Petco Stops Use Of Kennel Dryers, Fires Groomers Caring For Dog Who Died

colby_dogLast week, a woman in Virginia left her healthy 2-year-old golden retriever at a Petco store for a routine bath and grooming. The store called her and asked to meet at a nearby veterinary clinic, where she learned that her dog was dead. Petco has now taken full responsibility for this incident, and says that the grooming salon workers involved have been fired.

What happened? Petco either still doesn’t know exactly, or they haven’t announced it yet. The animal’s death had something to do with the drying kennel that he was in, though, which the company claims no longer use heat to dry the animals, and automatically shut off after 15 minutes.

What they have announced is that they will stop using the type of drying kennel that Colby was in when he died. “While we’ve confirmed that no heat was used, and is not used in any of our grooming salon dryers,” the company explained in a statement, “as an additional measure, the type of kennel dryer Colby was housed in has been removed from service in all Petco stores.”

Whatever happened with the dryer, the company explained that the chain’s “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.” They did not specify how many individuals were involved in Colby’s poor care, or what their jobs were within the salon.

The company also says that it will conduct special training sessions for all grooming salon employees next week to go over those “animal care protocols” next week.

The statement concludes:

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.

A veterinarian told the dog’s owner that he died of heatstroke, but Petco has not clarified what killed him.

Petco admits fault, makes changes after dog’s death [WWBT]