Petco takes 'full responsibility' for dog's grooming death

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.

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Statement from Petco:

"At Petco, we know that pet parents entrust us thousands of times each day to provide quality care for their pets. To deliver on that promise, we have strict protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of all animals in our stores and grooming salons. As animal lovers, we're saddened and deeply concerned about what happened to Colby last Friday, and we're committed to doing everything in our power to prevent this kind of tragedy from ever happening again.

"After a thorough investigation, it's clear our animal care protocols were not followed when it came to Colby. As a result, the individuals directly involved are no longer part of our company.While we've confirmed that no heat was used, and is not used in any of our grooming salon dryers, as an additional measure, the type of kennel dryer Colby was housed in has been removed from service in all Petco stores.We are also using this incident to reinforce our standards of care, and will be conducting nationwide sessions to reinforce this training with grooming salon team members in every Petco store next week. We take full responsibility for what happened in Midlothian, and remain heartbroken over Colby's untimely passing. Pet parents place their trust in us, and we realize that trust is earned. We understand there is no way to make up for the loss of Colby, and our thoughts continue to be with his family during this difficult time."

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