Northern Michigan pet store closing amidst allegation of pet neglect

Krazie Kritterz pet store of Cheboygan closing

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CHEBOYGAN, Mich. - The Krazie Kritterz pet store in Cheboygan is closing, and a Michigan animal rights group says it's due to public pressure after numerous store violations pending from and the owner's arrest.

Owner Joyce LaLonde was arrested in January for failing to provide a health certificate for pets after they were purchased.

"Earlier that day, she was cited for not providing a valid health certificate and she turned around and sold another one on the same day" said Animal Control Officer Deputy Swanson.

The charges against LaLonde were later dismissed in court. The store, which opened in 2012, is located on N Main Street.

Animal Control Officers says they visited the store many times since it opened to investigate complaints of sick animals. Animal Control says LaLonde failed to provide veterinary care for sick pets

including parrots and ferrets that were living in unsanitary conditions. LaLonde also allegedly medicated animals herself without a veterinary license, which is a felony in Michigan.

Swanson says feces was found in the carpet, also a fish with an injured tail, birds with missing feathers, and ventilation issues were noted inside the store.

Members from the animal rights group, Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan, said they conducted their own investigation into the store.

"We became concerned that the store was selling a wide variety of exotic and wild animals, such as hedgehogs and chipmunks, which are not common companion animals and require federal licensing" said Pam Sordyl, founder of the group.

"I had to notify the store that the European Goldfinch needed his beak trimmed. It was overgrown and curved under. The store didn't know they had to trim the bird's beaks," said member Erica Repp. "During two separate visits, I observed the birds in inadequate conditions. Their feathers were greasy and clumps were missing from the large Macaws which is a sign of stress. None of the birds had toys; they were unfriendly or not responsive."

Sordyl, says the group is introducing an ordinance called the Humane Pet Acquisition Proposal that would ban the retail sale of animals and protect families from purchasing sick pets.

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