Dog dies after family takes it to CA Petco for grooming

Images courtesy KRON

NAPA, CA (KRON) — A Napa, California family is demanding answers after they took their dog in to be groomed, but it later died, the family said.

“I would think to myself someday they’ll be gone,” owner Joe Eaton said. “I didn’t know it would be this soon.”

The pain of losing their best friend is still fresh for Joe and Cynthia Eaton, and the death of their beloved Jack Russel has left them searching for answers.

“Our concern is that they’re not telling the truth,” Joe said.

Joe said it all started back in December when they dropped their dog Skip off at a Petco in Napa for a nail trimming.

“While we were there, we were upsold to this grooming special,” Joe said.

What they didn’t know is it would be the last time they would see 14-year-old Skip.

“About 15 minutes later, we got a call from Petco’s manager telling us to rush to the local vet clinic,” Joe said.

It was at the pet hospital where Joe and Cynthia got the bad news.

“Obviously, we were pretty shook up. We didn’t understand what was happening,” Joe said. “Skip was a very healthy, active 14-year-old dog.”

The Eatons tell KRON they went back to the store and spoke to a manager who showed them the room Skip was in just before he died. Joe said the manager told him Skip was attached to a restraint leash and left alone for at least 5 minutes.

“I just looked at him and said, ‘Are you kidding? You left my dog attached to a choking device?’” Joe said. “…He just shook his head and said ‘yes, that’s exactly what we did. And I’m sorry.’”

Petco paid for all of Skip’s vet bills and a necropsy.

In a statement, Petco said:

“While a definitive cause of death for Skip could not be determined, an independent veterinary examination suggests that he may have suffered a serious cardiac event and confirmed there was no evidence of trauma.”

Joe said he is not looking for money. All he wants are answers.

“We want to the truth, and we feel as dog owners we should have the right to know these things,” Joe said.

Petco did release a longer statement in response to Skip’s death:

“We understand there is no way to make up for the loss of a pet, but in an effort to help, Petco has paid for all of Skip’s veterinary expenses. All of us at Petco are deeply saddened by Skip’s untimely passing, but we do not believe it was related to the actions of our store team.” provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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