Petco takes ‘full responsibility’ for death of dog left too long in drying cage

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(Credit: WTVR)

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.



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."

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  • Frank D.

    Sad to say that can happen, if the attendent isn’t paying attention to the animial. Those heaters they use to dry off dogs can kill them quick on a hot day.

  • jimnjoy

    It was a tragic accident, but hopefully good things will come of it. I just remembered to fill up my dog’s water bowl…it’s been hot and it was nearly empty.

  • Jan Kline

    The attendant left to go to a Graduation PARTY, should they have not finished their job first and then went? They should be fired and made to pay restitution to the family and made to apologise for their carelessness. RIP Colby, you didn’t deserve this.:(

  • Lisa

    How can you forget a dog in the dog warmer!? That employee should be fired and have to pay restitution to the owner of the dog. Complete irresponsibility!!

  • Candace

    Dumbass! Left to go to a graduation party? Really??? What an idiot! Bet those parents are proud! :-/ They need to be fired, police report should be filed and this person should go to jail for animal abuse as well as pay restitution and never ever have childern or pets of their own!!!!!
    So so sad!! Had this Petco employee been using that thing in their head called a BRAIN…this could have been avoided! Good job animal killer.. :-(

    • jenniferrobins

      Oh shut up. Dramatic much???! I’m sure they already feel bad enough as it is after losing their job and killing someone. Putting a kid in jail for a Fucking dog??! Wow. Psycho

  • Barbara castillo

    So selfish and stupid of that kid. Graduation party? Who does that? Sorry no sympathy from me. This is inexcusable .

  • Rainmetal

    What a total mouth breather. If you cannot do something as simple as washing and drying a dog without killing it, then your employment prospects for your future look pretty dim. Enjoy poverty dog murderer.

  • olygene

    Petco takes “full responsibility” for dog’s death. Of course! What else can they say? It was a Petco store; it was a Petco employee It was a service being provided (for a fee) by Petco. Of course Petco is “heartbroken”. Because they know that they’re going to be even sicker when they go to trial and a jury awards the dog owner full damages.

  • Justin Thyme

    HA! And to think that every time I buy a live rat at Petco to feed to my snake, I have to sign a form complete w name and address stating that I’ll treat the animal in a dignified manner. WTF? (side note…. I can’t wait for the snake to die although I won’t kill it. I’ve been “babysitting” it for 22 years now.. Ugh!)

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