S’pore groomer accidentally snips dog’s tongue, owners want S$22,000 in compensation

Poor dog :(

Mandy How | August 7, 12:49 pm


On June 7, 2019, Mario, a poodle, was sent to a shop in Singapore named Paws Chu Kang for grooming.

Unfortunately in this case, Paws Chu Kang wasn’t the best in Singapore, JB, or Batam, because Mario had quite a bit of his tongue snipped off.

Photo via Lee Tai Seng/Facebook

*Disclaimer: The following image might be considered by some to be rather graphic*

Photo via Lee Tai Seng/Facebook

Mario’s owner, Lee Taiseng, then took to Facebook on August 6 with several allegations against the owner of Paws Chu Kang, Nichelle.

Note that the dog was groomed by another employee, not Nichelle.

Here’s what happened, according to Lee:

  • Mario was picked up for grooming at 10am, but Lee and his wife only received a call from Nichelle at 3pm, informing them that Mario’s tongue had been “slit”.
  • Nichelle also reportedly said that the bleeding did not stop even though ice had been applied on the wound.
  • As Nichelle sounded calm, the Lees thought that it was a small injury, but met her and Mario at the nearest vet immediately.
  • When they reached the clinic, Nichelle allegedly unleashed a verbiage and blamed Mario for being an “active” dog.
  • Lee claimed that Mario was not an active dog by any means.
  • Lee discovered that the “slit” on Mario’s tongue was a rather long cut that severed almost the entire tip of the dog’s tongue.
  • The vet then removed the part of Mario’s tongue that had been snipped off, leaving Mario with a permanently shortened tongue.
  • According to Lee, the vet said that Mario’s tongue could have been saved if the dog was rushed to the clinic on time, and estimated that Mario was left with the wound for a few hours.
  • Paws Chu Kang reimbursed the vet fees, but did not keep their alleged promises of sacking the groomer, and compensating the Lees with a lifetime supply of food, supplements, and grooming services, which was supposedly agreed upon verbally.
  • The Lees apparently turned down a compensation amount as they felt that Paws Chu Kang was “insincere”.

*Another disclaimer: The following images might be considered by some to be rather graphic*

Here is Mario, presumably at the vet:

Photo via Lee Tai Seng/Facebook

A stitched tongue, post-surgery:

Photo via Lee Tai Seng/Facebook

Lee’s post has gathered more than 1,000 shares and 300 comments.

Paws Chu Kang: Mario rushed to vet immediately

On the morning of August 7, Nichelle from Paws Chu Kang responded with a Facebook post of her own.

In addition to expressing her apologies for what happened to Mario, Nichelle denied the allegations that Lee made in his post and called them “untrue”.

For one, Nichelle claims that the groomer, who had more than five years of experience, is no longer employed by Paws Chu Kang

Nichelle also provided her own timeline, which started when the driver picked Mario up at 10:30am.

Mario then reached the shop at 10:40am, and roamed around until it was his turn for grooming at around 1pm.

Here is Nichelle’s version of events:

“Est: 1.00pm-1.30pm: My staff started on Mario’s Basic Grooming, (shower, cut nails, dematting, rough cut,). Basic Grooming takes around one hour.
Est: 2.30pm-3.00pm: Trimming of Legs’ Fur
Est: 3.00pm-3.20pm: Trimming of Face
Est: 3.20pm: Where my groomer’s scissor cut Mario’s tongue
Est: 3.24pm: Informed Mrs Lee of the incident and to meet at the nearest vet, attempted to stop bleeding with gauze and ice
Est: 3.35pm-3.45pm: Arrived at Vet
Est: 3.45pm-4pm: Vet attended to our Emergency Case (Mr and Mrs Lee arrived),
Informed by Vet that they could only start the surgery for Mario after working hours (est 9+pm). Mario was left under the vet’s care until surgery.
Est: 9.43pm: Informed by Mrs Lee that the Vet has to cut off the snipped off part as the tissues are dead.
Est: 9.51pm: Informed by Mrs Lee that Mario surgery is done. I rushed down to vet immediately to bear all medical expenses.”

According to Nichelle’s account, only a minimum amount of time had lapsed before Mario was brought to the vet.

Furthermore, the shop owner asserted that she did not blame Mario for the incident, and also did not agree to Lee’s requests of lifetime compensation.

Nichelle then shared WhatsApp screenshots of the conversation between Lee’s wife and herself on the day of the incident:

Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook

Mario’s recovery and compensation

On June 8, one day after the incident, Nichelle transferred S$500 to Lee’s wife.

The sum was meant as transport fees for Mario’s future trips to the vet.

Lee’s wife returned the money.

Nichelle then said that she followed up with the Lee’s every two to five days on Mario’s recovery, and also offered to visit the dog.

Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook

Stitches dissolved

On June 13, Nichelle received a WhatsApp from Lee’s wife with an update on Mario’s condition.

The vet had said that Mario’s stitches have dissolved, and that he was recovering well.

Nichelle transferred the vet fees for the session and agreed to their owner’s request for an explanation/apology letter, as well as to show them the groomer’s qualifications.

These will be done so by a visit to the Lees’ home.

Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook

Dog owners asked for S$22,000

On July 11, Nichelle met the Lees at their home, where they asked for 15 years of dog food as compensation.

Nichelle allegedly said that she would have to get back to them on this matter.

After Nichelle left their house, the Lees messaged her and asked for a lump sum of S$22,000, instead of the lifetime supply of food that the Lees claimed Nichelle had agreed to.

This was because the dog owners feared that Paws Chu Kang would not be able to follow through with a lifetime of food supply.

Nichelle subsequently sought legal advice as S$22,000 was beyond her means.

On July 24, Nichelle offered Lee S$1,300 as compensation instead.

Lee’s wife expressed displeasure that the matter had gone on for so long, and at the fact that Nichelle had sought legal advice.

The dog owner then asked for S$18,000.

Nichelle replied with the same offer of S$1,300, and their subsequent exchange, if any, was not posted to Facebook.

Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook
Photo via Paws Chu Kang/Facebook


You can read their posts in full below:

Top image via Lee Taiseng and Paws Chu Kang on Facebook


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About Mandy How

Mandy is a pantry rat. She eats everything in the pantry (except other people's food).

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