A pet store has reopened in Perth after being burnt down in a fatal fire 18 months ago.
Queues formed outside Pets At Home on Friday as the store opened its doors for the first time since the August 2019 blaze which also destroyed the neighbouring B&M.
Also reopening was veterinary clinic Vets4Pets which is contained inside the Pets At Home complex.
Veterinary surgeon Conor O’Halloran, joint owner of Vets4Pets, was relieved to get back into the Fair City site after the fire and delayed reopening due to coronavirus.
The vet had been worried he would lose his 2,000 clients he had before the fatal blaze but was pleased to retain 1,500 as the clinic opened back up.
They also had 100 new customers register and seen 20 animals on the first day.
Conor said: “We’ve been working out of other practices so we’ve managed to keep a lot clients still visiting us but they’ve had to travel all over.
“Some of us have been up in Dundee, some down in Kirkcaldy but now we’ll be right back on their doorstep again which is going to be a lot better for them.
“Obviously with the fire and the Covid pandemic it has kind of slowed the reopening from when we hoped it would be with the building work regulations
“But we’re getting there. We’re excited and everyone is glad to be back.
“We couldn’t really believe it when we came in a week ago and saw it all from where it was because the whole building had to be pulled down originally.
“It was a flat carpark even a few months ago so its been great how quickly its all come together and how great it all looks.”
Emergency services were called to the blaze at St Catherine’s retail park shortly after 2am on August 24 with dozens of animals rescued from the building.
Sadly a man’s body was later discovered in the ruins of the B&M store.
As the pet store reopen two of the first animals back were French bulldogs Cooper and Yogi, and their owner, Angela Lindsay from Scone, who admitted it was a relief the practice was open again.
She said: “We were all devastated when the fire happened, particularly as it impacted so many pets and owners as they had to first deal with going to a different practice, then abide by Covid-19 restrictions.
“Many of us were worried because vets are such an important part of our pets’ lives, and many pets are really badly affected by change, but fortunately the Vets4Pets team were brilliant and helped our pets quickly get used to the new temporary surroundings.
“However, I’m thankful the Perth practice is once again open and everyone can put the terrible fire behind us and our pets can start to feel some form of normality in their lives too.”