POWHATAN COUNTY, Va. — A family in Virginia blames human error by a Petco groomer for their dog’s tragic death.
Allison Marks took Colby, a two-year-old golden retriever, to the Petco at Westchester Commons in Chesterfield County in Virginia on Friday. Relatives told WTVR Colby had no health problems and was scheduled for a routine grooming.
When Marks had not heard back from Petco after a couple of hours, she called the store. She was told to meet the store’s assistant manager at an area animal hospital where Colby had been pronounced dead, apparently from heat stroke.
The assistant manager at Petco told the family a groomer accidentally left Colby in one of the drying cages when the groomer left to attend a graduation party.
Allison Marks shared the sad news on her Facebook page on Friday.
“I will love you forever and always, My sweet sweet Colby Jack RIP,” she wrote.
Melody Newman, the daughter of the dog owner, said the family is still in “complete shock” over what happened.
“My sister had called and she told me what had happened and I was like, ‘Are you serious?’” Newman said. “Colby was a very playful puppy. He just turned two in February. He was so playful.”
Petco released the following statement on Monday:
“All of us at Petco remain deeply upset by Colby’s passing. We have strict protocols in place to ensure the well-being of pets in our grooming salons, and we take it very seriously when those protocols are not followed. The groomers involved have been suspended while we complete a thorough investigation, and we are in contact with the pet parents and coordinating with local Animal Services to understand what happened in this terrible situation. It’s important to know we do not use heated dryers in any Petco grooming salons, and we can confirm there was no heat used in the drying process during Colby’s groom, but other details are still being investigated. Our thoughts continue to be with Colby’s family at this difficult time.”