Staunton pet store welcomes “pets and pals” during soft opening

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 3:36 PM EDT
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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) - A Staunton pet store is open after a fire in June closed their doors.

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

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

The building survived the fire, and neither humans nor animals were hurt. Employees say the fire did however leave some damage, so they had to make sure everything was ready to go for customers and pets to return.

The staff unanimously agree that they’re just excited to get people back inside.

“Having them back and just having a building to walk in to. Our walls don’t have soot on them anymore. It’s just a blessing,” said owner Emily Buchanan.

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

“We wiped everything down; the packages, the shelves. As we went through, we tarped,” said Chris. “We tarped everything because we knew they were gonna have to take the ceiling out. They come in, took the ceiling out, put a new ceiling in. We’re getting new lights. They painted, and then we went through and cleaned the floors.”

Pets-n-Pals General Manager Bethany Riddle says when a building with pets has a fire, cleanup is especially complicated.

“We’ve been through extensive measures to disinfect and clean, above the normal even, just to be sure when we bring [the pets] in, we’re ready to go,” said Riddle.

Even though they’ve been closed, they haven’t stopped serving their customers. They set a table up outside to provide people with 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, what we know they need to get the by until we reopen, and that’s the best we could do,” said Emily.

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

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

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

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