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Heard About Hurley? – A Petco Grooming Horror Story

by admin on April 21, 2008

Terrier Newsflash:

I “stumbled upon” this story a few weeks ago, and it has bothered me since I read it…I just had to post about it!

hurleyyorkiepetco.JPGBasically, the short version of the story is that a family brought their Yorkshire Terrier – Shih Tzu cross, who was about 4 months old, in to a Petco in Los Gatos, California to be groomed on March 22nd, 2008.

Just 8 hours later, Hurley was dead.

4 hours after dropping Hurley off for grooming, his parents came to pick him up, and Hurley was panting and breathing with some difficulty…but employees ensured them that everything went fine…

Being only 4 months old, Hurley’s parents suspected that Hurley was just a little stressed out from the new surroundings.

2 hours later, his breathing was even more taxed and he started to cough up blood. Yikes!

Immediately, Hurley was rushed to their local animal emergency hospital, where vets worked quickly and laboriously on the dog, whose heart stopped and was resuscitated twice. His lungs were filling up with fluid and he was literally drowning to death.

His loving family had to make that heart-wrenching decision to euthanize Hurley so that he did not have to suffer any more.

Needless to say, THEY WANT ANSWERS!

The 2 emergency room vets concluded that Hurley’s death was due to strangulation…Strange for a healthy dog that had the regular check-ups and all vaccinations on the schedule, passing with flying colors.

Hurley’s regular veterinarian suspects that there was cruelty and/or negligence on Petco’s part and even filed a complaint report with Animal Control, which Hurley’s parents also did to the Los Gatos Police Department.

The thing is, Petco has, in their possession, a tape of what happened in their grooming facilities, which neither Petco, nor their insurance company, will show or comment on regarding the injury that occurred that day. However, they are willing, even without a request, to pay for any and all emergency vet bills. Strange, you may say…

As Hurley’s parents searched for answers, they also uncovered a long history of documented complaints and cases against Petco for animal injuries, abuse, neglect and suffering…

To see more about these animal complaints against Petco, and more about Hurley’s cause, check out the post @:


What Could You Do To Protect Your Pet?

1. Make sure you take your pet to be groomed at a reputable groomer, for which you have received a referral from someone you know.

2. At many Petcos or Petceteras, etc, they usually have a viewing window, through which you can observe everything going on with your precious pet. People are less likely to be careless while being watched…If you have the time, I suggest this is a great option.

3. Learn how to groom your own pet at home…Not only will this save you $$$ over the long run, but it will create a bond between you and your pet. Also, you’ll only get better at it over time.

* Many terriers are groomed very similarly, and I recently posted about How to Groom a Welsh Terrier step-by-step…Check it out here:

How To Groom Your Welsh Terrier

** If you have any other suggestions or experiences you would like to share on this subject, PLEASE feel free to comment in the Comment Box below!


I hope you found this post informational on Terrier Lover! Until next time…

Love Your Terrier,

Kimberly Edwards :)

P.S. Add Kimberly as a friend on stumble upon:

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly Edwards April 21, 2008 at 4:55 am

My stumble upon friend, arabbitwhisperer, says:

“I will follow your advice … … …”

I hope people take extra care in who they trust their beloved pets with…

Kimberly Edwards :)

P.S. Add me as a friend on Stumble Upon:


guitarkeaven1111 April 22, 2008 at 1:31 am


guitarkeaven1111 April 22, 2008 at 1:40 am

Petco is a huge corporation that has over 900 stores and 13,000 employees. One incident like this is unfortunate for a company this size, and it is one of the “few” companies to even have camera’s and windows in their salons – so that is a “good thing”. To be employed by petco you have to pass a 85 psychological test to be considered for employment – very few grooming salons do this either. It was easier for that deputy sheriff to go on a shooting rampage in Wisconsin without a psychological background exam by the police department carrying a gun than getting a job grooming at Petco.

guitarkeaven1111 April 22, 2008 at 1:46 am

There is more human abuse in Nursing homes by “care giver’s than at grooming salons where most groomers love working with dogs, and have great skills and patience. You can not point a finger or attack a company for an incident like this. All groomers know grooming a “moving” animal is extremely difficult & stressful, out of fear of hurting or injuring the dog with scissors while many dogs (especially terriers) BITE.

Kimberly Edwards April 22, 2008 at 3:58 pm

One of my stumble friends added:

“Kimberly, this is terrible. I just brought 2 baby Maltese home to MI from MO last Tuesday. Sugar the 11 week old is in the vets office tonight on an IV to pump liquids through him. I believe he found a piece of sugar less gum. It probably fell out of a box or my purse. I sometimes use Strike gum. It has xylitol in it which is toxic to dogs. It causes hyperglycemic shock especially in the toy babies and can fatally damage their livers. The vet called earlier and said Sugars liver enzymes were looking really good and he was showing some interest in what was going on around him. I’m taking the other boy, Piddles, in tomorrow to be neutered, so I’ll find out early in the a.m. how Sugar spent the night and his prognosis. I’ve gone through everything and thrown every thing sugar free away. Be careful with your dogs. Xylitol is in many things that we might share with our little friends. Hugs…”

This is awful…I will be praying for your new babies…Poor Sugar!


P.S. Add me as a friend on Stumble Upon:


ICT June 1, 2008 at 6:54 pm

This brings tears to my eyes -that a sweet innocent life was lost in such a painful way. Ingrid Turner

abi January 2, 2009 at 6:40 pm

dogs are my favorite animal so to hear about one die is so heart breaking. i will never let my dog get groomed at petco. they need to be shut down for animal cruelty. they need to be punished for what they did to hurley and all the other animals.

Teri February 14, 2009 at 5:39 pm

I also took my Yorkie puppy to Petco and will not do that again. He was so stressed out by the time I picked him up. I just feel that you should take the time to groom your own pet to ensure their safety. We had an incident here in Michigan where a Yorkie was being groomed at one of the “big” superstores and the dog died due to being left unattended under the blow dryers to long. My heart goes out to the owners of Hurley. I am fortunate enough to have a friend here in Michigan that grooms dogs for a living and takes very very special care of each and every animal that she grooms. The animals are so excited to go see her. It is funny.

Kimberly March 7, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Oh my goodness Teri…that’s just awful.

These pets in their care should take their complete attention. Could you just imagine if these were human children? They’d go to prison for forever!

For so many people, like us, our pets are our babies…our children and they mean the world to us.

Yes, it’s great to groom your own pet…In fact, for maintenance, you really should be involved in their grooming.

We are blessed to have a marvelous groomer in St. Catharines, who has taken care of all of our dogs since I was tiny. She’s had full responsibility of special groomings for our Fluff, Killer, Honey, Sugar, Candy, Kaptain, Kurious, Knosey and Precious throughout the years.

She’s at the “Poodle Fluff N’ Puff” and she is absolutely terrific! What a fabulous job she does on our miniature schnauzers. In fact, I believe she’s won awards on her schnauzer grooming.

Our Westie-Poo gets a similar cut, so she can fit in…LOL…but we call it a terrier cut!

You can tell you’re at the right place when they’re so very happy to see her. They’re not really scared, although they don’t really ever like to be left anywhere you’re not going to be.

They come out happy and healthy each and every time, they look marvelous and she is so very affordable!

Before we found her, we used to take our pets to our vet to get groomed until Killer, a cock-poo came out with a cut on his tummy and his nails clipped too close that they were bleeding and he was limping. That was it!!!

Thanks for coming by Teri! Hope you had a great visit here!

Kimberly :)

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