Summersville pet shop vandalized days before opening

Published: Jan. 18, 2021 at 6:54 PM EST
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SUMMERSVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Garbage bags now cover the windows to hide the damage inside Pet Stuff after Summersville Police Chief Jay Nowak says the small business was vandalized late Saturday night.

Tennile Martin owns the boutique next door. She says Pet Stuff employees have been working on the shop everyday, preparing to open their doors for the first time in 10 days.

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

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

Police say whoever committed the crime broke into the back door, used a fire extinguisher to break the glass off the fish tanks, pouring water onto the floor, broke the tiles to their new grooming stations, broke computers, and sprayed most of the merchandise with the fire extinguisher.

Police say nothing was stolen, but the vandalism is believed to be targeted at Pet Stuff.

Mayor Robert Shaffer says the city will commit all resources to bring the culprits of the vandalism to justice.

“I have been here almost three years and we have never had any issues,” said Martin.

With thousands of dollars in damage, the owners of the pet shop say they are now working to find a path forward with the business they worked diligently to make come to life.

“They have done the majority of the work themselves they have not hired outside or anything so they have done everything in there themselves,” Martin says.

No fish were in the tanks yet. The owners say those were set to arrive in the coming days.

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

“To start a business especially right now is so risky and it’s a huge step and to put so much working to it and just have it destroyed in a matter of minutes its scary,” said Martin. “And it makes you wonder what kind of a person would do this to someone.”

Summersville Police say they are currently investigating, and say this is the first break-in they’ve had in months.

Anyone with any tips on the vandalism is asked to call Summersville Police at (304) 872-1920.

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