Death claims woman — and pet store

Death claims woman — and pet store

It looks like the Tailored Pet is going to die with Serena Bellino.

After Bellino’s death on Dec. 5, two employees at her popular Pineapple Walk pet store swore to keep the store going.

“We have a connection with our customers and an obligation to them,” said Andrea Demetropoulos, who worked at the store for five of its 35 years, but knew Bellino since 1981. “We want to keep the store open and do the same things Serena did. We want to keep her legacy going.”

But Bellino did not leave a will, so before anyone could take over the store, an executor will have to be appointed. But that could be a long process.

Serena, who would have been 60 on Feb. 2, “was totally devoted to animals,” brother, Tom, said. “That store was her life.”

Bellino’s death was a blow not only to area pets, but to her customers.

“Serena was a wonderful person, I loved her, everyone loved her,” said Dell Avery, who had been going to the pet store since 1989 to buy treats for her dogs Holly and Gypsy. “I remember when I bought my second dog, not long after my first dog died, Serena gave me a St. Francis of Assisi medallion to put on her collar. Wasn’t that sweet? That’s just the kind of person she was.”

If Demetropoulos and her co-worker William Johnson, who worked at the Tailored Pet for 16 years, can’t just re-open the shuttered store, they will try to re-open it with a different name. They want to call it the Primo and Rose Pet Store, after the resident cats, who were born there.

“It’s fitting,” said Demetropolous. “The Tailored Pet was the only home Primo and Rose know, and we want to make sure they keep their home.”

Demetropoulos isn’t sure that the property owners are convinced that a new pet store will do well, so she’s urging former customers and residents to e-mail [email protected]. She hopes that a huge show of support will show that there’s a market to continue Bellino’s life work.

David Grillo, the Whitman Owners Corporation manager, said he has not ruled out renting to such a pet store. Negotiations are ongoing.