Petco suspends technician during Chesterfield dog death investigation

Colby (Source: Family)
Colby (Source: Family)
Published: Jun. 1, 2015 at 5:52 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 1, 2015 at 10:42 PM EDT
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A Petco technician is on suspension as the store investigates the death of a dog at its Midlothian location.

Petco is still investigating the death of 2-year-old Colby after a Powhatan woman who owned the dog says her beloved pet died in the store's care. Allison Marks claims Petco employees told her that they found the dog dead in a drying cage and says a vet then told her he believed Colby died of a heat stroke. 

Click here to see photos of Colby on your mobile device:

"I can't breathe. I feel like I've lost my best friend,” Marks said about the loss. She says she dropped her Golden Retriever off for a grooming at the 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. When Marks entered the animal clinic, she says she was escorted into a room and told Colby was gone.

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Click for Petco's updated statement on Colby's death.

Marks says a Petco employee told her the technician went to a graduation party and was not answering her phone after the death.

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.

Petco's corporate office 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."

We did some digging, and found out the people caring for your pet could actually be charged with a misdemeanor, or be arrested for animal cruelty.

 Legal analyst Steve Benjamin says this case is no different than owner leaving a dog in the back of a hot car.

"If that dog suffers or dies then you could be prosecuted for a class one misdemeanor which cares up to 12 months in jail," Steve Benjamin said.

"We have safety precautions set in stone here that we take for every single dog on our property," Paige Shriver said.

When dog owners drop their pets off here at Dog's Day Inn, owner Paige Shriver says she does everything to make sure that pet goes home safely at the end of the visit.

She was shocked to hear about this most recent incident in Chesterfield.

"As a dog lover and a dog owner myself and the owner of this shop things like that make you lose sleep," Shriver said. 
Chesterfield Animal Control as well as Petco are still investigating this case as soon as we get more details and information we will be sure to update you.

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