An employee of a local electric supply company, while cleaning out the basement of a former pet store in the same building, made a grisly discovery today -- the bones of a dead dog in a box.
The box was reportedly stuck into some shelving in the basement.
Police were contacted immediately, according to John Booth, CEO of I.D. Booth, the company that owns the building on Ellicott Street in the City of Batavia.
Somebody who identified herself as an employee of I.D. Booth also posted the picture on social media and it was shared dozens and dozens of times today and became fodder on the radio talk show of Kimberly and Beck in Rochester.
Booth said he and his company are fully cooperating with the police on their inquiry into what might have happened.
Kathy LaFarnara, co-owner of Neptune's Gardens with her husband, Nicholas, told The Batavian today that neither she nor her husband knew anything about the dog prior to posts about it popping up on social media.
They closed the location, which was behind the Pok-A-Dot, about five months ago and haven't been back inside since, she said. They were intending to open a smaller store on the other side of Ellicott Street, but with all the negative publicity on social media and Kimberly and Beck, she isn't sure what their future business plans are now.
"In 31 years of business, we always disposed of animals properly, even the rabbits," LaFarnara said.
Asked if an employee might have put the box in the basement, LaFarnara said their only employee was Nick's daughter.
"And she didn't like to go down in the basement," she said. "I didn't either. It was creepy down there. The stairway was open and you always felt like somebody might reach up and grab your legs.
"Right now, I have no idea where the dog came from," she added.
Det. Eric Hill this afternoon could not confirm anything other than that police had been called and asked to look into the matter.
Booth issued the following statement this evening:
I.D. Booth, Inc. learned of a tragic and disturbing situation on February 16, 2017. While an I.D. Booth employee was cleaning out property that is presently owned by I.D. Booth, but had been leased to former tenant Neptunes Gardens, the I.D. Booth employee discovered what appears to be the remains of an animal. The remains appear to not have been handled properly.
I.D. Booth has never occupied the Neptunes Gardens property, and has no information about the condition of remains, or the treatment or condition of any animals that were housed at the facility. I.D. Booth is horrified about this alarming discovery, and does not condone the unethical treatment of animals.
Upon discovering the remains, I.D. Booth immediately reported the discovery to the police, who have opened an investigation. I.D. Booth takes this situation very seriously, and is cooperating fully with the Batavia Police Department. Anyone with any information about this situation is encouraged to pass such information to the Batavia Police Department.