well im just appalled and disgusted

JOHNSON CITY -- Close to 100 animals died at the PETCO store on Harry L Drive during this week's flood, company officials said Saturday.
Petco's animals, which include hamsters, reptiles, birds and aquatic life, were left in the store during the flood, even though many residents south of Harry L Drive, where the store is located, were evacuated.
Employees discovered the heartbreaking news when they were allowed into the store Friday.
At that point, they were able to save more than 100 animals and transport them to nearby stores.
The number of animals saved and the number that died are rough estimates, company officials said.
"We are heartbroken over this tragedy," Marcie Whichard, vice president of animal care and education for Petco, wrote in a blog entry. "We want to stress that this was not carelessness on our associates' behalf, but a communications lapse from the city to the store in evacuations orders."
Whichard said the flooding was not from the Susquehanna River itself, but from a backup in the sewage/drainage system.
"We are investigating why we did not receive those evacuation orders from the city if this area was known to flood in the past," she wrote. "Had we been aware of potential flooding, we would have removed all of the animals from the store as we do in all other locations."
Johnson City Mayor Dennis Hannon said the flooding was in fact from the river, and the sewage/drainage system likely only played a part. The business should have known about the possibility of flooding since the plaza PETCO is in floods once the river hits flood stage, he said.
"The water moves into that area," he said. "With all the flood warnings and evacuation orders that were issued, for them not to go down there is just absolutely disgusting."
An associate went by to check the store at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday night and there were no signs of flooding or a flood warning in effect, Whichard wrote in her blog. Store employees in Johnson City didn't expect the store to be impacted by the flooding, so the decision was made to keep the animals in the store.
Johnson City Police Chief Joseph T. Zikuski said the flood warnings were issued by the National Weather Service, and people should have taken them seriously.
"The risk was there," Zikuski said. "How could we have told them that (was) what was going to happen?"
On Thursday morning, employees arrived to work and were "shocked at the enormity of the situation," Whichard wrote.
"They immediately tried to enter the building to evacuate the animals but were turned away by the authorities due to concerns for human safety," she wrote. "At the time, the city was focused on rescuing people from their homes by boat and could not divert resources to our store until Friday."
In a subsequent interview Saturday, Whichard said there was a veterinarian on call and on-site at the store during the recovery, but the animals that were saved were not in need of medical care.
Petco will continue to work with Johnson City authorities about the events that occurred, Whichard said.


  1. Heartbreaking and so unnecessary :(

  2. theres really no excuse. blame the city all you want, the owners and employees SHOULD have been thinking about the welfare of those animals. hell i was going crazy evacuating my house knowing my pets were still there! i made sure they ways to escape if need be. this is just.. im just disgusted.. ill never shop at that store again, and i hope it gets shut down


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