• Report: #549823

Complaint Review: Dunk'n Dogs

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  • Submitted: Mon, January 04, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, May 02, 2013

  • Reported By: Judy — San Diego California U.S.A.
Dunk'n Dogs
3056 Clairemont Dr. San Diego, California United States of America

Dunk'n Dogs dunkin dogs, dog wash, dunkin' dogs They killed my dog!!! San Diego, California

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Photos

*General Comment: Don't know either party but...

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: Response by Sara

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I took two dogs into the Dunk'N Dogs self dog wash at 3056 Clairemont Dr. San Diego, CA 92117. I had a muzzle on my dog (they knew he bites ) I've had him there many times, my Dog likes everybody else and the OWNER of the dog wash allowed him to be there. Sarah (the groomer for the place) looked at the dogs nails and said they both could be done, I said you can do my other dogs nails, but my male German Shepherd dog will bite so im going to take him to the vet and have them do it. So Sarah started doing the other dogs nails and Sarah was telling me that she's a trainer and she has been doing this for a while. My dog needed his nails done and I said you can try if you want but your going to need a tighter muzzle. So she went to the back and threw me a smaller muzzle, but it was on the smallest setting. I started loosening it so I could put it on my shepherd and before I could put it on him, she came from the back and sat on the ground with treats and said let us become friends, NOT A SMART THING TO DO! I don't know what happened, but she got bit in the finger. [continued below]....
..... I told her I was sorry, I was in tears. She said she was going to urgent care to get it looked at and asked if I had insurance. I told her no, she said well your going to have to pay for the bill. She called me from the urgent care on their business phone and said the bill was going to be around $250 because the visit was $200 alone and she was going to need a tetanus shot and antibiotics. I asked if she was going to call the humane society on my dog in fear that he was going to be put down, because he had a previous bite record from his other owners(which I saved him from). She told me "NO, if you pay the urgent care bill I wont call". Well this morning I went down to bring her the money for the urgent care bill and had an appointment at 3pm. I paid the owner of the shop because Sarah wasn't there. I called two hours before I was going to be there to get the bill, to make sure she was there when I got there. I get a call from my boyfriend that Sarah called the humane society and left a citation on the front door and I had 24 hours to call back. So I got the number from him, called back, and they said they wanted to meet with me and talk about the quarantine, I said I will be home around 3:30pm and they said OK I will meet you then. When I got home there was a Sheriff's Deputy and a Humane Officer there in front of my house. They came over and talked to me and told me that they were here to take possession of my dog (THEY ONLY GAVE ME 10 MINUTES WITH HIM BEFORE THEY TOOK HIM!!!). What I find funny is he was in training once a weekend to stop the biting and the aggressiveness(which was only certain people, most people he loved). Starting Feb 1st he was being enrolled in a training facility, he would have been there for 3 weeks. Now because they called, I lost my dog and part of my Family!! He was the best dog ever. I just want to warn ANYONE that goes to this place, if your dog bites or scratches for any reason or hurts these people, YOU will have to pay there bills or worse, your animal might be put down. The owner reassured me I had nothing to worry about and the bill was going to be around $50 and the animal control wouldn't be called. YEAH RIGHT!

 By the way, the groomer (Sarah) heard me talking to the other employees about me putting my dog into training, before she got bit, and it was going to cost me $3500 to enroll him for it. Well..... after she got bit, or should I say "scratched" no stitches required, half an inch scrap on the finger to be exact, she made the comment that I should'nt have any problem paying for her medical bills. This training is or WAS going to take my whole tax return!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/04/2010 10:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Dunkn-Dogs/San-Diego-California-92117/Dunkn-Dogs-dunkin-dogs-dog-wash-dunkin-dogs-They-killed-my-dog-San-Diego-Californi-549823. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Photos

AUTHOR: WestCoastPets - ()

Here are the photos I mentioned.

Sara

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#2 General Comment

Don't know either party but...

AUTHOR: gsd13 - ()

After reading this I think what is most concerning to me are the actions of the owner of the dog.  Anyone who owns a dog who is "protection trained", "police trained", and/or has a bite history has a responsibility to have the dog adequately restrained and under control. Obviously in this case a muzzle was needed and by the owner's own admission a properly fitted one was not used.  Why?  Why would you put your dog, who you know is a bite risk, who you were putting in training for his/her aggressive behavior, in a muzzle that does not properly fit?  

