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Puppy Mill Awareness Meetup (Southeast Michigan) Message Board › Pet Station Owner Arrested - Cruelty

Pet Station Owner Arrested - Cruelty

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,273

'Deplorable' cases highlight inadequate animal cruelty laws, prosecutor says

By Christine Ferretti

The Detroit News
April 11, 2012 at 7:52 pm

http://www.detroitnew...­

Detroit— Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Wednesday called for reform of the state's animal cruelty laws as she announced charges in connection with two "deplorable" cases.

Worthy, during a news conference in her offices in the Wayne County Circuit Courthouse, announced nearly 40 counts against two Wayne County men stemming from the unrelated abuse cases.

Ramzi Dakhlallah, 40, of Dearborn Heights, is charged with 37 counts ranging from animal cruelty to false pretences, record keeping violations and animal industry act violations in an investigation that has spanned more than two years and involves more than 20 dogs, over 70 birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats.

Worthy said Dakhlallah, who owns the Pet Station and the corporation Pet Station LLC, is accused of abuse that occurred between July 31, 2009, and Tuesday.

The top penalty is attached to the cruelty charge, which is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

Worthy said it's not enough and her office is already beginning to talk with the Legislature about tougher penalties.

"The laws on animal cruelty in this state are horrendous and need quick fixing," she said. "All the evidence will reveal this is a very serious case. The multitude of evidence resulted in one four-year felony; that is really criminal. The penalties should be much higher."

Worthy said Dakhlallah's shop on Telegraph Road came to the attention of authorities following multiple complaints regarding the lack of food and water for animals and unsanitary and cruel conditions.

Dakhlallah is accused of selling animals with insufficient and improperly maintained records and offering disease-ridden animals for sale and others that weren't properly vaccinated.

Worthy said the investigation was a collaborative effort by the Dearborn Heights Police Department, Dearborn Heights Animal Control, officers from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Humane Society and the prosecutor's volunteer Animal Protection Unit.

The animals were seized Wednesday by Dearborn Heights Police and the Michigan Humane Society, which is housing them. Taylor's animal shelter has previously housed and cared for other sick animals seized during the course of the investigation, Worthy said.

Dakhlallah faces a Thursday arraignment in 20th District Court.

In an unrelated case, Worthy said 44-year-old Rockwood resident Lester France is facing up to two years behind bars on abandonment and cruelty charges involving six American bulldogs.

Authorities say five of the dogs died after France failed to care for the animals and abandoned them when he moved from his home in the 28200 block of Cahill in Flat Rock.

Worthy said police retrieved the animals Sunday after a call from a resident. The animals were found in several kennels without food or water.

Four of the dogs were emaciated, and a fifth was discovered alive but later died at an emergency animal facility. The sixth dog survived, Worthy said.

France will be arraigned Thursday in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven.

Worthy said cutbacks have hampered state efforts in licensing and monitoring of pet shops.

"This is a rampant problem in Wayne County," she said.

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,274
Animal Cruelty Alleged at Dearborn Heights Pet Shop

http://www.myfoxdetro...­


Published : Wednesday, 11 Apr 2012, 1:26 PM EDT

myFOXDetroit.com Staff Report


Pet Station in Dearborn Heights and its owner, 40-year-old Ramzi Dakhlallah, are facing charges for animal cruelty, as well as pet shop and Animal Industry Act violations.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced the charges at a press conference Wednesday afternoon. (Click on the video to watch) She said the alleged animal cruelty happened between July 2009 and April 2012.

"The case involves over 20 dogs, over 70 birds, a number of guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats," according to a press release from the prosecutor's office.

"Some of the alleged conditions that were found and we are alleging include animals usually dead within days of purchase, coccidia, giardia -- a dangerous disease that people can get and cause humans to get severely ill, -- parovirus, these dogs were allegedly malnourished, infestation of fleas, horrible kennel cough, severe bacterial infections, too many animals in cages, animals in cages with obviously very sick animals, animals that literally could not stand and support themselves," Worthy said at the press conference. "The animals were not properly quarantined. On some of these animals, you could see without trouble ribs and backbones and hips showing through the skin they were so malnourished. Deceased animals in cages with some live ones. Animals that were sold too young. Animals that had roundworm. Excessive heat conditions with no air conditioning. Excessive feces and urine everywhere. The conditions were filthy and there were animals also without any food or water all in that one establishment over this period of time."

We're told the Michigan Humane Society is caring for animals seized from the Pet Station on Tuesday.

