RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Petco has accepted responsibility for the death of a 2-year-old dog that was being groomed at a suburban Richmond store.
The pet supply chain said in a written statement Thursday that it takes "full responsibility" and has fired the employees directly involved in the incident for not following proper procedures.
The company also said it will remove the kind of dryers used on the golden retriever, Colby, and will reinforce its training with groomers in all of its stores next week.
Allison Marks of Powhatan County dropped Colby off for a regular grooming Saturday. She told media outlets that when she called to check on her dog, she was summoned to a nearby animal clinic where a veterinarian told her he believed Colby had died of a heat stroke.
THIS IS FROM OUR EARLIER STORY:
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 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."