I own 2 trained protection (1 schutzhund, 1 mondioring) dogs, both German Shepherds.  I also rehabilitate shelter dogs who have behavioral issues (mainly aggression).  Every single one of them has a properly fitted muzzle and if there is even a .0001% chance of a bite being possible to occur the dog is wearing that muzzle and kept under complete control by myself.  A sturdy, custom fitting muzzle costs about $50-120.  Its a huge expense but in 10 years not one of the protection dogs I have owned and trained or the rehab dogs have ever bitten because proper safety precautions are taken every single time.

I'm sorry but the groomer/owner is clearly not at fault here.  OWNER failed to muzzle and restrain dog, OWNER failed to recognize the risk her dog presented, OWNER is responsible for the death of the dog.

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#3 REBUTTAL Individual responds

Response by Sara

AUTHOR: WestCoastPets - ()

I am the person who was directly involved in this situation and was just made aware of this post yesterday. I think it warrants a respose. The target of this post is misdirected. Even though the incident happened at Dunk'n Dog Wash, I was only a friend who was visiting the owner of the business that day.

I am a dog groomer with over 15 years of experience, I am also a dog trainer with approximately 8 years of experience. I am the owner of West Coast Pets. I am a member of APDT, IAABC, and NDGAA. I have also been a volunteer trainer at the humane society, and am involved with service and therapy dog activities as well as other dog sports. I routinely attend behavior conferences and make an effort to stay current on the latest research.

My dogs have both earned their AKC Canine Good Citizen badges. I hope that it is apparent that I support the adoption and training of dogs. I am also a strong advocate for the education of dog owners who have children. In my lifetime, I have seen and received consult calls for far too many mild to life threatening dog bites to children.

I do not think that a single bite means that a dog should be exterminated; I think that biting can be contextual. And sometimes a bite might even make sense in the mind of a dog (Is the dog being hit? Being bitten by another dog? Injured? Is something valued being taken away? Does the dog think that a person is inappropriately entering the territory it thinks it should protect?) If I had to make the choice, sometimes I would rather see an owner chastised for lack of good handling skills before I would like to see a dog punished, if that provides some more information about my philosophy about dogs and training.

I am an enthusiast about Shutzhund training, Search and Rescue, Scenting and have a library full of (and subscriptions to) working dog books. I know how they are trained and I have friends who actively participate in these sports and/or who also work in the law enforcement realm who do rely on working dogs. Well trained protection dogs must have appropriate bite control. That is, if a dog is asked to attack, it must also be able to respond immediately to the cue to "stop."

This information is relevant because in initial conversation with the dog owner in question, she told me that her dog had been trained to be a police dog, but that it was a "washout" because "it was not aggressive enough." From what I experienced, it would be my guess that if the background of the dog is true, the problem is that the dog lacked appropriate bite control; not that it had a lack of aggressiveness.

Here is my side of the story. Today is April 26, 2013. As I recall, this incident happened approximately 2+ years ago. I thought this matter had been long ago settled.

The information provided by the author (Judy?) is not true and potentially influences my business and way of life that I care very much about. I can and am willing to provide documents to support what I have to say. Rather than recklessly writing a report to damage the reputation of my business, I would invite the owners to actually take the legal action that they threatened me with or remove/edit their story. More importantly, ultimately, I would hope they experience a change in their mindset toward owning a dog that is a heavy liability.

I was visiting my friend who owns Dunkn Dog Wash. We were planning on going shopping together and we were on our way out the door. The business suddenly got very busy and I tried to help her take care of some customers so that we could leave on time.

The dog owner and her dog (a German Shepherd) came in. The dog had a muzzle on. The owner stated loudly for all of the other patrons to hear, "My dog bites!" Okay. I stepped away. The owner of the dog wash set up a washing station for her to use, but before she washed her dog, she said she wanted to trim her dog's toenails. She asked to use a trimmer. I showed her the toenail trimmers and said I would set them on the counter, step away, and she could retrieve them.  That is exactly what I did.

Next, she called from across the room and asked me for assistance with the trimmers (actually a Dremel sander, if I remember correctly). All day long in a dog wash, and in a grooming salon, owners come in and ask for assistance with toenails. Once in awhile, I will fill in as a groomer or store helper at this dog wash. The level of cooperation and difficulty varies from animal to animal.  Many times owners are simply afraid to trim the toenails for fear that they will cut them too short and make them bleed.

