NEWARK - Animal control officers today shut down a Newark pet shop that has been in the community for decades.
Owners of the Broadway Pet Shop are accused of not properly caring for the animals and selling some illegally.
Hundreds of kittens, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, snakes, chickens and chinchillas were removed from the store Wednesday.
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Associated Humane Societies of Newark says it and the SPCA have been investigating the store for several months. Officers raided the shop when they heard the building's power was to be shut down. They say they found terrible conditions inside.
"The smell hits you right in the face," says Scott Crawford, of Associated Humane Societies of Newark. "Cobwebs everywhere. Feces everywhere. Some dead animals. Things without food, things without water - it's just deplorable. The heat in there is unbearable."
Crawford says the store didn't have the proper permits to sell many of the pets.
The owner reportedly owes more than $10,000 in utility bills.
Neighbors say the owner of the family-run store recently moved and left his daughter in charge.