Sadly, Otis lost his fight. Please keep his mom Alison in your prayers right now. I really hope something can be done to prevent these incidents from happening to someone else. Just so awful this had to happen to little Otis.
*A friend of mine back in CA shared this story about her friend's dog who was severely mistreated at PETCO. I'm posting this on here in hopes that this will prevent others from experiencing something similar. If your dog shakes and cries when you take him to the groomer, perhaps he's trying to tell you something. Please keep Otis in your thoughts and prayers.
On Saturday, November 22, 2008 I brought my 3 year old Pekingese, Otis for a scheduled grooming at PETCO (location: 537 North Pacific Coast Highway, Redondo Beach, CA 90277). His appointment time was scheduled at 12:00pm.
Upon arrival I put Otis on his leash to walk him from the car into the store. We got to the grooming station and I let Maria, his groomer know that his feet are sensitive to nail trims and his underarms were sore from being picked up so many times over the last few days from my recent move. I told her exactly what I wanted as far as his hair cut was concerned. I told her I would be back at 3:00pm to pick him up because that was the time I was quoted. She let me know that she would try but she had a few dogs to rush through before mine. She gave me her card and I gave her my cell phone number in case she was going to be late. I let her know I was going out of town and since I was quoted 3:00pm, I needed her to get as close to that time as possible.
I called PETCO around 2:30pm to get a status and Maria was unavailable to speak with. Her co-worker told me he would be ready by 3:00pm.
I entered PETCO at 3:00pm and walked into the grooming station to find Otis hardly done and Maria seemed to be extremely rough with Otis on the grooming table. She was turning him around by his back legs and he looked like all he wanted to do was sit down.
Her co-worker gave me a receipt and I paid for my service. I went back to the grooming waiting room to find Maria still finishing up his haircut, again being a little too rough with him.
Finally she was done and brought him out to me. To my surprise he would not walk over to me. This is because he couldn’t walk. He was trying to use his front legs that were shaking to pull his back end and legs towards me. I asked Maria what happened and she said it was just stress and he would be ok once we got home.
I put his leash on him to see if he could walk, stress was not the issue. He started shaking and crying. Maria’s co-worker went to get the assistant manager who already knew about the situation. The assistant manager stated that she contacted the general manager who then told me I should probably take my dog to see a vet and bring PETCO the doctors’ notes to see what was going on.
I called the PETCO Customer service line to ask what I should do. After holding for 20 minutes, I was told to do the same thing, take him to the vet.
I was at the Animal Emergency Clinic from 4:00pm-8:00pm.
My dog Otis had X-rays, Oxycontin and Morphine shots for the pain. He is also on steroids and anti-inflammatories for the swelling. He ruptured 4 discs while being groomed at PETCO and has staying the last two nights at the Emergency Hospital. If he does not get better through the next couple of nights, he will have to have Emergency Surgery to correct the damage to his spinal cord. The surgery estimated cost is $10,000.00 not including his rehabilitation and recovery costs. The Emergency Vet stated that there is no dog that could EVER WALK with 4 ruptured discs in their spine. My dog would not have been treated by the facility being paralyzed from the waist down. There is no question that this happened at PETCO and this email is just the beginning.
After already paying $43.00 for a horrible experience at PETCO (and a horrible groom) and $1702.75 for my FIRST bill at the Emergency Center, this is just the beginning of treatment for Otis. The emotional pain surpasses the money alone. This dog is my best friend. He is my family and something needs to be done. I will go as far as it takes to get the word out about this groomer and this company called PETCO.
I just went to go visit him (visiting hours start at 9am so I was there at 8:59am) things dont look good. i had to tube feed him and give him water through a syringe but he is now on an IV so he is getting plenty of fluids. back surgery is #1, #2 is medication management and tube feeding at home. He is still in the hospital (today is Sunday) and still in a large amount of pain. I waited 3 hours to see him and he didnt even recognize my face because of all of the pain management drugs he is on. They upped his dosage of morphine and oxycontin (in dog form) to try keep him comfortable enough to sleep. I feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest everytime I walk in my apartment and he isnt here. Please just keep little Otis in your thoughts. He's only 3, still a baby... this shouldnt be happening.... He is my best friend and my baby. Thanks for all the well wishes. I love my friends....
He is staying the night again tonight and possibly tomorrow. I miss my friend.
I will spread the word about PETCO, I will spend every waking hour standing outside of your stores, I will spend every waking hour taking this to someone higher than the person before. I will spend every waking hour fighting for a my Best Friend, Otis who cant fight for himself right now. He has to concentrate on a different kind of fight.
I just got off the phone and there has been a decline in the state of my Dog.
The surgeon will take a look at him today and I have to make the biggest decision of my life. What is the best thing for Otis, not Alison.
He has some superficial pain (which is good) because he was paralyzed when he first got to the Hospital. Some things are looking up, some are not.
I just want my friend to come home, I want to spread the word, I want my Dog to lead a normal life.
I want his tail to wag again. I want him to recognize me. I want his life to be pain-free again....
I brought Otis home last night to try to medically manage him at home. I am up every 3 hours to give him Prednisone, Robaxin, Pepcid AC, Tramadol and Baytril. I have to palpate his bladder every 6 hours to make sure he goes to the bathroom or else he will develop urinary obstruction and/or major issues. It also keeps him from urinating on himself and developing urine scald which also becomes dangerous.
I have to constantly conduct passive range of motion exercises so he does not develop joint problems.
Otis can wag his tail. Otis can drag his body to get water (he is not hungry so I have been feeding him through a syringe)...
I am tired, I can only imagine how he feels.... I didnt want to jump into surgery.... I felt like if he had any chance at all to get a little bit better at home, I wanted to give him that chance. He seems like he is happy to be home and sleeping in bed with me, his mom.
Thank everyone for the messages, comments, emails and phone calls. You have no idea the strength you all are bringing me through those things alone.
I am in the process of speaking with an Attorney to resolve Otis's case with PETCO.