August 17, 2015

As of this week, all of our managers are back up to full time and we have recalled a total of 11 employees back to work!

How is this possible? You.

Your patronage is not only saving us, but literally building us up at an impressive rate. Where you shop matters and every penny counts right now. You said you wanted us back and you meant it! You are coming in and telling us what you need. If we don’t have it, we order one for you and a few for us. All orders arrive in less than a week and are added to normal inventory so we have it in stock the next time you come in. This process is building up the essential inventory you expect from Pet World and YOU are making it happen. With the right inventory, we are not losing so many sales to other places and can afford to call back more employees who were laid off after the fire. Having more employees means better service for you so everyone wins!

With our fancy new fire alarm system, we are all finally starting to feel more comfortable having live animals in the store. We are now requesting all animals rescued from the fire to be returned. Every day we have more and more pets in stock, starting with the fire survivors. This location may be small, but each day it’s looking and feeling more like the interactive, education center you’ve come to know and love. If you or someone you know is fostering a PW animal, please spread the word that we are ready to take all of them back!

Last week I asked our employees if anyone was free Saturday and would be interested in sharing animals at Confabularryum. Most of these employees have been laid off since the fire. Amazingly, not only did several of them offer to help, they even offered to bring Goliath to the festival and then to PWX! Goliath is our large, rescued Burmese python who instantly became famous on social media when rescued by fire fighters. Locals know and love him since he travels to schools to teach kids about Rain Forest animals and teaches customers what not to buy when it comes to appropriate pets. The visit was fun for everyone even though many of us got emotional, customers included. Seeing Goliath in the pet store, especially with Mariah who single handedly cared for him the day of the fire, brought back a lot of memories and stirred up powerful emotions. At one point, I realized Goliath was literally cuddling Mariah. Never in my life would I believe a snake could exhibit emotions but I watched him curl up on Mariah’s lap and frequently look up at her then rest his head back against her. We reached a point where Mariah and I couldn’t even maintain eye contact without crying. What a truly amazing experience.

Click here for photos and a behind the scenes look at our first public appearance since the fire.

The final step of the cleaning process is underway! Soda blasting began today. This is exciting news because it means we are about to begin the next phase of rebuilding! Soda blasting is a non-destructive, environmentally friendly process in which sodium bicarbonate is applied against a surface using compressed air. It’s very effective for fire and smoke damage cleanup as it cleans the soot and deodorizes the surface, also removing the mold that generally forms after fires are extinguished, while not harming the environment with unnatural chemicals. By the end of this week we should have a projected timeline and finally get a good idea of when we can reopen in our old location. Until then, please come see us in our temporary location!