I always watch dog body language. There are many books and videos dedicated to this and it is one of the things I have made an effort to learn about and study. I approach the task carefully if I do not know the dog. Many times a dog will simply struggle and pull, sometimes a dog might growl, sometimes they may whip around and snap, and occasionally a dog might actually attempt to bite.

Most groomers who have been in the business for any length of time are quite adept at avoiding the bite just a split second before teeth actually touch flesh. The bites are rare, but it is usually a warning bite...they are also normally aiming for the equipment and not necessarily the person. This is how I can gauge what kind of situation I might have and these are always the notes I write on the dog's information card. It is essential to know the difference between a dog that objects to the equipment biter or one that won't hesitate to bite a person.

In this particular situation, I received mixed messages from both the dog and the owner. I would expect the owner of a dog who WILL bite without provocation or hesitation to tell me so. As it was, I asked a few questions that I thought were just related to having his/her (can't remember the gender of the dog now) nails trimmed. She must have given vague enough answers that assured me that we were in a typical nail trimming situation and no more dangerous than average.

I asked if her dog likes treats; sometimes I can gain cooperation using treats. Instead of actually trimming the nails, I wanted to demonstrate how to gain future cooperation with toenails by using treats so that she could do this herself. This is part of a class I have created called "Happy Feet." She said her dog did like treats.

Additionally, the dog's demeanor was not threatening. It was not growling or in any way acting agitated. It stood calmly next to her. So, I excused myself to go through the gate to the back area to get some treats. As I was coming back through the gate with a handful of treats, I had but a flash to notice that she had removed her dog's muzzle and wasn't even holding the dog's leash. My quick assessment was that, in a very busy business, the owner was not concerned enough that the dog might bite a person, so I didn't worry too much for my safety.

The dog was wagging. It didn't appear to be a nervous wag. It seemed like more of a friendly "I like you" wag. Still, I am careful with any dog. Most bites happen when a dog is APPROACHED...especially beyond its comfort zone and the approacher failed to recognize any warning signs such as backing away, growling, ducking, ears pinned back, crouching, "whale eye", yawning, or other obvious signs of stress, etc.

Instead, the dog rushed across the room unmuzzled and without the owner holding its leash. It appeared that the dog wanted to greet me for having treats, so I quickly held out my hand to offer them. Instead of taking the treat, the dog grabbed a hold of my hand and would not let go. This is VERY uncommon. Even when I have experienced a very rare bite in a grooming situation, it is a bite and release. The dog is communicating that it simply wants me to stop. 

Further, the dog's teeth were shredding my skin. It was not just a puncture wound. This is HIGHLY unusual and is incredibly scary. To watch your skin ripping is a horrifying, almost surreal experience.  Using Dr. Ian Dunbar's categorizing system for bites, this was a level 4 bite, nearly Level 5 bite. A Level 4 is bite one that breaks the skin. A Level 5 is biting and shaking. Level 6 is death. This was a serious bite.

Once the dog released my hand, I tried to escape quickly back through the security gate that he had backed me into. The dog then leaped up to my front and bit into my stomach. This is also highly unusual. Even a dog that is feeling threatened or is trying to stop a procedure will bite and release -- RARELY will it bite again, especially to an area that has nothing to do with being handled. A dog may try for my hands, but it would not, for example, also try to bite me in the leg.

The type of biting that this dog did to me was more consistent with what I would associate with protection dog training: Biting, hold, shake, tug, and re-bite anywhere on the body that it can grab until it is given the cue to stop. Many people have probably seen video of dogs practicing this on an assistant who is wearing a full-body bite protection suit.

What followed was me wrapping a towel tightly around my hand. I could not get the bleeding to stop. I suggested to the owner of the dog wash that I might need to go to urgent care. For as many years of handling, grooming, and training and even a few grooming-related bites, I have only sought treatment in the form of a tetanus shot from a cat bite (which are notorious for being laden with germs that can quickly become intensely infected). This time, however, I feared I might need stitches in my hand. My stomach was sore, but the skin was not broken. I took extensive photos that are probably still stored on my external hard drive. I will look for them and try to post. The bruise that was left was approximately the diameter of a large orange. It was deep purple, red, and yellow.

Before I left, the dog owner apologized profusely. I wasn't entirely sure what should be done, and I was still a bit stunned, but I thought I had probably better get some contact information just in case there were any problems. At this point in life, its one of those wisdoms you learn that if you don't obtain information, you'll probably wish you had.

