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On The Ground in Johnson City, NY

I'm on the left accompanied by other Petco leaders as we surveyed the damage to our Johnson City store this week.

I just concluded a two-day visit to Johnson City, N.Y., on a mission to better understand the tragic accident that occurred in last week’s flooding at our store, to learn from this experience and to ensure that it never happens again.

My first stop was to go to our store. It was painful to see our closed store filled with debris. I felt hollow to see the ghost of a shopping center that was vibrant with activity just days before.
I next met with our entire store team. It was an open and emotional discussion during which they shared their passion for doing what’s right for the animals – and how devastated they are at what happened last week.

We did a lot of listening, and more than a few tears were shed. The team experienced a severe emotional blow, and we’re providing counseling services to help them deal with the high emotions and deep remorse they feel.

The team also shared with us some of their heroic efforts to rescue the animals once we received confirmation that electricity to the flooded store was turned off so that we could re-enter the building. As a result of their efforts, the great majority of animals in the store were saved. The rescued animals were examined by vets as a precautionary measure and transported to stores in the Syracuse area.

I also shared with the team how our Petco Foundation had sprung into action at the flood’s outset to provide help for animals affected by the flood. We have a long history of working with the animal welfare agencies in the Johnson City area, and they appreciate our ongoing assistance.

As we made our way through town, I was struck by the enormity of destruction in such a short time over such a wide area, and we’ve made these commitments to help the community to recover:

  1. Petco, as a company, to support the community, will donate $25,000 to help with the Johnson City recovery effort for animals in need of assistance recovering from the flood.
  2. We are supporting our Johnson City associates with regular pay, benefits and other assistance while we determine a timeline for the store to reopen.
  3. For local customers who wish to order online while our store is closed, you’ll receive free shipping on orders from $25 and up. We’ll also make a cash donation to local animal-welfare groups equal to 5% of your order.

I understand and share the devastation the community feels over this tragic accident. As we made our way through the community this week, I felt a lot of raw emotion and disappointment with what occurred. I also appreciated the many supportive comments from the people we met. They told us how much they enjoy their relationships with our Johnson City associates, what a terrific team it is and how much they look forward to see us open again.

We look forward to that day, as well.

Jim Myers, Petco Chief Executive Officer

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  • Nickaroo505

    I will NEVE shop at PETCO again, and hope everyone else in the area feels the same.  What happened is disgusting and NO ONE should EVER shop there again, and if you do, you should be ashamed of yourself!

  • Guest

    Don’t you think that if they delete these posts, they would be persecuted because they are trying to hide what people think?  Petco isn’t responsible for what others say. 

  • still wondering

    I have been waiting for more information as to exactly where the $25k designated for animal relief in Johnson City will go.  There is a county dog shelter in Binghamton (which serves Johnson City and most other towns in Broome County), a county humane society (privately owned), and a scattering of smaller, independent animal rescue organizations throughout the county – none of which specialize in animal disaster response.  There is also the Broome County Animal Response Team, which is a group of trained, unpaid volunteers working with the county emergency services dept. Team members spent a lot of money out of pocket to help save animals from the flooding (more than 260 at last count). Can you please clarify to which group(s) you intend to donate money for animal flood-related relief?  You must be aware that animals rescued from the floods are now coming down with upper respiratory and other illnesses, and their owners have lost just about everything.  Many have no money for veterinary care.  Several vet clinics and boarding facilities in the area provided free or discounted boarding fees for flood victims.  That was very generous, and all done at their own personal expense. Perhaps they could petition this “relief fund” for reimbursement…?

  • Very Disappointed

    I would like to know this information also. Sadly, I think we’re wasting our time. I’ve emailed them asking them this and a few other questions and almost a week later, I still have not received a response. Just as I thought, they threw a little money our way and if that doesn’t shut us up, they’ll just ignore us and maybe that will do the trick.

  • http://www.facebook.com/saltzman.mike Mike Saltzman

    well, on orders of $25 or more… lets not go crazy here, this is afterall, still a business.

  • Canwillds

    yeah that all sounds fine and dandy, but after your done with your PR in JC when are you going to start returning the money that you have over charged at your Elmira store.. Oh wait nobody knows!!!! Petco has been Scamming us on our sale purchases with deceptive practices…. $1 a gallon tanks my butt!!!!! buy a $40 – 40gal tank get charged the tax for $119 tank. Now their adds do not mention any disclaimers and there clearly aren’t any flyers in the stores stating any stipulations….. So why oh why do it….. CROOKS!!!!! Check your receipts and contact the Attorney Generals Office

  • Kate

    It depends on how the sale is processed. If they are bringing the tanks down to that price with a coupon or rebate (even instant rebates), they are required by law to charge sales tax on the full price. If however, no coupons or rebates are used to discount the price, they should be calculating sales tax on the sale price.

  • Ratherbracin24

    Mandbplus3…..Amen…..obviously those who have posted nasty comments probably sat comfy in their nice dry homes…it was not untill 6pm that there was any indication of flooding…and with some many recent “false alarm floods” I’m sure the store manager did what he/she felt was appropriate. It takes some guts to stand in the shadows after the fact and spew off could have, should haves

  • Ratherbracin24

    Anxiously awaiting the re-opening of the JC store

  • Ratherbracin24

    Jeannie,,,,really,  I live here in Tioga County and I did not know that we would suffer catastropic flooding till some time after 6pm on Wed…what crystal ball did you look into…cause if you new 2 days prior why didn’t you warn the masses?  I will GLADLY WELCOME back PETCO…. 

  • Ratherbracin24

    hey Kitty..now you know of ONE person that wants Petco to reopen…..glad to meet ya

  • Ratherbracin24

    Klenga…..ditto here

  • Ratherbracin24

    kate..really….this is how Sep 7th went for me….um got up listened to news…said very small chance of flooding (keep eye on weather)…um went to work….periodically checked NWS….still no indication of flooding..UM got a call at 11am…flash flooding near my home….drive thru pounding rain only to find that part of my road is washed out…drove around the countryside trying to find a way home…got home…now basement is flodded…move stuff…set up pumps…bail water…no time to watch or listen to the news…..this went on till we gave in to mother nature at 3am…not everyone had the luxury of sitting around and watch TV