After nearly 100 PETCO animals die at its Johnson City store during the flood last week, PETCO CEO Jim Myers visits the store and meets with local employees to evaluate the damage.
Despite highly publicized river flood warnings on Wednesday, Myers says PETCO employees did not expect the store would be impacted by the flooding.
Petco says a store associate checked the store late Wednesday
night and there were no signs of flooding.
The store took on a significant amount water by Thursday morning.
The Johnson City stores sells birds, fish guinea pigs, and reptiles. They do not have cats or dogs,
Myers says the Johnson City store has 16 employees.
Those employees made the final judgment call.
"Things were happening at a fast pace at this point in time. It wasn't clear to our team what the direction was," said Myers. "They were trying to make judgments about what was happening in the area. Clearly there were warnings but there are a lot of warnings in this area about floods and this was much worse than people anticipated and that's what caught them by surprise," he says.
He adds, ""We have a very specific plan where the members of the team gather animals, they actually use their own cars and can transport them, either take them to their own homes if they think they're safe, transport them to another store. We work with local vets in the area. I mean there's an entire operational plan that can address this kind of situation and it's something that we've exercised and done routinely in the past."
Myers says the team was able to save hundreds of animals. They were reviewed by vets and taken to a store in Syracuse.
Myers also says he deeply regrets what happens will make sure something like this never happens again.
No employees have been fired and the company will continue to pay them. In fact, counselors are available help employees cope.
PETCO is also planning a $25,000 gift to local animal shelters affected by the flood.