Rensselaer County pet store defends itself from viral Facebook post's accusations

July 17, 2017 06:20 PM

EAST GREENBUSH – A viral Facebook post is once again targeting a local business, this time accusing a local pet store of keeping animals in deplorable conditions. But the store’s owner says the post is blatantly false, and that she has been getting threats over it.

It’s a post that spread around Facebook like wildfire, being shared nearly 1,300 times by Monday afternoon. Mickayla Smith says she was in The Pet Stop off Columbia Turnpike Saturday when she saw animals in what she says were deplorable conditions. "There was urine on the floor," said Smith. "I didn’t see any type of worker there paying attention, cleaning up."

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That’s when Mickayla went to the back of the store. There she saw a dog she claimed was injured. The owner of the store disputes that. "[The dog is] a Pekinese that is bow-legged and she was in the back room for her own safety," said the owner who would only identify herself as Terri.

That’s where the stories from Mickayla and Terri start to diverge. "The woman comes back and she asks me, she tells me, you’re not supposed to be back here because these dogs are vicious," said Smith.

"I was like, because I don’t really like people back here because sometimes I have dogs that I’m grooming and sometimes they don’t like people and they may bite you," Terri said in her account of the incident.

Mickayla went outside and made her post. That was Saturday afternoon. By Saturday night, it was already exploding on Facebook. Terri said she did not want to give us her full name or have her face on camera because of threats that have been made against her and her store in the comments on the Facebook post. Threats that included breaking into the store and burning the owner.

But Mickayla says she has gotten threats as well for voicing her concerns. "When I deleted the choice to comment [on the Facebook post], people started messaging me death threats," she said.

Mickayla says she wants the store cleaned up and the animals taken better care of. Terri says she has never experienced anything like this before, but that she has gotten a lot of support from her regular customers. "We’re a small business," said Terri. "I’ve been here 25 years and all I want to do is help animals and care for them."

NewsChannel 13 reached out to the Mohawk Hudson Humane Society about this story Monday. They called us back Monday evening and said their Humane Society cruelty investigator went over to The Pet Stop on Monday and did not find anything there that violated animal cruelty laws.


Ben Amey

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