DEARBORN (WWJ) - A Dearborn Heights pet shop owner has been charged with multiple counts of animal cruelty after customers complained of “horrific abuse” and “deplorable living conditions.”
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the case against the 40-year-old Pet Station owner Ramzi Dakhlallah involves over 20 dogs, more than 70 birds, a number of guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats.
Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Worthy ran down some of the alleged violations.
“The animals were not properly quarantined. On some of these animals you could see, without trouble, ribs and backbones and hips showing
through the skin they were so malnourished … animals usually dead within days of purchase.
“Deceased animals in cages with some live ones, animals that were sold too young, animals that had roundworm, excessive heat conditions with no air conditioning, excessive feces and urine everywhere,” Worthy said.
The shop came to the attention of police as a result of citizen complaints regarding a lack of food and water for the animals, unsanitary conditions in the pens where animals were kept, and generally cruel conditions related to the care and maintenance of the animals in the store.
It is further alleged that animals were sold with insufficient, improperly maintained records, that unhealthy dogs and cats with dangerous diseases were improperly offered for sale, and that dogs and cats were sold without being properly inoculated.
Worthy said Dakhlallah intended to profit from these animals’ misery.
“Further, the alleged conduct of these defendants exposed the customers of this enterprise, as well as the citizens of Dearborn Heights and Wayne County, to an enormous potential health hazard,” she said.
The animals were seized by police and are now in the care of the Michigan Humane Society.
Dakhlallah was arrested. He remained jailed Wednesday, set to be arraigned at 9 a.m. Thursday in 20th District Court.