I had not specifically planned on reporting this bite at this point. I was only concerned about quickly finding and getting to an Urgent Care clinic. I told her I would let her know how it goes. I gave her my information as well. Sometime during our conversation (which was very civil), she mentioned that she had a toddler in her home. As I will explain, this was something that did concern me greatly.

My friend drove me to the treatment center; the owner did not offer anything of the sort. She was crying and proclaiming out loud, "OMG. My dog has NEVER done this!" We had to wait quite awhile to be seen (45 minutes maybe?). While I was there, the owner did not call to see how I was. Instead, I called to give her an update and to let her know that the bleeding had stopped, and to essentially reassure her that it didn't look very serious. I found out that the cost of the visit would be $200. This is not very expensive with regard to handling a bite. It is very minimal.

In comparison, I have had a situation where my own dog bit another dog that had invaded his yard even as I told the owner not to open my gate. She didn't listen and opened it and let her dog rush in as I tried to get my dog back.

I not only apologized and made a show of care to the dog, I offered to drive them both immediately to a vet just to make sure that the superficial puncture wound was okay'd by a vet. I volunteered to the vet that my dog did, indeed, bite the other dog. I was appropriately questioned and chastised a little.

As it turned out, the vet was satisfied that between my dog's shot records and the nature of the wound that didn't required even so much as Neosporin. It was fine. I insisted on paying the vet bill. In my experience, it is this type of response and concern for others that prevents situations from going to court among reasonable people. It is also what I think any dog owner should be prepared to do if their dog harms another animal or person. To my knowledge, there has not been a court case precedent that found in favor of the owner of a biting dog. If you own a dog and it bites for any reason, you can generally expect to lose in court.

As it turned out, I did not need stitches, nor was I asked by the treating physician about the dog bite details. They cleaned and wrapped my hand and gave me a strong anti-inflammatory and another tetanus shot. I can still provide the receipt and details for this. As I understand it, physicians are normally required to ask and report these types of incidents. However, while I was still waiting to be seen, the dog's owner called me back and became hostile. She said that she had talked to her boyfriend (who wasn't present) and he told her that I had provoked their dog and that he was going to sue me.

I don't know how anyone else who might be reading this might feel hearing those words while waiting to be seen for a painful injury, knowing that I would have to pay the bill and hope for reimbursement, but I will say that it could really intensify an already bad situation. There was no concern for me. I had actually felt sorry for the girl since she seemed so upset at the dog wash. At this point, I did tell her that I would likely report the bite to Animal Control.

Even after this, I almost did not report this incident to the Escondido Animal Control.

And then I thought of her toddler.

There are far too many stories of dogs mauling children. I have personally seen three children mauled with permanent scars to their faces, and one child who nearly died from being pulled under a fence by a dog she mistakenly thought wanted to be pet.

It is possible for even "The Good Dog" to bite a child under stressful cirumstances. (Anyone interested in reading more about this should visit childrenandbabies.org. This is a site run by a good training friend of mine.) Children, especially young children, tend to do things to agitate dogs. They scream, flail their arms, chase dogs, try to climb on their back, yell in their ears, pull their tails, pull their ears, and sometimes fall on them. Every dog has its limit.

But, a dog that had demonstrated, in my opinion, mixed signals without even so much as a growl for a warning, is at a much higher risk with a child who lacks the size to withstand an attack. And if I saw on the news that this dog had mauled their toddler, I would never forgive myself for not trying to make a difference. Dogs are my business. I have learned MUCH about liability in my therapy dog training courses, and I feel obligated to society if I have this relevant information. And that is the ONLY reason I reported this bite.

Additionally, another employee at the wash called me while I was at urgent care to say that they recognized the dog and recalled that it had tried to maul the face of a past employee, which is why the dog now comes in on a muzzle. This past employee is still able to be contacted for his testimony. He said it was a bare miss and the dog was absolutely trying to bite his face. This is also very uncommon. A dog at this level should, in my opinion, be owned by someone who has a LOT of experience with dogs, who truly has a strong reason for keeping the dog alive, and has extensive liability insurance. 

The dog owner told me that she lived in Escondido. I decided to call and just run the incident by an officer to see if it warranted a report or not. That is how hesitant I still felt about reporting this.  Really. As simple as it might seem to make a claim, it is not easy to obtain information about a dog. Animal control will not freely give out details. I asked as many questions as I could about this dog, what happens if I report a bite, etc.

