Letter to the Editor: Rumors Not True About Pet Store

The Pet Shoppe
2253 Geer Road
Turlock, CA 95382
Dear Valued Customers, Clients, and Friends;
                We at The Pet Shoppe would like to thank you for your continued patronage over the last 16 years; most recently in our new location! For the last three years we have changed by adding Shampooches Spa which has been voted number one Pet Grooming by The Modesto Bee Readers Choice Awards. Also, in the last two years have been selling locally bred and raised puppies from a very reputable breeder. As well as our usual sale of dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, rat, bird food and supplies.
                In the last few months our shoppe has been subjected to many different rumors and unsubstantiated allegations that as the owner I feel it necessary to clarify with my valued customers. The allegations and rumors have been generated by former employees and a former customer.
                Foremost I would like to address an article written in the Turlock Journal by Editor Kristina Hacker which is “grossly libelous as it applies to The Pet Shoppe.” I was notified by Ms. Hacker by telephone and asked, “so do you abuse your animals?” Before her phone call I was not notified by the police of any details of the investigation, per email from Sgt. Nino Amirfar “There currently is an active investigation being conducted and the investigators will schedule interview times with the individuals whom they determine to be of importance in the investigation. I am not at liberty to disclose any further information as it is an ongoing investigation and I am not involved in it.” Yet, when Ms. Hacker called Sgt. Nino Amirfar of the Turlock Police Department he divulged the details to her. Apprently Sgt. Nino Amirfar’s protocol on talking to the press first is part of his position as head of the Office of Professional Standards. This protocol of Sgt. Amirfar led to the front page headline “Local pet store accused of animal cruelty” that clearly lacks the facts, is unfounded and untrue. The Turlock Journal will be held accountable for its “reckless failure to check facts and reckless disregard for the truth in what was printed.” I have never been cited, fined nor had any animal neglect, abuse, or complaints made against my business. After 16 years, my good name and reputation has been damaged.
                Secondly I need to address former employees that have placed calls to my customers suggesting we have shut down grooming and closed our shop. I have been called on my personal cell phone by frantic friends and customers that couldn’t believe the rumor was true. It is unfortunate that I cannot call all of you personally to assure you we are open and conducting business as usual as our goal is to provide you excellent service, quality animals and supplies at a good value. I thank those of you who have put your conversations with those former employees in writing so we may cease the rumors.
                On a personal note, as a Turlock business owner, Turlock resident for just under 20 years, and a Turlock home owner I am just so saddened by this ugliness. I have chosen Turlock as a place to raise my children and call my home as many of you. I have grown to love my customers and have seen many children grow up in the last 16 years. I do hope to see you soon and thank you for any support you may have to help in this situation.
Sandra Finnegan

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