‘House of Horrors’ pet store contained 150 neglected animals, authorities say

Authorities are calling an exotic pet store a ‘house of horrors’ after finding more than 150 neglected animals. Southern Kentucky police seized the animals after a raid at Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics on Wednesday morning.

Inside, authorities found dozens of lizards, snakes, hamsters, gerbils, fish, rabbits and turtles living in cruel conditions.

“It was deeply disturbing to witness the dark 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.

On Wednesday morning, authorities in Kentucky seized more than 150 neglected animals from Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics. Animals currently receive specialist care through various animal welfare organizations.
Meredith Lee/The HSUS

The raid follows a full-scale investigation launched after concerns were raised by Burnside City Code Enforcement. Burnside police arrived at the pet store around 11 a.m. Wednesday and served the operator, Tim Lorraine, 61, with a search and seizure warrant, authorities said. Due to the scale of the operation, the police also requested the assistance of the human society the United States.

After an investigation by the Burnside Police Department, the pet store was closed and Lorraine was arrested on 19 counts of animal cruelty, according to a statement released by police. His charges include second degree cruelty to animals. In Kentuckythose convicted of animal cruelty offenses can face up to 12 months in jail and pay up to $500 in fines.

Inside the pet store, authorities and the humane society found extreme cases of animal cruelty and neglect, including murky tanks, guinea pigs and turtles sharing an enclosure, and the animals had only little or no access to drinking water or food.

Animal enclosures were covered in cobwebs and hungry hamsters gnawed at their wire enclosures while small turtles rested in the algae-infested water.

“I was shocked to see animals living in these conditions,” Burnside Police Department Chief Mike Hill said in a statement. “It is a great relief to all of us here that these animals will have the opportunity to be rehabilitated, thanks to the help of the Humane Society of the United States and everyone involved in making this happen today. .”

Hamster gnaws a metal cage
Hungry hamsters inside the exotic pet store were found chewing through their makeshift metal enclosures with no access to fresh food or water. The operator of Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics is being held on $5,000 cash bond.
Meredith Lee/The HSUS

The animals were all turned over to the Burnside Police Department and underwent on-site veterinary examinations. Several animal welfare organizations take steps to ensure that animals receive the necessary treatment.

“Overall, the animals are settling very well into their clean, comfortable living conditions,” said Kirsten Peek, media relations manager for the Humane Society. Newsweek. “They woke up because they got much needed care, proper food and clean water. I’m told the mice, in particular, have amazing personalities that are starting to emerge.”

Lorraine is being held on $5,000 cash bond at the county detention center. His arraignment is scheduled for Friday morning in Pulaski District Court.

Newsweek contacted the Burnside Police Department and the Kentucky Department Fish and wildlife but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Guinea pig and turtle in the enclosure
Authorities and members of the Humane Society have found turtles living in the same enclosures as guinea pigs. Humane Society officials said the rescued animals “are settling very well into their clean and comfortable living conditions”.
Meredith Lee/The HSUS

Correction of 9/3/2021, 2:56 p.m. ET: This article has been updated to correct the spelling of Tim Lorraine’s name.

About Patrick K. Moon

Check Also

Pet store faces threats after adding gun control question to adoption form

Animal adoption center adds gun control question to app The owner of a Thousand Oaks …