A week following the death of a 2-year-old Golden Retriever who was being groomed at Petco, the national animal supply and service chain is accepting “full responsibility” for the dog’s untimely passing.
“After a thorough investigation, it’s clear our animal care protocols were not followed when it came to Colby,” Petco said in a statement released Thursday. “As a result, the individuals directly involved are no longer part of our company.”
The nightmare began for dog owner Allison Marks, a resident of Powhatan, Virginia, after dropping Colby off at the Westchester Commons Petco in Chesterfield County last Friday. Marks told the local CBS affiliate that, after not hearing back from the store for a couple hours, she called and was told to meet the store’s assistant manager at a nearby animal hospital. Upon arrival, Marks said the Petco assistant manager emotionally told her Colby was accidentally left in a heated drying cage for too long.
Marks alleged that the veterinarian told her Colby likely died of heat stroke and that the dog’s internal temperature still registered more than 105 degrees Fahrenheit more than an hour after he was report dead.
However, in its statement, Petco said no heat was used and is not used in any of its grooming salon dryers. But “as an additional measure, the type of kennel dryer Colby was housed in has been removed from service in all Petco stores.”
“As animal lovers, we’re saddened and deeply concerned about what happened to Colby last Friday, and we’re committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again,” Petco said in its statement.
The chain added that it would be conducting sessions across the country to reinforce training and standards of care with grooming salon employees in all of its stores next week.
“Pet parents place their trust in us, and we realize that trust is earned,” Petco said in closing. “We understand there is no way to make up for the loss of Colby, and our thoughts continue to be with his family during this difficult time.”