A woman says her dog died during a routine grooming at Petco because the technician had other plans that day.
Allison Marks, a Virginia dog owner, says she had used Petco to address her golden retriever’s grooming needs on multiple occasions. But this week she apparently figured out her two-year-old dog Colby had died in the dryer after the company neglected to call her to pick him up.
Allison Marks told ABC News today she dropped off 2-year-old Colby at a Petco in Midlothian, Virginia, early Friday morning and was told he’d be finished around noon. Marks said she started worrying when she didn’t hear from the groomers by 1 p.m., so she called and was told to go to a local animal clinic.
She said she walked in and saw Colby on the vet’s table with “glazed over” eyes. Marks said the Petco assistant manager told her they had given Colby a bath and he was in the drying unit when they found him.
“I just started screaming. Colby was my everything,” she said, noting that the vet said Colby had been dead for at least 45 minutes “and his temperature was still above 105 degrees.”
The vet explained to Marks that Colby’s death was most likely heat stroke, she said.
Sp what caused the heat stroke? Did lightening strike the Petco? Was there a fire? An electrical short? Close—it was a graduation.
Marks said the Petco assistant manager told her that the groomer who had been working on Colby left to go to a graduation.
“All of us at Petco are heartbroken by Colby’s passing. The health and safety of pets is always our top priority and we take full responsibility for all animals under our care,” the company said in a statement. “We are taking immediate action to investigate and understand the situation. Our thoughts are with Colby’s family at this difficult time.”
Even so, it’s not the first time a dog has died in a Petco dryer—the company was sued in 2011 when a dog was killed at a California store. At the time, the company claimed it had addressed the issue, saying “Over the last few years, we’ve made a number of improvements in the grooming equipment we use and we are always seeking to improve our existing safety practices. One of those improvements is that we no longer use heat of any kind in the drying process in our grooming salons.”