Business Owner: "I Will Stay Open" - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Business Owner: "I Will Stay Open"

By Megan Boatwright, Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter

Tuesday an East Ridge business owner says she's waiting for the final shoe to drop after her dog grooming shop was burglarized, and a car smashed through the front of her building in less than two weeks.

'Drool Creations Pet Grooming' has only been open for five months and owner, Jill Wilkinson, says she will find a way to keep her business open.

"It was really loud," said Bill Adkins.  "Two seconds later the lights flickered and went out." 

Adkins lives in a house behind the building, and says he heard two loud booms when the car impacted with the building.

"A young man fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the front of my shop," Wilkinson said late that day.  "I'm trying to be very pleasant right now."

The sign outside says condemned.  Insurance assessors surveyed the damage throughout the morning.  Wilkinson says she may have to put business on hold for a week.

"At this point it's kinda surreal,' she says.  "I can't believe this is happening."  That's because there's more to the story.  The back door to the shop still shows marks from a break in that happened barely two weeks ago.

"She reported that a lot of pet grooming items, scissors, clippers and shampoos were taken," said Eric Hopkins with East Ridge Police. 

Police still have no leads on the burglary.  The 17-year-old driver walked away from the crash unharmed.  Hopkins says falling asleep at the wheel awareness can be forgotten because discussion today focuses on distracted driving. 

"It's become something we need to address again," Hopkins said.  "Remind people to pull over when they're tired."  

As for Jill Wilkinson, she's borrowing clippers and working from home.  She'll do whatever it takes to keep her beloved business alive.

"I've looked for that one thing I'm passionate about doing for the rest of my life," Wilkinson says.  "I've finally found it.  Little bumps and bruises in the road aren't going to stop me." 


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