Johnson City (WSYR-TV) -- One hundred pets were left to drown at a Petco in Johnson City during last week’s devastating flood. Johnson City Police are now conducting an investigation into whether management could have prevented their deaths.
After hearing the news, the village mayor told NewsChannel 9 he wanted police to investigate.
Johnson City Mayor Dennis Hannon said, “If someone was aware that those animals were in danger and didn't take the appropriate action to remove them to safety then that is a crime under NYS Law.”
Mayor Hannon said part of the investigation will include looking into claims that some employees wanted to bring the animals home because of the impending flood, but were told “no” by management. Johnson City was put under a State of Emergency before the water levels got too high, giving -- what the mayor calls -- ample time for the company employees to react. If charges are filed, the mayor says they’ll most likely be against the management at the store.Petco issued the following statement on its company blog
“I’m personally reviewing the events that took place in our Johnson City store and all of us at Petco feel terrible that this tragedy occurred. We are truly saddened by what has happened, and accept full responsibility. We are working hard to do our best for the animals in our care and are studying the events surrounding this occurrence to ensure we take timely and appropriate steps to ensure that nothing like this can happen again. We fully appreciate the outpouring of concern from the members of the Johnson City community and look forward to serving you better in the future.”
The company has received a lot of backlash for its actions. Thousands left their comments on the company’s blog stating they are not happy with how things turned out.
Petco leaders plan to meet with Johnson City officials later this week. The mayor expects the investigation to take up to 30 days.People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
has also learned of the tragedy and is urging an investigation.