More than 200 animals removed from Muncie pet store

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MUNCIE, Ind. (Jan. 30, 2015)-- The Muncie Animal Shelter received a complaint Friday from a customer that a Muncie pet store was dirty and needed to be investigated.

Pet Shop and More, located at 3024 North Granville Avenue, is now shut down due to neglect and code violations.

Phil Peckinpaugh, Director of Muncie Animal Shelter, said they've had complaints before, but this time it was enough to close down the store, after an inspection.

"Today, it's the worst that we've ever seen," he said, "It's very apparent that their cages haven't been cleaned in a long time. They're stacked with feces and urine, dead animals, with more wood chippings on top."

Peckinpaugh said the shop's had run-ins with the city before. When officials came on-site on Friday, the person working behind the counter simply handed over the keys.

"The employee just gave us the key and left. He said he was aware of the problem, and that seems to be a common theme for people who come in," said Peckinpaugh.

In a back room, FOX59 found a large pan full of feces and urine, with an overpowering smell. Peckinpaugh said most of the display cages had at least one dead animal mixed in with the live animals.

Crews loaded up 220 live animals and took them to the Muncie Animal Shelter. They are mostly small animals, like rats, mice, snakes, birds, and spiders. No dogs or cats were present.

"We'll do an inventory and intake of every animal. Each of them will have an intake card," said Ashley Irving, with the Muncie Animal Shelter, "We've done this before, so we have a process that we do."

Friday night, workers made sure each animal had a clean cage and water. Other pet stores in Muncie and other rescue organizations will likely care for the animals.

Peckinpaugh said the shop is in violation of the city's animal care ordinances and also a pet store ordinance because there was no running water inside, and required cleaning processes weren't being followed. There was also a make-shift furnace that wasn't acceptable, he said.

It's a raid that could result in criminal charges, according to Peckinpaugh.

"We'll finish our report, the police department was out here and did their report. We'll contact state officials, and we'll let them do their reports and forward it on to the Delaware County Prosecutor's Office," he said.

There was a raid in August of another pet store in the same Muncie shopping center, where more than 700 animals were removed. Peckinpaugh said that case did result in charges.

FOX59 tried to reach the owner, and we were provided contact information. When we called, the person who answered the phone suggested that we had the wrong number.