HUNTINGTON — An exotic pet shop in Huntington is now closed after humane officers with the Huntington Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter seized control of multiple animals Thursday due to conditions at the store.
S&S Reptiles and Exotics, located in the 700 block of 3rd Avenue in downtown Huntington, is charged with animal cruelty, said Jon Rutherford, animal control officer.
Rutherford said animal cages were not being kept up.
“It’s been an ongoing problem,” he said. “Images and everything had been brought to our attention. It was pretty bad looking. The smell is very foul. You can smell it from the parking garage. We had received a lot of complaints about that.”
Because the store houses some dangerous animals, particularly venomous snakes, the animals are being kept at the store. Animal control is the only entity to have access to the store at this time, Rutherford said.
S&S Reptiles and Exotics opened in June. Jason Sias, Evan Adkins and Kevin Smith were the owners and managers of the business.
The store sold exotic birds, tarantula spiders, scorpions, other invertebrates, amphibians and reptiles, including snakes, frogs, turtles, alligators and caimans.
The store owners have a court date Tuesday, Nov. 12, in Huntington Municipal Court. Rutherford said more information will be released then.
In West Virginia, animal cruelty is a misdemeanor charge unless the severity of the crime rises to torture, which is intentionally taking action to inflict pain.