Steel bars line the front doors of the Verdugo Pet Shop at 5022 York Blvd. and the clucking of chickens can no longer be heard inside.
The beloved pet shop--known in the neighborhood for selling chickens and other avian house pets--is indefinitely closed while its owner, Hervey Chapman, undergoes treatment for leukemia, said family friend Alex Reyes.
"He's sick right now; he's in the hospital, that's why the shop's closed," Reyes said.
An emergency sale was held on Saturday, Jan. 8, in order to give all the pets inside the shop a home while Chapman undergoes treatment and recovery, Reyes said.
"The only animals in there now are a few cats," he said. "They're there to make sure rats don't come in and eat up all the chicken feed."
Reyes, who has been helping to look after the shop, said Chapman has every intention of reopening after he recovers from chemotherapy.
"People have been really worried and asking if the shop went out of business," Reyes said. "It's just closed temporarily. I'm pretty sure the treatment he's undergoing is nothing fast. He just wanted to sell off all the pets so the city wouldn't be on top of him saying he wasn't taking care of them."
All the money raised through the sale of the pets will go toward Chapman's medical expenses. In the meantime, there's talk of another fundraiser to help Chapman cover his medical bills, but nothing set in stone, Reyes said.
Reyes said he visited Chapman in the hospital last week and that his friend looks like he is on the road to recovery.
"He's not all better, but he's showing improvement," Reyes said.