CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) – An executive for the pet store raided by state and local officials over animal abuse allegation has taken the stand in his company's defense.
Chris Brooks, vice president for United Pet Supply Company, tells a Hamilton County judge that the air conditioning at The Pet Company in Hamilton Place Mall was not broken, but concedes that a compressor was down when the was raided on June 15.
McKamey Animal Shelter alleges that the air conditioning had not worked in the store for more than two weeks.
Attorneys for McKamey Animal Shelter alleged that the animals at The Pet Company store were stored in hot conditions, the animals' fur was matted with feces and they had not been taken out to exercise.
"Feces still in the pans, pans broken, feces running out of the pans. The cleanliness of the area was just awful," says Officer Joe Nicholson from McKamey Animal Center.
McKamey officers also had concerns about the amount of water the animals were getting, and even exercise.
"Is there an exercise program for animals at the pet company. The company does maintain an exercise log. Whether or not it was being utilized in this store...it wasn't, " says Brooks.
Agents from the state agriculture department and McKamey Animal Shelter raided The Pet Company in Hamilton Place on June 15th and seized all of the animals in the store.
An emergency injunction attempt by The Pet Company last Tuesday failed and McKamey was able to keep the seized animals until Thursday's hearing.
Testimony is expected to continue on Monday. At least 10 witnesses are expected to take the stand.