COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus Humane and local authorities recovered 278 animals from a west Columbus pet store and the owners’ home on Tuesday, leading to Columbus Humane temporarily shutting its doors to public admissions.
Due to the high volume of animals recovered, Columbus Humane says it will temporarily suspend all public animal admissions until further notice. Only animals seized by the Cruelty Investigations Department will be admitted.
Of the animals seized from the Petting Zoo Pet Shop on West Broad Street and the owners’ residence on Demorest Road, 97 were dogs (mostly puppies), 148 were reptiles, four were cats and a dozen of the animals were livestock, according to Columbus Humane. Thirty-one of those animals recovered were deceased and found in varying states of decomposition.
Authorities began removing the animals from both properties after a months-long investigation. Columbus Humane received multiple complaints of improper caring for the animals’ well-being.
Columbus Humane says various illnesses and diseases were found among the animals, including parvovirus, pneumonia and parasites. The animals are actively being treated.
“Our duty is to provide the highest quality of care to the animals,” said Rachel D.K. Finney, CEO of Columbus Humane. “Given the extent of disease in this population, we must devote our full focus and resources to the animals already in care.”
Humane agents are working to file charges against the owners.
Columbus Humane remains open for animal adoption. The animals seized from the investigation are not available for adoption as ownership is determined by the court.