The prosecutor also alleges that records were not properly maintained and that dogs were sold without proper vaccinations and health certificates. Dogs not having proper health documentation were also reportedly brought into the state.

Dakhlallah is under arrest and expected to be arraigned on Thursday morning.


Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,278
Officials take dozens of pets from Dearborn Heights pet store after owner charged with cruelty

Read more: http://www.wxyz.com/d...­

Posted: 04/11/2012


DEARBORN HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) - Dozens of people came to the Pet Station in Dearborn Heights today.
The children wanted to see puppies, but angry adults wanted to confront the owner about puppies they bought that died suddenly.

No one 7 Action News spoke with had any idea the Michigan Humane Society had seized the puppies and the Wayne County Prosecutor was charging owner Ramzi Dakhlallah with animal cruelty, selling animals under false pretenses and health violations.

However, they are did tell us they are not surprised.

The owner of one dog named Sophie told us that his one year old is alive but not well and that her veterinarian bills are approaching a thousand dollars.

She says Sophie vomits, constantly scratches herself and had a “cherry eye.”
7 Action News was told the Humane Society removed puppies, reptiles and birds from the store, only leaving fish and the owner’s dog behind.
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,283
Local pet store shut down, owner arrested

Published: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

By J. Patrick Pepper

http://www.pressandgu...­

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Authorities seized more than a hundred animals from a pet store here today and its owner is now facing dozens of criminal charges.

Ramzi Dakhlallah, 40, was arrested Wednesday morning on a slew of charges ranging from felony animal cruelty to misdemeanor check fraud connected to the Pet Station on Telegraph Road. Daklallah, a Dearborn Heights resident and Pet Station’s owner, will remain in custody pending formal arraignment Thursday morning in 20th District Court.

Dearborn Heights police and the Michigan Humane society seized more than 20 dogs, 70 birds, a number of guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats. The Humane Society is now housing the critters in addition to the Taylor Animal Shelter, which has been taking in animals seized from Pet Station over the course of the investigation.

Customer complaints led to a multiple-agency probe of Pet Station starting in July 2009. Prosecutors cited lack of food and water for the animals, urine and feces left in their cages and other generally inhumane practices at the store.

Daklallah is also accused of knowingly selling unhealthy dogs and cats as well as representing that they were inoculated when they really weren’t.

The investigation took place over two years and was a collaborative effort by the Dearborn Heights Police Department, Dearborn Heights Animal Control, the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Humane Society and the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office.

Daklallah, as well as the corporation Pet Station, L.L.C., have been charged with all of the same counts in this case. Prosecutors said the corporation is being charged because criminal acts were committed by the owner.

"In an effort to profit from their misery, these animals were allegedly subjected to horrific abuse and deplorable living conditions,” Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a written statement. “Further, 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."

Here’s a rundown of the charges:

Count 1: Animals – Abandon/Cruelty to 10 or More Animals (Felony – Four years)

Allegation: Animals received inadequate care, food, water, sanitary conditions and medical attention.

Count 2: False Pretenses – $200 to $1,000 (Misdemeanor – One year)

Allegation: False representation about the health of animals causing a patron to purchase an unhealthy animal.

Count 3: Check – Non-Sufficient Funds - more than $100, less than $500.00 (Misdemeanor – one year)

Allegation: Wrote a non-sufficient funds check on Pet Station checking account.

Counts 4 – 23: Pet Shop – Violations (Misdemeanor - 90 days)

Allegation: Either importing into this state, or offering for sale, an animal that had been imported, and not ensuring proper inoculation of that animal within seven days of importation.

Count 24: Pet Shop – Rule Violations (Misdemeanor - 90 days)

Allegation: Failure to maintain proper records on each animal in the shop.

Counts 25-37: Animal Industry Act – Rule Violations (Misdemeanor - minimum 30 days)

Allegation: Violating Michigan Department of Agriculture rules regarding the importation of dogs into the State of Michigan.

J. Patrick Pepper can be reached at 1-734-246-2702 or at
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,286
Dearborn Heights pet store owner charged with animal cruelty - pets seized (Examiner)

4/11/12

http://www.examiner.c...­

Dexter is a one-year-old Border Collie available for adoption through the Taylor Animal Shelter.
Photo credit:
Taylor Animal Shelter/ Facebook


Starting back in 2009, customers had been complaining about the lack of food, water, and cleanliness of the Pet Station, a pet store located on Telegraph Road in Dearborn Heights, Michigan. This morning over 100 animals were seized and the owner, Ramzi Dakhlallah was arrested for animal cruelty along with numerous other charges.

