened! Are you taking any action against the groomer? I wonder if they record what goes on in the back?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      “If anyone would like the full details, I am eager to share them, and would also be happy to share the report from the vet. You can contact me directly at mmkashino(at)”

  • Ugh, I am so sorry.

  • Thanks, PoP for updating this post so quickly.
    OP, you took your dog to the right place. Friendship did a fantastic job a couple of months ago when my cat was seriously ill. She recovered quickly, in faster time than was expected. I hope your dog does too.

  • That’s terrible. So sorry to hear that

  • I worry that this is more common than we think. We took our dog, a sweet-natured 12-pound terrier, to a groomer in Annandale once, and she was acting scared and skiitsh when we picked her up. The groomer was ranting and raving that she tried to bite her, and if it had happened again she would have taken her to the shelter to be put to sleep! I have a feeling my dog had a very good reason for trying to bite that woman, and I certainly wouldn’t take my dog to a place where there’s a risk of her being put down for trying to defend herself.

    • What’s wrong with people?! Why would she choose a job where she has to deal with animals when she clearly has such contempt for them.

      • Yeah, I thought the risk of being bitten was simply part of the job description. It’s not like a 12-pound dog is going to do much damage anyway.
        My somewhat larger dog is always trying to bite groomers. If he’s really being difficult they just say “Sorry, we couldn’t groom him”. But usually they manage and don’t even mention the biting unless I ask.

  • This story makes me sick to my stomach. I understand PoP can’t post the groomer’s name due to libel concerns, but did you (the OP) take this to the management? Are they aware of the medical records, etc? I’d love to know that someone is being fired over this. If there was documented abuse, shouldn’t it be reported to the Humane Society?

    • THIS. I would love follow up info about this, even if you can’t post the name of the place.

  • I’ve had a terrible experience with most cat groomers in DC so this is not surprising. I’m so sorry to hear that this happened to your dog! One groomer burned the underside of my cats stomach with an overly hot hair cutter and it took him a while to recover.

    If anyone knows of a reliable cat groomer, please let me know at mrfrackles(at)

    • The cats themselves? Mine just groom themselves all day…

      • Exotics, Persians, and Maine Coons must be groomed to maintain coat health, especially spring/summer. Your average American shorthair/alley kitty does not require any grooming, except for brushing few days a week.

    • Have you ever tried Bonnie’s on Cap Hill? One of my shorthair exotics gets his spring “military-kitty-buzz- lion-cut” there and she and her staff just do a wonderful job. My guy has this huge weapons (claws) that she masterfully clips and he does get man/cat handled by a grooming assistant and me, but he comes out looking and smelling FRESH and FAB and he looks like a little rat! You do have to schedule in advance and bring cats either early or late when most of the dogs are out. Grroming is an extremely stressful experience for any cat, so it does take a few days to recover. Sometimes it’s not the groomer, it’s really the cat.

      • +1 for Bonnie’s. They are great and my little furball (cat) is never overly aggitated when getting groomed. Easy access, parking etc.

        • Sebastion is also a fan of Bonnie’s even though he hates getting wet. They really do a good job there.

      • Bonnie and her team are fantastic. She clearly loves what she does and has been doing it for a very long time!

    • I’ve heard great things about the groomers at NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington (previously Capitol Cat Clinic) but have not used them myself.

      • I used to take my cat to NOVA Cat Clinic to get softpaws applied. Ellen, the tech, did a fantastic job – they stayed on much longer than when others put them on. Alas, I live too far away now.

  • Something happened to a friend’s dog in another state many years ago so obviously not the same groomer–the dog was returned with open gashes if memory serves. I think this is a more common occurrence than we are aware. The dog parent was an old lady and she was so distressed. I have also heard that sometimes the animals are drugged/sedated so they put up less of a fight with the grooming and I have a vague recollection of another dog owner pal getting their dog back practically unconscious and being told the tranquilizer hadn’t worn off yet and the dog parent was so angry because they had never authorized any such tranquilizer or even been informed a tranquilizer would be given. So I thought about it at the time and decided I would only send my future dogs to a mobile grooming service where they come TO YOUR DOOR and you stand outside the fully equipped van and wait while they do it. That way you can hear if the dog is yelping or something and some of the vans have windows where you can see in. That is my two cents worth for what it is worth.

  • Yeah, we only do mobile groomers now (and Pooches, Kitties and Kisses has been good for us so far, even for our fairly skittish dog). I can stand on the sidewalk and watch if I want to and she isn’t dealing with the stress of being there for eight hours.

  • We use a mobile groomer, too (Pooches …). Our dog would get very stressed out going to onsite groomers. Being crated, spending a few hours there, etc. With the mobile groomer, she’s in and out in about 30-45 minutes and seems to handle it well.

  • ‘posting too fast’ notification from one post ??

  • very sorry to hear. since you are in NE, I would strongly recommend Grooming by Em on RI Ave in Brentwood MD for future grooming needs. Em and her staff have always been excellent with my little guy, who can be quite a handful..

    • I concur on the Grooming by Em recommendation. I live in NE also and take my little pooch there. They have great staff, do an amazing job, and my little dog comes out just as happy (but more beautiful) as she went in.

  • I ask this honestly and without sarcasm: is it possible that your dog was injured before the visit to the groomer? I know of a dog that injured his head by falling off a chair resulting a concussion. I hope your dog is recovering swiftly.

  • I wanted to follow up, re: a post about a Dog Groomer in NE. I reached out to the original poster and told her about my situation with my previous Dog Groomer and we discovered that it was in fact the same man. Considering there are now two documented instances, I figured I should bring my story to your attention as well and hope to spread awareness.

    My husband and I used to live across the street from this particular groomer and thought we hit the dog owner lottery – we discovered a groomer so close! We no longer had to take our little one in on weekends or cut our work days short. We could just walk our four legged friend across the street and come back a few hours later. On all occasions, except for the last one our dog came back seemingly happy, clean and we were out a far less money than any other groomer we encountered.

    We did end up moving, but still continued to use the groomer, as he was still relatively close and could work with our schedule. On the last visit, I dropped our furry friend off per usual with the agreement that he would call, when she is ready. After three hours from when we dropped her off, I checked my phone and noticed numerous missed calls and voicemails from the groomer (unfortunately, my phone had been on silent).

    The first voicemail from the groomer was normal, said he had a question and could we call back as soon as possible. The second message was frantic and angry. The groomer left a voicemail stating he “couldn’t do this anymore” and “this won’t be a good fit”. After finally getting the groomer on the phone, he yelled and blabbered about how our dog was a mess, she was gross, he couldn’t handle it, we need to come back immediately, so on and so forth.

    I was so shocked and taken aback; I wasn’t quite sure what had just happened. We had visited this groomer numerous times without incident. Our dog is long haired and always had to get shaved, as she was quite the dirt and rain adventurer, but that had NEVER been an issue. I sent my husband off to pick up our dog immediately. When he came back, I noticed that our dog was acting very strange. She was very lethargic, mopey, if you picked her up she would yelp in pain, she was shaved only around her tail and anus – it seemed most of her pain localized from her back down.

    Unlike, the previous owner I did not take my pet to the vet, as I couldn’t see any physical signs of trauma and everyday she got better than the previous. By day 3 or 4, she seemed pretty much back to normal. My husband and I never got an answer to what actually happened that day with the groomer or why our dog came back the way she did, but we have never gone back.

    I know this groomer gets a lot of his business via word of mouth referrals. So I am hoping by also putting my story out there we can spread awareness to other NE residents, in order to keep this from happening to other animals. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out at Katie.farrell223(at)


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