RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Authorities in Richmond have shut down a local pet boarding and training facility Friday and seized every animal from the premise.
A RACC spokesperson told 8News that four animals were seized from Animal Motel, located at 2412 N. Lombardy Street, Thursday night on suspicion of cruelty and neglect. The organization, along with Richmond Police, returned Friday to remove every animal on the premise.
“It’s really gross,” the spokesperson explained.
The spokesperson added that four dogs had not received proper vet care in ‘a very long time,’ and that the building has been without electricity for months.
Pet owner Nathaniel Pryor brought his American Pit Bull to the facility while he focused on his studies at Virginia Union University.
He said he paid the owner $235 a week for nearly two months of care.
“I thought it was five-star place to be honest,” Pryor said.
The owner of the organization, Joseph Taylor Meyers, was arrested last year on animal-related charges, according to police.
But according to Meyers, these accusations against him aren’t true.
“This is a witch hunt based on a guy who got mad I didn’t refund him $800,” Meyers said.
According to court records, Meyers was found guilty of “failure to provide veterinary care” in December of 2017 for an incident in June of 2017.
Meyers said he’s done everything to provide the animals with adequate care.
“The dogs are being fed, okay? It’s just the dogs don’t transition very well,” he said.
Richmond Animal Care and Control director Christie Chipps-Peters said this is the fifth animal seizure to take place in Richmond since the start of 2018.
“We have a very small budget, we have a very small staff and these cases are just piling on top of each other and on top of each other,” Chipps-Peters said.
Investigators plan to move forward with animal cruelty and neglect charges against Meyers.
The operator has 24 hours to fix problems with the facility or the building will be permanently shut down.