I have received countless emails over the years, and been told several horror stories, regarding the dangers of paper shredders. Who knew such a little office machine could cause so much pain and tragedy. From cat tails, to dog ears and tongues (and children's fingers) ... all are at-risk around an electric paper shredder.

Following is an article from a South Carolina newspaper that was sent to me several years ago (unfortunately I do not have a link to it) ... warning - graphic photos follow the article:

"Cross, a 1-year-old boxer who lives in Socastee, lost part of his tongue when he licked his owner's (paper) shredder."

A Socastee resident is spreading a safety message after her dog lost part of his tongue in a paper shredder accident.

Sandy Clarke's boxer Cross lost "three or four chunks" of his tongue in late February when he stuck it into a shredder in her home office.

"The dog was screaming," said Clarke, who ran out and yelled for her husband after Cross became entangled. "I woke my daughter up screaming. It was very traumatic."

The incident lasted 10 to 15 minutes, with Cross finally being freed once the shredder was put in reverse.

Shredder accidents, usually involving small children, have caught the attention of national advocates working to improve safety standards.

That is good news for the boxer who is recovering.

"I'm trying to get the word out. People need to be aware," she said. "(Shredders) need to be unplugged or there needs to be new safety devices on them."

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission most often hears about accidents involving small children.

"We are aware of ... incidents involving dogs getting their tongues stuck in the shredder," said Patty Davis, spokeswoman with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"Some of those had to be euthanized."

The paper-shredder market has grown, she said, with more people using them at home, for work or as a means to prevent identity theft.

Clarke has taken her concerns to the masses through national TV reports.

She hopes to see tougher measures than a "keep kids and pets away" blurb, and she may get her wish. The safety commission and a national laboratory are revising shredder standards to require stricter warning labels and to make the feeder area opening smaller and less flexible.

As for Clarke's shredder, it's still in her office " unplugged".

Clarke's daughter, Michael-Ann, 11, said the dog, which turns 1 on Saturday, trembles when he hears the shredder.

Cross was treated for tongue lacerations, said veterinarian Dr. Greg Conner, and should still have full use of his tongue for eating, drinking and licking.

Moral: Unplug your shredder when not in use.
When in use, keep your pets far away!

~ Tips To Prevent This From Happening To Your Pet:

* Unplug shredders when not in use.

* Store shredders out of reach of animals (and, of course, children ... especially those under 5 ... who can also be victims of shredder accidents). Make sure that the shredder is located in a place that is "pounce proof" ... acrobatic kitties that jump atop shredders can also do terrible damage to themselves.

* To avoid attracting animals, never put food wrappers through shredders.

* Do not leave shredders on the "automatic" setting.

* When buying a shredder, look for one with a protective bar over the opening.


date Thursday, October 21, 2010

8 comments to “Warning ... UNPLUG your paper shredder!!!”

  1. Anonymous
    October 21, 2010 at 6:24 PM


  1. Pet Geekery
    July 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Wow.. this is intense! Hope you don't mind, but we'd like to pass along this info to our readers and hopefully save a tongue... or a life!

  1. All God's Creatures Pet Services
    July 23, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    Of course, please feel free to share! Credit and a link back is all that is asked.


    "Compliments of All God's Creatures Pet Services at http://agcpetservices.blogspot.com "


  1. Ruby Badcoe
    November 5, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Not unplugging your paper shredder is not only harmful to people or pets around the house, it may also cause your paper shredder to overheat. It would be best if you get a bigger, more powerful paper shredder. The little ones which hold about a carrier bag full of paper are only designed for domestic use only.

  1. Milliscent Morgan
    January 17, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    What a great short story it is, actually you have to use your common sense the tool above named "paper shedder" so it means this devices perfectly good for papers how come that some part of the body will cut it of? Any way this blog could be advantage for those who haven't familiar on the said equipment.

  1. Paper Shredder
    January 24, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    OMG, this is horrible, dog's tongue got shredded. All shredders must have automatic safety controls whenever wrong objects come into contact.

  1. chris
    February 27, 2013 at 5:33 PM

    I was gonna say the same needs an automatic safety contorl have you seen the lady who got her fingers shredded its extemly graphic WARNING

  1. Ruby
    November 12, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    It was very unfortunate that something like this happened to Cross. Although it should be the responsibility of the owner, accidents like this are bound to happen. A fail safe power control should be present in the machine. I hope Cross is okay by now, and no accidents like this happen again.

    Ruby Badcoe @ Williams Data Management

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