A long-time near east side business was closed Thursday after animal inspectors found nearly 600 care and treatment violations. Officers confiscated birds, dogs, cats, lizards and mice from the Fish Bowl Pet Store, 2101 E. Michigan Street. Thousands of fish remained inside due to logistical reasons.
“Work is never done in a pet shop,” said Bill Houston, who’s been opening his doors for 45 years. “There are a lot of things we did right but they’re not up to par today I guess.”
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control got a complaint last week about the below par conditions. Animal inspectors found hundreds of dead animals — mostly lizards and fish — and other pets in cages standing and eating in their own feces.
Indianapolis Animal Care and Control Administrator, Daniel Shackle, said he was shocked.
“It smells bad and you know things are wrong. Water tanks for the fish are dirty and clouded. There’s dead fish on top of the tanks,” he said.
Stacks of pictures from their first inspection showed it all. Shackle said things didn’t get much better when they returned days later.
“He gave me 48 hours,” said Houston. “Although we clean [the cages] while we’re here, you’ve got 14 hours a day when we’re not here. The dogs can sleep in their mess.”
As Houston sat, watching what he’s built for the past four decades taken away, he wants his customers to know, he’s tried.
“We always have room for improvement, always,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess I was wrong because I’m losing all my pets.”
The Department of Code Enforcement suspended the Fish Bowl Pet Shop’s license.
IACC said the store has been cited for violations in the past. They will be bringing a veterinarian Friday to check to see if the fish are being taken care of properly.
Houston is scheduled to make his first court appearance next week.