NAPA, Calif. – On December 30th a dog was taken to a grooming session at Petco and didn’t come out alive. A month and a half later his family are still trying to get some answers but the truth hasn’t come out yet.
Joe and Cynthia Eaton got Skip and Lucy – a couple of Jack Russell Terriers – on December 2001, 14 years ago. Lucy is blind and deaf but despite of that, both dogs were fit and healthy.
They have never been professionally groomed before but that day they decided to take advantage of a special promotion at NAPA Petco. Both dogs were dropped at 4 pm and they were told to come back in 90 minutes to pick them up.
The Eatons went to do some errands and 50 minutes later they received a call that they needed to go to the Silverado Veterinary Hospital because there had been an emergency. They couldn’t get any details on the phone. When they got to the hospital they were told there had been an incident with Skip and he died.
Petco’s manager was at the hospital and told the Eatons he was being prepared for a bath when the person working on him was called out and left Skip unattended for about 5 minutes. When she came back, Skip was unresponsive. Apparently he had collapsed for no reason.
The next day Joe Eaton came back looking for more answers. They told him Skip was on the floor attached to a harness that was attached to a wash basin. When he asked to see the harness they showed him a slip lead rope, which is basically a choking restraint leash.
These choke harnesses are apparently common among groomers but they should NEVER leave a dog alone while they have them on, not even if the dog is under anesthesia.
Petco paid for the expenses related to Skip’s death but are not claiming being a part of his death. They have offered more money and even a “reimburse for property loss” (after asking the Eatons if they were thinking of getting a new dog) – like if you can just replace a dog with a new one and be ok… But what the Eatons want the most, are answers.
Petco arranged for a necropsy that based on the statement of their employees more than an actual investigation of what happened, concluded that Skip probably had a cardiac event.
But here’s a question… How do they know he just collapsed if there was no one there to see it?
Before the Eatons were able to get a second opinion, their dog was cremated without an official signed permission to do so. This seems like a big cover up to me if I may say…
Lacking the answers they needed, Joe Eaton created a Facebook support group called “My dog Skip” to put pressure on Petco for answers and to spread the word about what happened to his dog. In a month a half they have over 5 300 pissed off members fighting for answers.
A couple of anonymous sources with connection to Petco Napa started to give some light to this case. It is said Skip was not on the floor as the manager’s first report claims but on the work table instead. And not only did he strangle with the choking leash but he fell off the table while he was alone – he literally hung to death. According to one of the sources (note: see 2/15/2016):
“Skip was left without proper restraints at the washing station while the attending employee took a 15-minute break and when she returned she found him hanging. At least one manager was aware of this, as well as multiple employees”
This hasn’t been confirmed but the Eatons are hoping someone will come forward with more information. His group is making a great job and people are slowly starting to talk. They are still looking for an employee of Petco Napa to come out of the shadows and confirm this story.
Petco seems to be covering up for themselves… If what they claim is true, why are they refusing a full investigation? What are they only talking about paying expenses and remuneration? Why are they not giving a proper timeline of events?
The tragedy this family is experiencing nobody should have to live it. Let’s help them and put some pressure on Petco for some answers and to take full responsibility of what happened to Skip. You can start by joining their group and spreading the word. There is so much you can do. Let’s fight for this not to happen to anyone ever again…