She was able to locate information about this dog--it had a file with Animal Control (i.e. a 'history'). She told me directly that she would not provide me any information...even though I offered all of my credentials. I did tell her exactly as I have written here--I did not use histrionics to make it more dramatic. I did say that the owner told me that the dog had never bitten anybody before.

At that point, while the officer was not at liberty to offer any information, the sigh and half laugh she made told me some of what I wanted to know. She asked, "She told you that, did she? I think we're going to pay her a visit." She emphasized that it IS my duty to report such bites...especially being in the dog business.

Meanwhile, the owner and her boyfriend had a change of mind. They said if I would provide the receipt, they would drop the money off to reimburse me for my urgent care visit. So, yes, they did reimburse me. (I came into Dunkn Dogs and left the receipt at one time of the day; they dropped an envelope at the store for me to pick up later.)

The next thing that happened was that the owner of the dogwash received a call from the girl.  She was in hysterics. She screamed, "SHE KILLED MY DOG! THEY TOOK OUR DOG AND KILLED IT! We paid her and she still turned us into Animal Control!!"

First, I do not accept "hush" money.  This was not a 'deal' nor was any asked for or any implied on my part.

Second, and this is where I feel there is potential for libel. I received a yellow statement in the mail from Escondido Animal Control about the status of this incident. I didn't even know they sent these out. To my surprise, it said "Animal was released back to owner." The dog was not killed.

Further, in a twist of the oddest fate that only life has a way of presenting, the boyfriend turned out to be the son of my mother's neighbor (Julie). Re-read that sentence carefully.

My mother (now deceased) and Julie were very friendly neighbors who enjoyed bonding over Julie's cat. My mother was wheelchair bound (as is Julie) and my mother's caretaker or I would often roll my mother next door to visit Julie and her cat. On one of our visits, in the most coincidental conversation I've ever had, Julie asked me where I worked and what I did. When I told her, she then mentioned that her son's dog had bitten a groomer at Dunkn Dogs (I had my own shop). It was the same dog. And there was a giant silence. I wanted to keep things friendly, but I COULD NOT believe what I was hearing. She said she had concerns about the dog and told them not to bring it to her mobile home, but said that he sometimes did anyway.

It was awkward, but I didn't think too much of it until one day when I came to walk my mother, the dog was sitting outside tied to Julie's mobile home. I was shocked. I told my mother's caregiver to absolutely not take my mother around in her wheelchair while that dog was in the park. There is absolutely no defense for a person who has a cancer-riddled body in a wheelchair if such an attack should occur. My mother was also very afraid of dogs.

Additionally, her caregiver was terrified of all dogs. There is no way she would be willing to counter a potential dog attack. Not only that, but my mother's face would be at the level of this dog's face. So, yes, the dog IS/was very much alive and not killed and if they are still taking the dog into public places, I think they alone are responsible for exposing the public to a dog that is only too willing to bite relentlessly and do extensive damage.

I immediately told the manager of the park that the dog posed a danger and should not, in my opinion, be allowed to visit a) at all b) without a muzzle (the dog was not muzzled) be or c) left tied outside to the mobile home. This dog has proven that it WILL bite. There is always the possibility of a motivated dog to escape unnoticed from its collar.

The actions of the Escondido Animal Control are theirs to make. I did not "kill a dog." And I still stand by my statements. I have listed my name and business as I think I am fair and try to have integrity in my dealings. I am not hiding and I would take the same actions again today.

If anyone has any further questions or comments, you can reach me via my website. Should I encounter more of this claim on the web, I may seek legal assistance. I would recommend that this ripoff report and rebuttal be posted, instead, about my own business instead of Dunk'n Dogs. I simply happened to be present that day and was asked for help. I wasn't paid for the effort. I was just trying to be helpful and nice.

I know it is not a pleasant situation to own a dog that shows aggression. It is embarrassing and sometimes horrifying. No one wants to own a dog like that (I hope). But, if it happens, it is best, in my opinion, to be square with the situation, reimburse, show concern for the one who got hurt, show follow up concern, and then carefully manage a dog's environment and seek professional help with the issue.

If anyone reading this does have a dog that is reactive to some things, I don't recommend labeling any dog "A BITER." There are a lot of factors to take into consideration--I might even be more lenient than animal control. To them, a bite may be a bite may be a bite. I want to know what happened before the bite and work toward solutions to change that reaction if possible. The first solution in my opinion, begins in the mindset of the owner. They need to accept reality and responsibility.

Thank you for reading and considering.
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