SPOKANE VALLEY Animal lovers who walked into Evergreen Pet Store this weekend said it smelled like animal abuse.

Dead animals, feces, urine. Just stuff that you shouldn t be breathing in, Jeremy Bolen said.

He and several other concerned citizens saw the condition of animals inside the shop and jumped into action on Saturday to give the pets food, water and new homes.

People were pigs, property owner Joe Mayo said. When he discovered the store in such disarray and smelled the foul odor inside, he told the owners to sign their paperwork and get out.

Mayo said they hadn t paid rent since July after the Department of Revenue revoked their license.

He said a cat and dog found in a locked room had likely been there for several days without care. The Spokane Valley Animal Hospital took them in and is now looking for donations to help pay for surgery.

Customers filled the store on Saturday, rescuing pets and purchasing pet accessories for more than half off the marked prices.

Volunteers who showed up to help took home cockatiels, hamsters and parrots at no cost.

Mayo said the building at 14319 E. Sprague Ave. in Spokane Valley is now for sale, but it will take him at least two weeks to get it cleaned up and ready for a new tenant.

One of the owners of the Evergreen Pet Store responded to KREM2 s story with the following statement:

I am the owner of evergreen pet. This is in response to what has been said in concerns of the pet store and the actual events. We regret that persons feel that we have not taken care of the business we worked so hard at. Last year the store had a fire in the fish area, the contractor sublet work out that caused that area to be closed for about six months. Along with the road construction this last summer, ( 3 months) this put us in a situation that was not probable.

In early August the store was forced to close. However during the time it was closed we have had personnel in on a daily basis to maintain the daily duties of the store, with the intent of reopening. We then realized that reopening would not be possible. Over this time period we were working with the property owner to help find a way to sell the assets to offset mounting costs. The landlord had advised us that he was trying to work with other local pet stores to help find homes for all the animals. At the end of last week the landlord changed the locks and we were no longer able to reenter the premise to take care of the animals. Up until this time the animals were maintained on a daily basis. We regret the situation that has happened, and are happy that animal are being placed into homes.

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