By Anthony Bond
Trudie's owner Maureece Sarell, 55, a nurse, fought back the tears as she revealed the final moments of her beloved pet.
Trudie the cocker spaniel suffered burns and internal injuries after being placed in the cage by dog groomer Jo Taylor.
The container consisted of a steel cage fixed to a heater and covered with a tarpaulin.
Much loved: Maureece with Trudie the cocker spaniel
Devoted: Maureece described how she has only ever been apart from Trudie for 10 days
Maureece said she got a call at around 11am on October 6 from Taylor telling asking her which vets she used because Trudie had got a bit 'pink' on her belly.
Around an hour later Maureece's vets called to reveal the situation was much much worse.
Mum-of-one Maureece, who lived alone with Trudie, said she raced to the vets from work only to find her 'Princess' black and blue on the operating table.
Horrific: Trudie the cocker spaniel was literally burned to death in a homemade dog drying cage which she was left to cook in for 20 minutes. This picture shows the injuries she suffered
She said: 'It was the only time she moved the whole time she was there when I arrived, the vets said she hadn't shown any signs of life before then.
'She was black and blue and I have seen a lot of things in my life as a nurse but that was one of the worst things I have ever seen.
'Trudie was at the vets being treated until about half past five in the afternoon, it was then she was put to sleep.'
Maureece who shared her bedroom with Trudie, who had a basket at the end of her bed, said she was numb after her best friend's death.
She said: 'I had only ever been apart from her for ten days since we had her as a puppy.
'This wasn't the first time she had been to be groomed but I had no idea about the "homemade dryer" Jo was using.
'I actually went around to see Jo after it happened and she had the dryer on then, it was very loud and I can't see how you could hear anything over it.'
Yesterday, Taylor, 31, appeared at Leicester Magistrates’ Court charged with causing unnecessary suffering to an animal and failing to ensure the welfare of an animal in her care.
During evidence, Taylor, who runs the business from her home in Wigston, Leicestershire, described what had happened.
She said: 'She was sitting up the whole time she was in the cage and I was there the whole time,' she said.
'She made a little whimpering sound when I put her in but that’s normal for a lot of dogs.
'She responded to my voice but made no moves to come out when the drying had finished.
'I reached in and she stumbled. I saw the injuries on her leg and I thought the rash had become inflamed.'
Vet Emma Drabble said Trudie was given antibiotics and pain relief before having aloe vera and bandages applied to her wounds.
Ms Drabble said: 'Her skin had started to peel and blister and when we took a blood sample it showed she was dehydrated.
Much-loved: Trudie is pictured before she died. After being in the heater, her skin had started to peel and blister and tests showed that she was dehydrated
Heartbreaking: After realising the extent of her injuries, the vet and Trudie's owner, Maureece Sarell, agreed to save her suffering and have her put down
'Her temperature reduced to normal after a couple of hours but the internal bleeding continued.'
The vet and Trudie’s owner agreed to save her suffering and have her put down.
Taylor admitted the injuries were caused while the animal was in her care but said the cage was a popular method of drying dogs.
Before October, 81 dogs, including her own, had used the cage.
She said: 'I’ve also groomed 100 more dogs since the incident and no problems have been encountered.'
Taylor said she had placed her own pet in the device for 70 minutes with no ill effects.
Dangerous: This image shows the homemade cage which was used at Yensid Dog Grooming
Homemade: Jo Taylor runs Yensid Dog Grooming from her home in Wigston, Leicestershire, pictured
Magistrate Peter Tyler said: 'We find it difficult to accept the evidence that the dog, Trudie, was checked every few minutes.
'The injuries were caused during the drying process. You failed in your duty to keep her from harm.'
Taylor was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay £350 court costs.
After the trial Maureece said: 'I can't believe she is still allowed to groom dogs.'
Suffering: Magistrate Peter Tyler said he found it difficult to accept the evidence that Trudie was checked every few minutes while in the heater at Yensid Dog Grooming
Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Owner of cocker spaniel who burned to death in 'drying' cage at dog groomers tells of her horror at losing her beloved pet
By Anthony Bond