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Groomer Sends Home Wrong Little White Dog

It took four days for Snowball's family to get her back after a mixup at a Long Beach grooming shop.

Jeff Goldberg  |  Dec 15th 2014


As everyone knows, no two snowflakes are the same. And while it might not often snow in Long Beach, Calif., one family there recently discovered to its horror and dismay that no two Snowballs are the same, either.

On Dec. 9, Nancy Smith took her family’s adopted rescue dog of two weeks, a white Terrier mix named Snowball, to Pet Partners, an area groomer.

But when Smith and co-owner Celeste Bass, along with their daughter, Arianna, returned to pick up their dog, they made a shocking discovery: The groomers had mistakenly given Snowball to another customer.

snowball

The real Snowball. (Photo courtesy of CBS Los Angeles)

The dog the groomers had confused Snowball with and mistakenly kept was also a white Terrier mix, similar in most every way. But this dog had a black nose. Snowball’s nose was pinkish.

“We went to pick her up they said, ‘She’s not here. She was mistakenly given to somebody else,'” Bass told CBS Los Angeles, adding that her response was, “I just really couldn’t believe you have no idea where my dog is.”

Although it was not clear exactly at what point Pet Partners realized the mistake had been made — Arianna indicated to CBS Los Angeles that the groomers knew about the accidental switch before the family arrived for the pickup — once Smith and Bass protested, the groomers placed a call to the owner who had taken Snowball, but received no response.

Smith then took to social media, posting on Facebook and Pet Partners’ local Yelp page asking for help to find the other owner and get Snowball returned to her rightful family.

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Pet Partners on Yelp.

Finally, the other owner contacted Pet Partners, and Snowball got to go home four days later. According to CBS Los Angeles, the other owner, described by Pet Partners as a woman in her early 50s, was not particularly familiar with the pet and did not notice the difference in nose color when handed Snowball at the groomer.

A Boston-area groomer, who asked not to be identified, commented on the situation, saying that it was extremely rare for such instances to occur, but not impossible in a busy environment with more than one dog of similar breeds and markings being groomed at the same time.

But the groomer stressed that it is both the establishment and the customer’s responsibility to be hyper-vigilant upon pickup to ensure that the correct dog is being returned to the correct owner.

“It can happen,” the groomer said. “No one means to do something like that. These dogs are members of people’s families, and you always have to strive to be as professional as possible.”

Relived to have Snowball back safe and sound, Smith said she planned to have the little girl microchipped.

“I just know now that I’m never going to take my dog there again. As of now, we’re just going to bathe her at home,” Smith said.

Via CBS Los Angeles

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