Barker’s Pet Supply Co. in the Town and Country Plaza was broken into and vandalized Tuesday night, and the owner is not sure how she is going to recover from the incident or when she will reopen the store. (photo by Jason Emerson)
By Jason Emerson
Barker’s Pet Supply Co. in the Town and Country Plaza was broken into and vandalized Tuesday night, and the owner is not sure how she is going to recover from the incident or when she will reopen the store — but she said she is not going to bow to what she believes was an intentional act of harassment against her.
“I don’t think this was a random incident,” said store owner Shannon Liddell.
According to Cazenovia Police Chief Michael Hayes, the store was broken into sometime between 7 p.m. Tuesday night when the shop closed and 9 a.m. Wednesday morning, when Liddell arrived to open for the day. While the entire store was vandalized, nothing was stolen. Hayes said that he cannot speak to a possible motive at this point in the investigation.
“They did some serious damage,” Hayes said. “There are some leads we are running down. If anyone saw anything suspicious at the rear of the building between the hours of 7 p.m. and 9 a.m., please let us know.”
That damage, according to Liddell, was that “everything was slashed — all the dog beds were slashed so I cannot sell them; every single bag of food in the store was slashed, all the treats; they even broke the cat tree.”
Pat food was spilled all over the floor of the store, items had been pulled from shelves and tossed around. Thankfully, Liddell said, none of the animals in the store up for adoption were hurt.
Liddell said she will try to salvage what she can, and donate some of the opened food bags to local animal shelters. “Maybe some good can come of this,” she said.
Liddell said the vandalism is an escalation of three months of harassment she has been suffering, including roof nails in her car tires as it is parked behind her store, damage to the back door of the store and people coming into the store or sitting outside the store in a car staring at her, trying to intimidate her. She has been reporting these incidents as they have occurred, she said.
“This has been happening for three months … it’s very clear they jump ramped it up to the next level with this,” she said. “If anybody knows anything or saw anything, please tell the police.”
Liddell said as a business owner, she is not sure how and when she will recover from the incident. She and her husband built the entire store out of pocket and without any loans and, if her insurance even covers the vandalism, it will take about six months before she receives any money to help her rebuild.
“That’s the thing I’m most worried about – how we’re going to reopen,” she said. “We sunk every penny we had into this.”
Liddell said she hopes the store can reopen within a week.
Cazenovia community members have started a Go Fund Me page to help Liddell recover from the damages to her business.
Barker’s Pet Supply Co. opened in June of this year offering supplies for multiple types of pets as well as two self-service dog washing rooms.
Anyone with information about the vandalism incident is asked to contact the Cazenovia Police Department at 315-655-3276. Leave a message if an officer does not answer the phone. All calls and tips will remain confidential.
Anyone who would like to contact Barker’s Pet Supply may do so through their Facebook page.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.