Pet shop

Summersville pet store vandalized days before opening

SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) – Garbage bags now cover windows to hide damage inside Pet Stuff after Summersville Police Chief Jay Nowak said the small business was vandalized Saturday night.

Tennile Martin owns the store next door. She says Pet Stuff employees worked on the store every day, preparing to open their doors for the first time in 10 days.

“It really breaks my heart because I hear them working there every day,” Martin said.

Pet Stuff was a week away from offering unique pet items. It is also the only pet grooming station of its kind in Summersville. Now the station and a large part of the store are damaged.

Police say the person who committed the crime broke in through the back door, used a fire extinguisher to shatter the glass in aquariums, poured water on the ground, smashed the tiles at their new stations grooming, broke computers and sprayed most of the goods with the fire extinguisher.

Police say nothing was stolen, but the vandalism would target Pet Stuff.

Mayor Robert Shaffer said the city will commit all necessary resources to bring those responsible for the vandalism to justice.

“I’ve been here for almost three years and we’ve never had a problem,” said Martin.

With thousands of dollars in damage, the owners of the pet store say they are now working to find a way forward with the company they have worked diligently for to come to life.

“They did the majority of the work themselves, they didn’t hire outside or anything, so they did it all themselves,” says Martin.

No fish were in the tanks yet. The owners say these were due to arrive in the next few days.

Martin says it’s a big hit for a small business already trying to open during a pandemic.

“Starting a business, especially right now, is so risky and it’s a huge step and putting so much work into it and destroying it in a matter of minutes is scary,” Martin said. “And you wonder what kind of person would do that to someone.”

Summersville Police said they are currently investigating and this was the first break-in they have had in months.

Anyone with advice on vandalism is urged to call Summersville Police at (304) 872-1920.

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