The owner of a family-run aquarium and pond supplies shop in Rugby has been left shocked after a break-in which saw fish tortured to death with implements including a pickaxe and clamps.
At around 7.30am on Tuesday, April 30, builders working near to Fish Tank Ltd on Lawford Road noticed there had been some sort of disturbance in the courtyard at the back of the shop.
And a nearby resident later said they heard commotion at around 1.30am.
The owner of Fish Tank, who asked not to be named, said when he and a member of staff arrived at the shop later that morning they found the gated area which forms the entrance to the courtyard at the back of the shop had been kicked in.
Upon entering the courtyard two pair discovered that several goldfish had been gruesomely killed.
Some had been hacked apart with a pickaxe while others had been squeezed in ‘g-clamps’.
The offender or offenders also appear to have tried to kill a large number of koi fish by putting a full pack of food into their water.
“It’s horrible what’s been done. I’m just trying to run this business to support my family,” the owner told the Advertiser.
“I don’t know who did it, whether it was bored teenagers. I’ve been trying to work out if it could be someone who might hold a grudge against me, but we’re a family-run business and we go out of our way to help our customers.
“What worries me is that if someone is capable of this what could they do next? Will they start on cats or dogs?”
The owner said the discovery prompted an ‘emergency clean-up operation’, with the koi fish being saved and the business remaining open as usual.
All fish in the courtyard have been moved into the main shop for their safety and additional security has been installed.
The owner took to the business’s Facebook page to inform customers of the incident, and has been overwhelmed with the level of support those from Rugby and across the country have given.
“They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity, my post has reached around 80,000 people,” he said.
He added that, although the attack on the fish was upsetting, anyone wishing to harm his business has only given it more exposure.
Fish Tank was moved to its current Lawford Road site three years ago when it outgrew its shop on Railway Terrace.
Anyone with information that could assist the police in their investigation is asked to call 101 quoting incident 94 of 30 April.