Dog dies of heat stroke after being left in drying cage at Petco

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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.

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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 Sunday afternoon:

"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. We are taking immediate action to investigate and understand the situation. Our thoughts are with Colby's family at this difficult time."

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9 comments

  • Joymar

    My sympathies to the family as I know losing a loved pet hurts. Petco has deep pockets. This family needs to get a lawyer to help empty them. This accident should never have happened and Petco needs to be taught a lesson so it never happens again!

  • Valerie Strege

    Shame on Petco for not having some way to safeguard against this tragedy. A lawsuit should be forthcoming, but it will not replace the pet or make up for the suffering that beautiful dog endured!

  • Debbie Campo

    us animal people will be creating a petition for this, so not right and we are all over this, PETCO will pay, in the meantime this message is for the family, please sue them, no it won’t bring back the dog, but it do some justice, DO NOT LET THEM GET A WAY WITH THEIR SOBBY APOLOGIES…

  • concernedforkids

    This is very sad
    I have noticed that groomers are not as well trained or conscientious as they used to be. No matter where you go. Actually workers in general and not as careful as they used to be. I took my dog somewhere else for a trim…oh boy…this poor girl came home with a bad haircut, and I mean bad…when I called to complain I git no sympathy. So I email corporate. That didn’t even get me anywhere. So…I guess we need to learn how to trim our own dogs. :)

  • Optimus Prime

    I’m guessing the employee is a high school or college student if they neglected their job for a graduation party. Loosing their job won’t matter to them, nor teach them anything. The real problem is the lesser quality people that we are raising today. Parents are negligent and lazy, and they are raising their kids to be the same. Common sense and a sense of focus are being left out of the equation. But we keep going as if nothing’s wrong.

  • Mary P. Arroyo

    Wow! I wonder what PR firm PETCO hired to write that “heartfelt” statement? The animals are top priority unless an employee wants to bug out for a graduation party. I would say I hope PETCO would have to pay for this, unfortunately in many states, dogs are considered “livestock” not family members, so the reason PETCO is so readily taking responsibility is because all the family can sue for is the cost of a replacement dog. Hell, about 15 years ago Burlington Coat Factory used dogs and cats for the fur lining on their clothing, the expose even showed how the dogs were skinned alive, they gave up their bonuses for a couple of years, lowered prices for a while and the good ole American consumer was back and now they are bigger than ever! This country has no conscience because it has no morals, thus the United States has not culture. Big business always prevails, that is the culture of the United States.

  • arubatom

    Of all the stupid excuses….”the groomer left to attend a graduation party”…doesn’t that idiot know that dogs are members of the family. Nothing will ever bring the poor dog back, but I hope the owners make sure PETCO pays dearly for this mistake….as Jasmine said…inexcusable and criminal to say the least!!

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