Dearborn Heights Police Department, Dearborn Heights Animal Control, Michigan Department of Agriculture, Michigan Humane Society, and Wayne County Prosecutor's Office worked together and have charged Dakhlallah with 37 counts ranging from felony animal cruelty to misdemeanor check fraud. Charges include selling sick dogs and cats, representing the animals having been vaccinated, public health hazards, and animals being subjected to neglect and abuse.

The Michigan Humane Society removed 20 dogs, 70 birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice, and rats. Taylor Animal Shelter is also caring for some of the animals.
Dakhlallah, 40 is currently in custody and is due to be arraigned on Thursday.

For more information on Dexter or other dogs and cats available for immediate adoption, please click here.
Source
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,287
2 accused of 'deplorable' animal cruelty
Worthy urges tougher laws as men charged in separate cases

http://www.detroitnew...­


• By Christine Ferretti
• The Detroit News
• 1 Comments

Detroit— Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy on Wednesday called for reform to the state's animal cruelty laws as she announced charges in connection with two "deplorable" cases.

Worthy announced nearly 40 counts against two Wayne County men stemming from the unrelated animal abuse cases during a news conference at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice.

Ramzi Dakhlallah, 40, of Dearborn Heights is charged with 37 counts, including animal cruelty, false pretences, record keeping violations and animal industry act violations in an investigation that's spanned more than two years.

The probe involves more than 20 dogs, more than 70 birds, guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats.

Worthy said Dakhlallah, who owns the Pet Station and Pet Station LLC, is accused of abuse that happened between July 31, 2009 and Tuesday.

The cruelty charge is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison.

Worthy said her office has begun discussions with members of the state Legislature about tougher penalties.

"The laws on animal cruelty in this state are horrendous and need quick fixing," the prosecutor said. "The penalties should be much higher."

Worthy said Dakhlallah's shop on Telegraph came to the attention of authorities after multiple citizen complaints regarding lack of food and water for animals and unsanitary and cruel conditions.
Worthy said the investigation was a collaborative effort by the Dearborn Heights Police Department, Dearborn Heights Animal Control, officers from the Michigan Department of Agriculture, the Michigan Humane Society and the Prosecutor's volunteer Animal Protection Unit.

The animals were seized Wednesday by Dearborn Heights Police and the Michigan Humane Society.
Dakhlallah faces an arraignment today in 20th District Court.

In an unrelated case, Worthy said 44-year-old Lester France of Rockwood is to be arraigned today in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven on abandonment and cruelty charges involving six American bulldogs.
Authorities say five of the dogs died after France abandoned the animals when he moved from his home in Flat Rock.

Worthy said police retrieved the dogs Sunday after a concerned call from a resident.
The animals were found in several kennels without food or water.

(313) 222-2069

Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,288
Dearborn Heights pet store accused of animal cruelty

http://www.freep.com/...­


6:45 PM, April 11, 2012

A Dearborn Heights man and his store, Pet Station LLC, are accused of subjecting more than 20 dogs, 70 birds and numerous other animals such as hamsters and snakes to poor care that included depriving them of food and water.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced charges Wednesday against Ramzi Dakhlallah, 40, and Pet Station in a case in which the alleged abuse was tracked from July 31, 2009, through Tuesday. Worthy also announced animal cruelty charges against a Rockwood man in an unrelated incident in which the man is accused of abandoning six dogs in a house.

Dakhlallah will be arraigned today in 20th District Court in Dearborn Heights. He and Pet Station are charged with one count of abandon and/or cruelty to 10 or more animals, a 4-year felony.

He and the store also face misdemeanor charges: one count of false pretenses between $200 to $1,000 for selling a sick animal; one count of nonsufficient funds of $100 or more but less than $500 for writing a bad check on the pet store's account; 20 counts of violations related to the pet shop and care of animals; one count of rules violation for failing to maintain proper records on the animals; and 13 counts of violation of the Animal Industry Act for not following the state Department of Agriculture rules for the importation of dogs in to the state. Those charges have penalties varying from 30 days to one year in jail.

About 10 people complained to authorities about the miserable conditions in the pet store, prosecutor's office spokeswoman Maria Miller said.

In the other case, authorities allege that Lester France, 44, of Rockwood abandoned six American Bulldogs in a house where he previously lived in the 28200 block of Cahill in Flat Rock. On Sunday, a tip led police to the home, where they found the dogs placed in kennels without food or water.

Four of the dogs were dead -- their bodies filthy and emaciated, according to investigators. A fifth dog, also emaciated, died shortly after being taken to animal care facility for treatment.

