Staunton pet store welcomes ‘pets and pals’ during soft opening

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) – A Staunton pet store is open after a fire in June closed its doors.

Pets-N-Pals reopened its doors Thursday, June 8 at noon for a soft opening.

Pets-n-Pals staff are preparing to reopen on Thursday, June 8.(WHSV)

The building survived the fire and neither humans nor animals were harmed. Staff say the fire left damage, however, so they had to make sure everything was ready for customers and pets to return.

The staff unanimously agree that they are just happy to bring people back inside.

“Getting them back and just having a building to walk through. Our walls have no more soot on them. It’s just a blessing,” owner Emily Buchanan said.

Since June, they spend most of their time cleaning. Emily’s husband Chris Buchanan led the charge.

“We wiped it all clean; packages, shelves. As we went through, we were tarping,” Chris said. “We covered everything with tarp because we knew they were going to have to take the ceiling off. They come in, take the ceiling off, put in a new ceiling. We get new lights. They painted, then we went through and cleaned the floors .

Bethany Riddle, General Manager of Pets-n-Pals, explains that when a building with pets is on fire, cleanup is especially complicated.

“We have taken extensive steps to sanitize and clean, even above normal, just to be safe when we bring [the pets] we’re ready to go,” Riddle said.

Even though they were closed, they did not stop serving their customers. They set up a table outside to provide people with the resources they need.

“But we’ve been at the front door as often as we can to get people the crickets, the mice, the ferret food, which we know they need to get by until we reopen, and so on. It’s the best we can do,” says Émilie.

Staunton pet store reopens after June fire.

Emily tearfully recounts the day of the fire, grateful for the people who helped them.

“I just want to say thank you. It wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for everyone that day,” she said.

Pets-n-Pals is hosting a grand opening event on Saturday, June 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

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