Animals seized from Warren pet shop, owner arrested for cruelty

Animals seized from Warren pet shop, owner arrested for cruelty

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A bird in a large cage is removed from Greenwood Pets and Plants in Warren. A bird in a large cage is removed from Greenwood Pets and Plants in Warren.
WARREN, Mich. (WJBK) -

Cage by cage, Macomb County Animal Control and Warren police carried out nearly 100 animals from Greenwood Pets and Plants on Nine Mile near Schoenherr said to be living in unsafe conditions.

Police say cats, dogs, birds, snakes, rabbits, turtles and several exotic animals were crammed into the building living without power and water.

Denise Sharp said she used to work at the pet store and left because conditions were so bad.

"I feel that's probably the best thing that's going to happen to these animals because he never fed them, never watered them. They were never taken care of," she said.

Police arrived and found the owner, Dennis Jones, hiding in the basement. We're told he was taken out on a stretcher yelling this was the mayor's fault. He was arrested for animal cruelty.

Officers said many of the small animals were in pretty bad shape. One bird so far has died.

Mayor Jim Fouts made the call to seize the animals. He said the store was behind $9,000 in water payments and the power had been shut off.

Greenwood has been around for more than 30 years, and although the conditions at the store had deteriorated, there were plenty of long-time customers who came to Jones' defense.

Carolyn Decocco adopted a puppy an hour before the store was raided.

"No power, I can understand, you know what I'm saying, but he's such a good guy. Everybody comes here and helps him out," she said.

"He puts his animals first. He always took very good care of his animals. The place always isn't the cleanest because it's a pet store," said Nick Bardallis.

But there are other customers like Michelle Hill. She claimed she adopted her pet on the brink of death because of the neglect. She saved her adopted dog, and now feels like she helped save these animals, who may not have had a fighting chance.

"I'm ecstatic. We made a police report.  I went to the court date in Warren, and we wanted him shut down. So, this is good," she said.

DTE Energy was planning to turn on the power for a short time so the officers could get the rest of the animals out. As of 10 p.m, we're told there were several fish still inside.

We're also told the owner lived on the second floor of the building. He put up a fight and did not want to leave. He was taken to the hospital where he was being treated for a previous injury.

Many of the animals were being taken to the Macomb County Animal Shelter. The exotic birds were headed to a veterinary clinic that specializes in their care.

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