DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WJBK) — More than 100 sick and wounded animals were packed up and carted away Wednesday from a Dearborn Heights pet shop.
“The case involves over 20 dogs, over 70 birds, a number of guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats,” says Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.
She announced charges Wednesday against Pet Station owner Ramzi Daklallah. He faces numerous charges for everything from animal cruelty, pet shop violations and improper record keeping. (Click on the second video to watch the press conference)
Worthy says pets were kept in cages with their own feces and other dead animals. Animals in the store were so sick many of them couldn’t stand up. They had infections that could make people sick, and some were so malnourished you could see their bones and ribs.
Daklallah and the pet store are charged separately with 37 counts.
The prosecutor also alleges animals were sold without proper records and that dogs and cats were not properly inoculated and sold sick.
Worthy says, “The alleged conduct of these defendants exposed the customers of this enterprise, as well as the citizens of Dearborn Heights and Wayne County, to an enormous potential health hazard.”
“We think that all life, whether it’s human or animal, is important and people shouldn’t just at their whim or will, whatever reason that they have, be able to abuse them,” she adds.
Worthy says Michigan animal cruelty laws are “horrendous and need quick fixing.” In fact, just to bring awareness to the state’s weak animal cruelty laws, the homicide and general trial lawyers who worked the case did it for free.
“They’re doing this on their own time. We don’t have any money for this type of thing, and this is a very rampant problem that we have in Wayne County,” she says.
Daklallah will be arraigned Thursday morning.