On the night of February 28th, I took Sophia to her Thursday night puppy class at Petco in Levittown, New York. We were working on loose leash walking, and as always, Sophia picked up her lessons immediately. My goal was for her to be a certified therapy dog, providing Animal Assissted Therapy to those in need.
As Michael walked into the room that evening, Sophia barked to greet him. At this point her trainer decided this was an undesirable behavior, and pulled her by her leash until her front paws were dangling off of the ground. I still see Sophia’s wrinkles enveloping her face from the pressure of the collar on her neck.
When she was let down, she immediately vomited several times, and then collapsed. She was gasping for air, and her breathing became increasingly labored. My fiancé and I tried to free her airway to see if she was choking, but her condition worsened. Blood began coming out of her mouth.
The Petco staff was clearly not trained in any protocol in the event of an emergency. They stood there and watched as she was dying. Her trainer then attempted to get into her mouth and clear her airway.
An associate from the sales floor attempted to revive her unsuccessfully. We then rushed her down the road to the closest veterinarian that the trainer had retrieved from her cell phone. Again, Petco did not have this information available.
Sophia had already begun to go into shock. Her lungs filled up with blood from her constricted airway, and her little heart gave out.
The “trainer” has not been fired.
According to the FB page for this issue, Petco has additionally gone back on their promise to pay for Sophia’s vet bills and cremation expenses, and has outright refused not only to discipline the “trainer” who killed Sophia, but even to clarify policy on animal handling in their classes or just fucking post contact information for an emergency vet in case it becomes necessary.
They not only don’t give a shit, they actively are choosing to be willfully negligent in their responsibility toward the animals people entrust to their care.
I can’t even imagine what these people went through. Petco is gross, everyone should boycott it. And they should sue that trainer, as well.
Holy shit, yes they should sue! I am a professional Dog Trainer myself, and I would never ever do such a thing. Beyond the fact that almost ALL pet training facilities use positive reinforcement these days, theres the simple fact that English Bulldogs are brachiocephalic (I may be spelling that wrong- but it means they have compromised breathing due to their shortened snouts). You should never EVER do anything that could compromise any dogs breathing. This poor baby. The poor family! My heart goes out to them. Sue for emotional damages as well as the cost of the dog, That trainer murdered their family pet!
Long since boycotted Petco, but this is absolutely disgusting. Those people literally do not know ANYTHING about pets, at all. Every well-informed guinea pig owner knows that you should NEVER put your pig in a hamster wheel, or a hamster ball. Their spines are arched and do NOT bend in that direction. Putting them in hamster wheels is not only very uncomfortable for poor piggie, but could also cause permanent spine damage or even death. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to argue an employee of petco down from trying to sell me one for my pig, or how many times I’ve dashed across the store to stop them from trying to sell a ball to another customer.
My heart goes out to the family of this dog. Pet owners, do NOT shop at Petco! They aren’t looking out for the best interest of any animal, they treat their animals and customers like shit, they aren’t trained, they don’t know shit about animals, and they’re just a horrible awful company.