Beloved Family Dog Dies in Careless Grooming Accident

Photo Courtesy WTVR |

Photo Courtesy WTVR |

When Allison Marks dropped off Colby, her 2-year-old Golden Retriever, for a routine grooming, she never could have imagined the tragedy that would ensue.

In an act of utter carelessness, an employee left the beloved family pet in a drying cage, where he was later found dead of apparent heat stroke. The employee had left to go to a graduation party, and forgot about Colby.

According to the pet store headquarters, the drying cages are supposed to cut off automatically after 15 minutes. But considering that this dog's body temperature still registered at 105 degrees one hour after he passed away, there was clearly a mistake made at some point.

Drying cages are intended to be used by groomers as a quick substitution for hand drying. But dogs should never be left unattended in any such type of heated cage. As this tragedy shows, it doesn't take long for dogs to overheat.

It's critically important that pet parents are careful in choosing their dog groomer. While dog grooming is not regulated by the government, many groomers are registered or certified by a professional school or certifying organization. You should always meet the groomer personally and evaluate the facility for safety and cleanliness.

Marks is considering pressing charges against the pet store, and wanted to share her story in the hopes that other pet parents will not lose their pets in this way.

"Colby was my shadow," Marks told WTVR, "He was my next soulmate."

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Positively Expert: Victoria Stilwell

Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the internationally acclaimed TV series, It’s Me or the Dog. A bestselling author, Stilwell frequently appears in the media as a pet expert and is widely recognized and respected as a leader in the field of animal behavior.


8 thoughts on “Beloved Family Dog Dies in Careless Grooming Accident

  1. debbie

    Omg I cant imagine how hurt and upset you must feel. I never even gave this a thought as thought it was done by hand drying. I would be heart broken and would definately take it further if not too protect other dogs as they have a duty of care that they failed to give. X

  2. Tom Talty

    I can't imagine the suffering he felt. Probably the same as being left in a car in summer. If I were his guardian, I would feel so guilty to know I trusted the wrong people. I hope there are legal consequences for whoever is responsible.

  3. Sammierose

    Sad for what happened....a Newfie that died at a grooming shop last year the same way was being shaved. In doing so, it's natural heating and cooling system was destroyed! If that is the case here, no offense, but it is the owner's own fault. Yes, groomer's should know the affects of shaving a double coated dog and try to educate the owners, but the owners also need to LISTEN! Deshedding is so much better and healthier for the dog than shaving!

  4. C Beer

    The dog didn't die through being clipped but by being left in the (hot) drier until it it died of hypothermia. This could have occured whether the dog was being clipped or stripped, in fact during any grooming that involved a bath and therefore the need to dry the dog. Safe grooming, including clipping, are not dangerous in themselves and some breeds such as Newfies are better able to avoid overheating in the Summer. So please don't blame the owner for having her dog clipped.

  5. Gidget Church

    I am so very sorry for the family. I have a groomer who comes to the house. My dog is five and has only had two groomers, one who was a tad eccentric did him from the time he was like three or four months old until about 3 (and would have done it still if she hadn't gone kind of "strange" on me) and now a man is doing the grooming. I do it every four to five weeks, and he is a long coat/soft coat Malamute and sometimes I have him trimmed, a sanitary cut always on the hind end and some trimming of the length of the coat...unfortunately he is wearing hair off his haunches laying on the cement and there isn't anything to be done about it...he prefers the cool cement or cool floors in the summer and it is the hard surface that does it. At any rate, it is more expensive to have them come to your house I understand BUT your dog is the ONLY customer. Right there, in front of your house, start to finish. I cannot recommend this enough to people. They are very popular in my area. In between these two I did try one other who was just awful, but thankfully did no damage to the dog himself. Good luck to all.

  6. Meghan Finnegan

    My condolences to Allison. I can't imagine how upset you must feel. Indeed, it is important that pet parents are careful in choosing their dog groomer.

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