Complaint / review text:
On Saturday, I took Harley and Bentley to be groomed at PETCO on Pulaski Highway (where Golden Ring Mall used to be). I dropped them off at 9:30AM. We did not hear from them all day, so finally around 5:15PM we called to see what was going on. They told us "they were just getting ready to call." They tried to tell us that Harley was very difficult to groom, which anyone who knows my sweet girl knows that it's just ridiculous to say. They also said Bentley was an angel, which both me, my mom and Joe found odd. Anyways, we left right away to go pick them up. When we arrived, the girl went in the back to get them and we could see that Harley was very scared to come out of the cage and then to come out of the back room.
The girl working gave both Bentley and Harley to us. Of course, they were very excited to see us. When in line to pay, I happened to look down at Harley's face and noticed that her eyes were completely bloodshot and the whites of her eyes were swollen so bad that her eyes and the whites were bulging out of her head. They looked like they were going to explode. She started hacking and breathing very weird, so I was even more scared. I immediately started freaking out and took her back to the grooming department where they couldn't explain it, but said that the shampoo may have gotten into her eyes so they rinsed them.
They then said if I took her to her vet on Sunday, they would pay a portion of the bill. I told them they would be responsible for the entire bill because when I dropped them off, Harley was fine and her eyes were not pink, let alone red or swelling. I told them I would be taking her to the Pet ER and that I would be contacting an attorney. Of course, once I said that, they were on board. But still no explanation of what happened to my baby. I took Harley to the Pet ER on Cromwell Bridge Road and they looked at her. They did a die/stain test and said there were no scratches, etc. To her eyes. They said that it was very clear that she had been choked. Bad enough that her eyes hemorrhaged and it caused severe conjunctivitis.
They gave me an ointment that has a steroid in it that needs to be put in her eyes 4 times a day for a week. Then she will need to go for a follow-up visit. The Pet ER doctor kept making it very clear that Harley had been choked or strangled. They said that it was impossible that the shampoo caused some kind of irritation because pet shampoos are tested over and over again to make sure they (and other grooming products) are safe for pets, and especially if they get into the eyes. I have never seen anything like this before. The only thing I can describe is when you watch movies and someone is hung to death and their eyes hemorrhage and bulge out of their head. Who knows, a few more seconds and she could have had her eyes burst or been dead.
Someone would have had to seriously choke her. So what we believe happened was that she was left alone on the table and either slipped, fell or tried to jump off of the table. Because they keep those collars hooked to the tables, we believe she choked herself. If that is what happened and she wasn't found in time, she would be dead. If this is not what happened, then someone was extremely rough with her. We will never take our dogs back to a place like PETCO or PetSmart to be groomed. They are like car washes. They are only worried about getting as many pets in and out in a day for monetary purposes and they made that very clear. They did not tell us what happened and acted like we were worried for nothing. We think they kept them all day to make sure she was alert and in hopes that the swelling in her eyes would go down.
Her eyes are starting to slowly get better with the medicine. But now we have so many things to worry about in the future. Will this experience traumatize her for future grooming visits? Will this cause problems with her eyes in the future? There is still no explanation from anyone. I wrote this in hopes that it would make pet owners aware that they should not take their pets to a place like PETCO or PetSmart to be groomed. I am also hoping that people will pass this along to let others know about this incident. I am going to research to see what other incidents have occurred at that specific PETCO, and I am nowhere near done dealing with PETCO on this horrible experience for my baby girl. Still waiting for payment and confirmation they will pay any future bills associated with this.