POWHATAN, Va. (CBSDC/AP) — A Virginia woman says her dog died while being groomed at a Petco store, and the company says it’s investigating the incident.

Multiple media outlets report that Allison Marks dropped off her 2-year-old golden retriever, Colby, at the store in Chesterfield for a regular grooming Saturday.

Marks, of Powhatan, says that when she called to check on her dog, she was told to meet an employee at a nearby animal clinic. Marks says a veterinarian there told her he believed Colby had died of a heat stroke.

Marks says she believes the groomer washed her dog, then left him inside a heated cage dryer for an extended period.

Marks explained to WTVR-TV that an assistant manager told her that the groomer had a graduation to attend.

“This is her exact words: ‘Your groomer had to go because she had a graduation to go to,’” Marks told WTVR.

A statement released on behalf of Petco says the company is investigating and that the groomers involved have been suspended.

Petco claims no heat was used in the drying process.

“All of us at Petco remain deeply upset by Colby’s passing. We have strict protocols in place to ensure the well-being of pets in our grooming salons, and we take it very seriously when those protocols are not followed. The groomers involved have been suspended while we complete a thorough investigation, and we are in contact with the pet parents and coordinating with local Animal Services to understand what happened in this terrible situation,” Petco told WTVR in a statement. “It’s important to know we do not use heated dryers in any Petco grooming salons, and we can confirm there was no heat used in the drying process during Colby’s groom, but other details are still being investigated. Our thoughts continue to be with Colby’s family at this difficult time.”

Heather Bish tells WTVR that her dog was burned during a Petco grooming process five years ago.

“His back had been burned and it was, like, blistered — she said he could have been left in the dryer too long,” Bish told WTVR.

Chesterfield Animal Control also has launched an investigation.

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