Building collapse forces Animal Pantry in Ozone Park to close; pets saved through lawmaker’s help

Photos by Robert Stridiron

On the eve of Small Business Saturday, Animal Pantry Ozone Park, a mom-and-pop pet supply store, was issued a vacate order by the city’s Department of Buildings after a part of the facility collapsed, according to Councilman Eric Ulrich.

Animal Pantry Ozone Park is located at 137-20 Cross Bay Blvd. and offers pet apparel, aquatic pets, pet grooming services and pet food, according to its Facebook page.

There were no pets or people injured during the Nov. 23 collapse, according to Animal Pantry’s Facebook page, but the family-owned business is closed for the foreseeable future.

“It is with a heavy heart that we are announcing Animal Pantry will be closed until further notice. Due to construction behind our store, our foundation was ripped out from under us, causing our back wall to collapse,” according to a post on Animal Pantry’s Facebook page.

The FDNY requested a structural stability inspection by the DOB on Nov. 23 due to cracks on the wall and the danger of it falling some more, according to the Department of Buildings.

The DOB inspected the collapse area and made comments about the rear wall of the Animal Pantry being exposed and its potential for further collapse the same day, according to nyc.gov.

Animal Pantry credited the rescue of all their animals on Nov. 25 to Ulrich, who — after learning of the situation — got in touch with an Emergency Response Team and representatives of the DOB for the rapid assessment of the building. The Buildings Department allowed for the retrieval of the animals, according to the pet supply store.

“I was glad to assist the owners of Pet Pantry safely remove all the animals that were trapped in the building. I’d like to thank the Department of Buildings for their collaborative effort and their swift action,” Ulrich said.

Animal Pantry was able to rescue cats, dogs, reptiles and mice, according to the mom-and-pop store on Facebook.

“Thank you to everyone for your concern. We will now deal with the rest of this mess, our building is still collapsing,” according to a post by Animal Pantry.

Animal Pantry Ozone Park does not have any plans to open again anytime soon at its current location, because of the severity of the damage to its building, according to a Facebook post. Several members of the local community have since flooded Ulrich’s social media pages and Animal Pantry’s Facebook page offering to care for any displaced animal.


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