Vandalized pet store receives donations

Photo: Robert Schenck, Animal Instincts Aquarium and Pet Supply Center

By Dana Griffin

FALL RIVER, MA- A vicious attack by vandals has left a Fall River pet store struggling to survive. In the six months since the break–in, the store has remained open in part because of a donation from a local zoo.

The tanks have been replaced, filled with clown fish, and other colorful species. It's a new beginning for the Animal Instincts Aquarium and Pet Supply Center.

Six months ago, 3 men were caught on camera as they stole electronics and ransacked the shop. One man was seen smashing aquariums which killed fish, corals, and live rock.

Store owner, Robert Schenck says 90 specimens were killed; effectively killing his business.

“If you don't have the inventory, then it's difficult to move the products. So we work a lot with special orders now to try and compensate for that,” said Schenck.

But now he's getting back on his feet, thanks to a lot of good will from his community. People have donated money, surveillance equipment, and fish.

Among those donations are two huge tanks which were donated by the Roger Williams Park Zoo. They hold up to 600–gallons of water. After a little buffing and cleaning, they'll be moved inside and become the newest attraction to the store.

Schenck says, “The day they offered it to my wife and I, I didn't know what to say and I'm still beside myself. Now, I'm like a kid in a candy store; I can't wait to get the things set up and get ‘em running.”

Schenck lost nearly $75,000 in product and revenue. He'll feel a lot better when the robbers are caught.

“I believe that he's gonna get caught, somebody's gonna turn him in and justice will be served and that will be the day that I can finally take a deep breath,” said Schenck.

© 2013 WLNE-TV