Pet Store Closing

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Knoxville (WVLT) - A Maryville mall pet shop owner has gotten an unexpected surprise after Christmas.

Management has told him he needs to be closed and gone by New Year's.

Volunteer TV's Blount County Bureau Chief Stephen McLamb tells us that's creating a scramble.

At the Foothills Mall in Maryville, the owner of Pet Planet is having a sale where everything is 25-percent off, not because he wants to but because he has to.

Pet Store owner Jerry Morgan says, "We had a letter in the door and we had until January 1st to get out that they have another retailer wanting to come in."

With just six days notice, Morgan says he got the notice from mall management the day after Christmas.

Employee Sherry Hayes says, "That's what's sad. Everybody's just happy and go lucky and then they bring you bad news."

Sherry Hayes is one of five employees at the store who will lose her job.

"I was so upset I almost started crying because I knew this was it. Didn't know what anybody was going to do."

For the pet store owner, it was a shock for him he could get such short notice.

"In their lease, they have it written in 48 hours," says Morgan.

The news is also a surprise for some of his customers.

Glenn Smith says, "I just think it's an unfair situation. I mean, where are people going to go buy their things?"

Morgan says he's now working to deplete his store of merchandise and animals.

"Of coarse, we mark prices down pretty much just to find them a home," says Morgan.

Meanwhile, Morgan says he still wonders why.

"Have a lot of questions and no answers. The only thing you can do is pack up and go home."

Morgan expects to take any animals he can't sell, to another pet store.

We were unable to reach mall management or owners for comment.