Long Island man sues PetSmart after dozens of koi fish die
He didn’t sleep because of the fishes.
A Long Island man claims something was fishy with dozens of koi he bought at PetSmart for his backyard pond.
The colorful carp quickly began dying off, with red streaks in their fins signaling a bacterial infection that would keep him up at night.
“I lost 20 pounds since all this happened,” Bruce Smith, 64, of Smithtown, told The Post. “I would get up at 3 a.m. every night to come out here, dreading to come out here, and they’d be on their side and gasping and you knew the next time, they’d be gone. There was no stopping it.”
Smith was so devastated by the loss of his finned friends that he’s suing PetSmart in Brooklyn Federal Court for emotional distress.
The woodshop owner explained that he found himself with time on his hands during the pandemic, so he decided to spend $4,000 to build a 4,000-gallon pond and stock it with $12,000 worth of koi — a Japanese species which can live for decades.
“Some people have cats, dogs, birds — I got fish,” he said.
Smith is attached to his pets, often sitting in an adjacent gazebo, talking to the new koi in his re-stocked pond.
“That’s Goldie, he’s quick,” Smith said proudly. “The big blue one is Violet.”
Smith pointed to another fish christened “Friskie, because when she gets going she moves really fast.”
“It’s very relaxing,” Smith said. “Sometimes I wonder if they can hear me in the water.”
Smith purchased about 60 koi from various vendors before heading to the PetSmart in Commack, where he spent $700 on a couple dozen more koi, and accessories. But store staffers apparently didn’t share his fish affinity.
When Smith reported his koi were kicking the bucket, leading to his anxious nightly vigil, a store manager allegedly told him, “It’s just fish.” He was then referred to corporate headquarters.
“It’s just an injustice how PetSmart could ignore the situation and take no responsibility,” Smith said.
PetSmart declined comment.