Can I sue a groomer who burned my dog's tail?

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Question:

The dog groomer "burned" the underside of my dog's tail, but did not disclose the injury, which was noted by the vet later. I paid the groomer by check -- and also incurred expenses to heal the dog's tail. Can the grooming fee be recovered?

Answer:

If you haven't yet done so, ask the groomer to reimburse you for your expenses. If the groomer caused the injury, he or she should cover your vet bill -- and refund what you paid for the grooming, if only as a good business measure.

If the groomer says "no," consider putting his or her feet to the fire in small claims court. First, write a demand letter stating your case and asking for the grooming fee and the cost of the vet's bill.

To succeed on your claim, you'll need to have evidence -- perhaps a statement from the vet -- that careless grooming injured the dog. Embarrassing as it might be for Fido, it would also help your case if you could produce photos of the injured tail area.

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