Petco CEO Jim Myers talked with Jim Kenyon face-to-face, knowing full well he had to answer some hard questions about how nearly 100 animals were killed when flood waters inundated the Petco Store in Johnson City last week.
"No one is more devastated than our own store associates," Myers says. "They're passionate for animals. They thought they were doing the right thing, and when [the storm] turned different, no one felt worse than they did."
Myers says store employees "looked at what the store condition was when they left [Wednesday evening]. They made provisions for the animals with food and water to ensure they were in good condition overnight. Overnight, the situation changed and by the next morning it was too late."
As we reported Monday, Dennis Hannon, Mayor of Johnson City, has directed his police department to conduct a criminal probe into what happened. When asked, Myers said "If there are any authorities that want to look at the situation, we welcome them and will fully cooperate with them to get a better understanding of what happened. We don't think there is something criminal here. We think there is just a bad, tragic accident."
Myers revealed Petco is donating $25,000 to animal recovery efforts in the Southern Tier. He is also offering local residents free shipping with purchases they may be forced to make online and will match 5% of those purchases to animal welfare groups.
Counselors have also been brought in for the 20 employees at the Petco Store to help them cope with the disaster.