Dog Groomer Throws Maltese Against Wall, Killing It

the daily dish More on PawNation: Dog, Sad

A Missouri dog groomer threw a 3-year-old Maltese dog against a wall last Wednesday, causing fatal injures, according to the New York Daily News. The dog's owners, Barbara and Bill Calhoun, have been left emotionally devastated and furious following their pet's death.

"She literally murdered our little baby," said Barbara Calhoun, 71. "I know that she's not a child, but to us she was a child. She didn't deserve anything like that."

The Calhouns brought their dog, Darby, to Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital on Wednesday morning for a grooming session with a groomer the dog had seen twice before. Barbara Calhoun said the vet called later that day and reported Darby had been severely injured, suffering bruises, pulmonary contusions and pulmonary bleeding.

The couple did not learn what caused Darby's injuries until they arrived at the hospital. "I said, 'What happened? What happened?' and the doctor said, 'Well, she was thrown against the wall,'" Barbara Calhoun told KSPR.

The groomer, Rebecca Barbara, claimed the 8-pound dog attacked and bit her, and that she thus feared for her life. "I don't know exactly what happened but she tossed the dog away, evidently with enough force to cause some pretty severe injuries," said Dr. Ted Betzen of Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital.

Barbara Calhoun said she saw no bite marks on the groomer, but hospital staff has said they were there.

Darby was still alive when the Calhouns arrived at the hospital. They petted and kissed their dog, who seemed to recognize them. Darby succumbed to her injuries shortly after that.

The Calhouns said they haven't been able to eat or sleep since Darby's death. "Our dog was the most precious thing to us," Barbara Calhoun said. "We have no children ... she was such a sweet baby that she never did anything wrong."

The groomer has been fired, although Dr. Betzen said that she, like everyone else at the hospital, is devastated by what happened, and regrets Darby's death deeply.

The Calhouns said they will pursue legal action against Spring Valley Veterinary Hospital.


Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

It makes me angry, even though it's been over a year. They probable have a new job. Their sh license should have been taken away. and they should have had jail time.

February 07 2015 at 9:27 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It makes me angry even though it was over a year that somebody go off scott free. They probable has another job. Their license should have been taken away & given some jail time.

February 07 2015 at 9:22 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 15 2013 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

They should check their states laws for animal abuser and place that animal abuser in prison along with suing the animal hospital and spread the word to all their friends and family members

November 22 2013 at 6:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Beth Knuth

I worked for a vet years ago whose wife was the supposed groomer, she was worthless, and she beat a dog she was grooming. She did not have to do it, the vet was there to knock out safely, that is why the people brought him there. That was what they requested, but she wanted to prove something and I told her off and quit that day. This was in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and her name was Charlotte and she knows who she is. I wish I had been brave enough to do more.

November 20 2013 at 2:49 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I've heard a few cruel stories similar to this. I think these places have to be held responsible for what their employees do while in their business. I'm familiar with Maltese and in no way are they mean or unpredictable. This person needs to pay for her cruel abuse of one of the most sweetest dogs I've ever encountered.

November 14 2013 at 10:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Obviously terribly inexperienced & unprepared to deal with dog behavior. A Maltese is a gentle, loving dog. Since Darby had seen this groomer twice before without incident, what did the groomer do this third time to provoke this so called attack? In no way do I blame the dog. It's the groomer who has a lot of explaining to do. This cruelity was unnecessary & unforgivable.

October 22 2013 at 5:06 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
Jim Bradley

This is an unbelievable story. That's why I went through and got to know the person working with my dog. I didn't just drop the dog off and walk out the door. I stayed while she was grooming my lab and got to know her. It's surprising how lonely a dog groomer can get. Make sure you know who's working with your dog!

October 21 2013 at 6:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would due the hosital-obviously the vet did not look into this groomers credentials.....and there it sounds like the ver was not too concerned about whathappened...

October 08 2013 at 7:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so whatever happened to muzzles? ff you as a groomer are that afraid of dogs then 1-u should not be a groomer and 2 use a muzzle. I have had 2 maltese and can tell you they have a very personable disposition-there is more to this story then what is being told. I once took my dog to a pet store for grooming-they put a leash around my dogs kneck and left her hanging-I was holding her up and I told the groomer to take it off. We never went back.....................AND with this in mind-word of mouth can make or break a business!

October 08 2013 at 7:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Around The Web

Who is Cutest?

Like us on Facebook?