CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - A Powhatan woman is voicing her anguish after she says her dog died in the care of a Chesterfield Petco.
Allison Marks claims Petco employees told her that they found her two-year-old dog, Colby, dead, in a drying cage. Marks says a vet then told her he believed Colby died of a heat stroke. Petco is expressing its sympathies. However, the store confirms it is still investigating the situation.
Colby Jack became the bright spot in Allison Marks' life, after her husband passed. Now, Colby is also a memory.
"I can't breathe. I feel like I've lost my best friend," said Marks.
Marks says she dropped her Golden Retriever off for a grooming at the Midlothian Petco in the Westchester Commons shopping center. However, Marks claims when she called to check in on her dog, she was put on hold for at least 15 minutes. Marks then says the person who answered the phone asked her to meet a Petco employee at a nearby animal clinic.
"I said what's wrong with my dog? And she said, 'Can you just meet us there? One of our people will meet you there,'" continued Marks.
When Marks entered the animal clinic, her worst fear became a reality. "They escorted me in the room, and Colby was gone."
Marks said the vet told her he believed the dog had been dead for 45 minutes, and that Colby's body temperature was still very high (for being deceased that long).
"(The vet) said… he'd say it was a heat stroke," continued Marks.
Marks asked the employee why Petco hadn't called her sooner. "She says, 'I don't know. The technician that had to take care of your dog had to go to a graduation party, and we can't get a hold of her. She won't answer her phone.'"
NBC12 took Marks' complaints to the store. Employees referred inquiries to Petco's corporate office, which released a statement reading:
"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."
"He is my baby. He was the most important thing. I mean, he was my companion," added Marks.
Chesterfield Animal Control also confirms it has launched an investigation.