A customer going to shop at an Atlanta Petco store got a shock when she witnessed an employee in the store’s grooming services treating a dog roughly to the point of infuriating her.
The grooming station has a glass front where the public can watch from the outside. It’s a fun way for people to see the dogs being pampered. But on this particular occasion, Hanna Pellissier, who has a history of caring for abused animals, could see that the groomer was getting way to rough with the dog he was grooming. The employee was trying to cut the dog’s nails but when the dog pulled his paw away, the groomer began grabbing at the dog’s leg and yanking on it.
As he became increasingly physical with the large black dog, Hanna decided to pull out her smart phone and begin recording. When he tugged on the dog’s leg and he yelped, she stopped filming and went inside to put a stop to it.
She told the Washington Post that she cut in front of several people in line and told a cashier the groomer was going to harm the dog if someone didn’t stop him. She also spoke with a store manager who told her he would talk to the groomer, although in her eyes, it did not appear he was terribly upset by the matter.
She went home and posted the video to Facebook with the following note:
“Today I witnessed a Petco employee attempting to groom a dog. He was trying to cut his nails and the dog pulled his paw away. The employee then started smacking the table and then pulling hard on the dogs leg. The poor dog was panicking and trying to get away. The employee just kept pulling on him. I told the manager and he said “I’ll try to say something to him”. I’ve spoken with the customer service line and hope that they will do something about this employee. He should NOT be anywhere near the animals at that store…”
The video quickly spread and Hanna was contacted by Petco’s corporate office, who wanted to discuss the incident with her. Within a day, they had fired the groomer and gotten in touch with the dog’s owner to ensure the dog in the video was OK.
They also released a statement that read:
At Petco, the health and safety of pets and people is always our top priority, and we take full responsibility for all animals under our care. There are strict grooming protocols in place to ensure the safety and well-being of pets, and we are very concerned by the conduct of the groomer in this video. As such, after a thorough investigation, this employee is no longer at Petco. We are in contact with both the concerned individual who took the video and the pet parent and can confirm that the dog is home and in good health.
We appreciate the outreach from the pet community, and look forward to continuing to serve you. Please continue to reach out to us if you have any additional questions or concerns.
The Petco Family
Hanna told the Post that she is glad that her video is being shared but does not want the retailer demonized. For her, the more important takeaway is for that pet parents to be aware of their dog’s well-being.
“It’s good for people who own pets to think about where you’re dropping them off,” she told paper. “On the other hand, there’s a lot of people who have jumped on the ‘Let’s boycott Petco’ bandwagon. Something needed to be done with this one guy, but it’s important to remember that it can happen anywhere.”
I want to applaud Hanna’s actions. She did a great thing speaking out and not only helping the dog, but also the retailer.