The sixth dog was taken to the Flat Rock Animal Shelter for treatment and is still alive.

France is charged with abandoning and cruelty to four to 10 animals, a 2-year felony. He will be arraigned today in 33rd District Court in Woodhaven.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's Office Animal Protection Unit, formed in 2008, investigated the cases.

Worthy stressed the need for tougher laws. She said when it comes to animal cruelty, "the laws in Michigan are horribly inadequate."

"The penalty I think should be a lot higher," Worthy said.

Contact Cecil Angel: 313-223-4531 or
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,332
UPDATE: Rescued from the Pet Station Pet Store in Dearborn Heights
It Has Been a Long Road to Recovery for These Animals


http://www.michiganhu...­

A few weeks ago, we told you about the Pet Station, a pet store in Dearborn Heights that was raided by a combined team of Michigan Humane Society Cruelty Investigators and law enforcement officials. The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is currently pursuing dozens of counts of animal cruelty charges against the owner and operator of the Pet Station, and as this progresses, we will certainly keep you updated. However, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about how some of the animals from the Pet Station are doing today.

This is Cam. She is a 3-year-old long-haired Dachshund who came to us a new mom! The pet store was no place to raise her puppies, sitting in filth and with barely enough to eat, but she persevered as best she could. We brought her to the MHS Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland and gave her and her pups a full examination to make sure they were none the worse for wear. Today, Cam and her puppies are in a loving forever home, far away from the memory of the neglect they suffered.

This is Dudley. He is a 3-month-old Wheaten Terrier who unfortunately suffers from some behavioral issues, possibly as result of his stay at the Pet Station. He is skittish and fearful, and tends to be a bit mouthy when interacting with people. Dudley has been receiving care and socialization in the MHS In-Home Heroes foster program for more than a month now, and already has a wonderful adopter lined up!

This gerbil (right) and these parakeets (below) represent the dozens of small feathered and furry critters that were also taken from the Pet Station. Of the more than 200 animals seized, fewer than 20 were dogs – the rest ranged from gerbils, hamsters, birds and mice to snakes and tarantulas. We worked with rescue groups to place the snakes and tarantulas, but we need homes for our other friends! Dozens of MHS staffers are currently fostering these animals in preparation for a series of June adoption events called TGIFFFF: Thank Goodness it’s Furry and Feathered Friend Fridays!

Each Friday in June, the MHS Rochester Hills Center for Animal Care, the MHS Berman Center for Animal Care in Westland and the MHS off-site adoption facility at Petco Sterling Heights will host these adoption events, featuring our furry and feathered friends. Make sure you stop by!

It has been a long road for these animals, but thanks to your help, they have a second chance at life. Your donations are what keeps us going and what ensures that we will be there when more animals are in need. Thanks again for all you do.
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,337


Meetup Members,

A group of members joined Colleen at the 18th District Court in Dearborn today to provide testimony against Pet Station. Fortunately, Ramzi, the Pet Station owner, saved us all a lot of time and waived his rights to a pre-exam. Plenty of other witnesses were in court waiting to share their story.

Ramzi Dakhlallah is facing 37 charges (including 1 felony) and Pet Station is facing 17 different charges. Although the pet store is still open and Ramzi is out of jail, he is still not allowed to have animals. The store only has turtles and fish.

The case will now move to the Circuit Court downtown Detroit. The next arraingment is scheduled for June, 6th at 9:00 am. If this goes to trail, we will be attending.

Pam
Pam
Pamela01
Group Organizer
Clarkston, MI
Post #: 1,355


Dearborn Heights pet store owner charged with animal cruelty

Published: Saturday, April 14, 2012

By J. Patrick Pepper
Twitter: @jpeppernews

Ramzi Daklallah stands at his arraignment on animal cruelty and related charges Thursday in 20th District Court. Daklallah, a 41-year-old Dearborn Heights resident, owns Pet Station in south Dearborn Heights.

DEARBORN HEIGHTS — Ramzi Daklallah doesn’t understand it.

He doesn’t know what made authorities arrest him Wednesday. He isn’t sure why they seized more than a hundred animals from his store. And he doesn’t know how he ended up at the center of a broad-ranging animal cruelty investigation.

Unwitting or not, Dakhlallah, and Pet Station, LLC, the corporate entity for his Dearborn Heights pet store, were arraigned Thursday in 20th District Court on an array of criminal charges in a case Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy describes as “deplorable.”

The most serious charge, felony animal cruelty, carries a four-year maximum penalty, and there are dozens more misdemeanor counts for violations of the state’s pet shop laws.

