100 Animals Died When Petco Didn't Prepare for Flood

hamsterFlooding from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee has left a lot of Northeastern residents underwater. From Maine to New Jersey, you can't go a day without reading a story about flood damage. They're all sad, but this one, this one today was just plain horrible ... if not horrifying. A Petco store in Johnson City, New York was evacuated then beset by flood waters. When employees returned to the store for the first time on Friday, they found not only wet floors, but 100 dead animals. From hamsters to birds, little pets perished by either drowning or starving -- the cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

The saddest part is that these deaths could have been prevented.


Had the manager or store officials been a little extra-cautious, perhaps they would have evacuated the whole store, not just the employees and a "majority" of the pets. The ones who weren't cleared out suffered a cruel and unusual fate. Petco's CEO says that the fact that store was new, and had never been through a flood before, was the reason they misjudged the risk of their location.

If the flooding began on Wednesday, and schools in the area were closing early due to the rising waters, why didn't an employee or Petco manager think to check on the store? Listen, I know what it's like to be sick of the weather hype. As a New Yorker who "survived" Irene, I was a little frustrated by the overly-cautious preventions the city took. That said, I'd rather be safe than sorry. Which is why I'm surprised Petco, who's responsible for the lives of hundreds of animals, didn't react sooner. When lives are at stake, you have to over-react and over-prepare. Plan for the worst, hope for the best, enjoy bitching about preparing for the worst when everything turns out for the best -- that's how the saying goes, doesn't it?

Animal lovers are rightfully outraged by the incident -- there's been a Facebook page set up calling for the boycott of Petco, and PETA's now involved. While I'm not necessarily a fan of PETA, I am a fan of keeping animals safe. There must have been a lot of people in town who would have gladly adopted the pets for the flood's duration, or a volunteer or two to make sure they stayed fed in the store (if in fact they didn't drown).

There's no info on whether or not the pet fish in the store were super psyched about the flood, but clearly no one else is happy about it.

Do you think Petco should be boycotted?

Photo via fwooper/Flickr

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