A Powhatan, Virginia, woman is grieving the loss of her golden retriever after a Petco employee left him in a drying cage too long.
Allison Marks told WTVR that the day her dog, Colby Jack, died was the worst day of her life since her husband passed away.
“He was my shadow. He followed me everywhere,” Marks told the station. “He was my next soul mate.”
The woman told WRIC that losing Colby "[is] like losing a child" to her.
"I don’t want anyone else to go through what I’m going through,” she said.
Marks said Colby, who was 2 years old, went in for a routine grooming appointment at Petco on Friday. She told WRIC that she'd been taking Colby there his entire life. When she didn't hear back from the store in five hours, she got worried and called about her dog. The assistant manager told Marks to meet her at a local animal hospital.
There, the manager told Marks that Colby had been left in a drying cage while the groomer attended a graduation. The veterinarian told Marks that her dog had died of heat stroke.
Approximately 45 minutes after Colby died, his internal temperature still registered more than 105 degrees, according to WRIC.
Petco said it was "heartbroken" by the dog's death. Marks told WTVR that the manager who met her at the vet was very kind to her, and wept with her when she delivered the bad news.
"The health and safety of pets is always our top priority and we take full responsibility," Petco said in a statement Sunday, noting that it has launched an investigation into the death.
Marks wants to press charges, and animal control is investigating, according to WTVR. Petco said the groomer responsible for leaving Colby in the drying cage has been suspended, WRIC reported.
WATCH: "Could Your Pet Be in Danger at the Groomers?" from Good Morning America
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