AUSTIN (KXAN) - Like many dog owners routinely do, Joseph Cho took his beloved retriever Dolly to be groomed last Tuesday morning. Only, it ended with his dog getting lost.
Cho said he dropped Dolly off at the Petco in Tech Ridge around 8 a.m. He missed two calls from Petco on his cell phone at 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. He says he assumed they were calling him to tell him his dog was ready to be picked up. When he returned to the story at 2 p.m. to get her, he says managers told him Dolly somehow got loose and ran into the field behind the store.
"I just showed up and she was gone," said Cho. "I wouldn't have even dreamt that something like this would happen."
Cho and the store's general manager spent the next couple of hours searching the field. Dolly was never found. Petco said they had employees combing the area for several days after Dolly disappeared.
I have not gotten an, 'I'm sorry,'" Cho added.
Cho is checking animal shelters and pet hospitals daily but Dolly has not turned up. Dolly is micro-chipped but because she was being groomed, her collar that had Cho's contact information engraved on it, was taken off.
Dolly"s microchip number is 4961295801.
Dolly not turning up after a week now has Cho questioning if his dog really ran off.
"I thought maybe they had cut her or hurt her or something," he said.
Doing everything in his power to find his pooch, Cho has posted up green fliers that have a picture of his dog and his contact information. Cho and Petco are both offering a reward for her return.
As for Petco, Cho says workers there stopped searching after the first day and are not returning his calls.
KXAN called the store's general manager and he declined to comment.
Next, KXAN reached out to Petco corporate offices via email and phoned multiple times. KXAN has yet to hear back.
"I want them doing everything they can, humanly possible," Cho added.
Cho is asking to see surveillance video from inside the store and is talking with a lawyer.
"I just don't want this to happen to another dog owner because I know for most dog owners, they are their kids. She was like mine," he explained.
Cho spends part of each day searching for Dolly in the field behind Petco. Armed with her favorite squeaky toy, he continuously calls her name and hopes she comes running to him.
Anyone who has seen Dolly or knows of her whereabouts is asked to call 512-850-9294.
Friday Update: Petco returned KXAN's phone call regarding Dolly. Kevin Whalen/Petco Spokesperson
"When something like this happens we take it very seriously," Petco spokesperson Kevin Whalen said.
In regards to how Dolly might have gotten loose to begin with, Whalen said the company is investigating the incident and they are taking a close look at their procedures and protocols to determine what lead up to the dog getting loose.
The company plans on reviewing the surveillance video and continue to conduct internal interviews to determine how Dolly was able to get away.
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