Pet shop owner could owe $1.4 million in fines

Pet company to make large donation to shelter

INDIANAPOLIS - The owner of an east side Indianapolis pet shop could face $1.4 million in fines for nearly 600 violations for care and treatment of animals.

Animal Care and Control officers confiscated nearly 400 animals from Fish Bowl Pet Supplies Thursday.

The confiscated animals, everything from iguanas to birds, remain at the city shelter on South Harding Street, where a veterinarian is checking them out.

Seven lizards have already died.

Many fish still remain at the pet shop, but animal control officers stopped by Friday afternoon to check on them.

PetCo has made a large donation to the city shelter in an effort to help the pet shop animals.

"We basically ran out of every aquarium, heat rock, heating pad, bowls, food, everything for all the animals right now," said Marcus Brown, deputy administrator for Indianapolis Animal Care and Control. "So they're going to donate quite a bit of articles, but we can always use more things for these kinds of animals."

Brown said the shelter has been flooded with calls from people and rescue groups interested in fostering or adopting the animals.

Indianapolis Animal Care and Control can't release the animals until a judge decides pet shop owner Bill Houston can no longer keep his animals.

Houston is scheduled for a court hearing on March 20 and a code enforcement hearing on March 21.

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