- Rescued animals include snakes, lizards, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils and fish.
- “I was shocked to see animals living in these conditions,” Burnside Police Chief Mike Hill said.
- The animals will receive treatment from local animal welfare organizations.
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Around 150 exotic animals, including lizards, snakes, and turtles, were rescued Wednesday morning from a pet shop in Kentucky whose operator has been arrested on charges of animal cruelty.
“It was deeply disturbing to witness the bleak lives of these animals in this shop of horrors,” Todd Blevins, Kentucky director for the Humane Society of the United States, said in a statement. The animal welfare organization said it was assisting the Burnside Police Department in the operation at Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics.
A Facebook page for the store shows that it has sold a range of nontraditional pets, including chinchillas and hedgehogs. A phone call requesting comment was not returned.
According to the Humane Society, animals “were found living in filthy, poor conditions typically seen in severe neglect situations.” Guinea pigs and turtles shared the same space, while fish tanks were murky. There was no apparent access to food or clean water. The store’s owner faces 19 counts of animal cruelty, it said.
“I was shocked to see animals living in these conditions,” Burnside Police Chief Mike Hill said in a statement.
The rescued animals received veterinary exams and will be provided “specialized care” by local animal welfare organizations.