The situation laid out by prosecutors is enough to make any animal lover wince: Dead animals found on the floor. Scarce food and water. Urine and feces left to fester in cages. Sick pets or pets falsely advertised as having their shots, knowingly sold to unsuspecting customers.

“The conditions there were worse than we had thought,” Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Parisa Kiani said at Daklallah’s arraignment. “This isn’t a case of neglect, this is a case of cruelty, your honor, and this is something that has been going on for two years.”

Dearborn Heights police and the Michigan Humane Society seized a veritable Noah’s Ark of prospective pets when they raided Pet Station Wednesday morning. Among the animals, which are now in the care of the Humane Society, are 20 dogs, 70 birds, a number of guinea pigs, hamsters, frogs, snakes, lizards, tarantulas, chinchillas, mice and rats. Within 24 hours of being removed from the store, which is located a few blocks north of Van Born Road on Telegraph Road, an African monitor lizard died and a Shih Tzu puppy perished from pneumonia. The sweep signified the culmination of a probe that dates back to July 2009, when authorities began receiving customer complaints about the store and its owner.

Kiani said Daklallah’s alleged cruel behavior was allowed to carry on unchecked because of budget cuts at the state’s Department of Agriculture, which regulates pet shops in Michigan. Before shrinking resources made regular inspections impossible, Daklallah was warned several times about the conditions around the store, she said.

“He has disregarded those warnings, your honor, and there are also allegations from complainants that he said ‘sue me, there’s nothing you can do about it,’” Kiani said.

Judge David Turfe set bond at $25,000 cash or surety for Daklallah and Pet Station, LLC, received a $10,000 personal bond. Conditional to the bonds were that Daklallah not purchase any new animals, as well as not possess, own or care for animals.

Dakhlallah posted bond immediately after the hearing and said he would vigorously defend the charges against him.

“Oh yeah, absolutely I will defend these charges,” Dakhlallah said upon release from custody.

Pet Station has been in business since the late 1970s and Daklallah, 41, purchased it about five years ago.

Since then, he says he has maintained “stacks” of business records in line with state law. As for the allegations that he sold sick pets, he said he has a five-day return policy on any pet he sells and even offers customers a free vet check-up before making the sale final. And, despite prosecutors’ claims to the contrary, he said he himself inoculates each puppy that he sells at Pet Station.

As far as he can tell, the case he now faces is a result of complaints filed when he first purchased the store and was in the process of reorganizing it.

“Of course as soon as you open the store, they (animals) was outside,” he said. “What are you going to see in the cages? Poops, low on food, low on water.”

Authorities, however, have been regular visitors at Pet Station over the last two years, according to police records.

Officers were there in January 2010 when a customer refused to leave the store after being told that a puppy was not returnable. Five months later, the Michigan Anti-Cruelty Association filed a police report after getting tipped off by a customer. The customer was concerned about cramped, overheated conditions where puppies were kept and, even more, that employees were apparently unaware there was a dead puppy in one of the cages.

According to the complaint, the cage also had other puppies in it that were jumping around the dead one.

When the employees found out, they allegedly waited on several other customers before going to check on the dog. Without checking its pulse, they threw the body in a plastic Walmart bag and put it in a back room, the report said. The responding officers warned Pet Station that the puppies were being kept in potentially unsafe conditions and scheduled a follow-up by the city’s animal control officer.

In July last year, a woman was so concerned about the health of a Maltese puppy that she offered to take the dog for a week and nurse it at her own expense. It died the next day.

In November, a Taylor woman filed a complaint after her newly purchased Elkhound puppy was diagnosed with possible roundworm, kennel cough and Coccidia, an intestinal parasite. The woman wanted a refund of the $340 purchase price, but according to the report Daklallah refused, saying he offered her $55 toward her veterinary bills.

Daklallah acknowledged there have been some complaints about Pet Station, but that they are far outnumbered by satisfied customers.

“I sell 50 puppies a month. If you have like five unhealthy, (it) doesn’t mean I’m not good,” he said.

Kym Worthy sees it differently. Using as examples Daklallah and an animal seller from Flat Rock who also was arraigned on criminal charges this week, she said the state’s animal cruelty laws are woefully inadequate. The prosecutor announced at a press conference Wednesday that she in discussions with state legislators over how to stiffen penalties.

“The laws on animal cruelty in this state are horrendous and need quick fixing,” Worthy said, according to The Detroit News. “The penalties should be much higher.”

A preliminary examination of the evidence against Daklallah is set for April 25.

J. Patrick Pepper can be reached at 1-734-246-2702 or at. Return to Paging Mode
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