RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two local Family Dollar stores have been shut down to deal with rat infestations a day after 8News investigated the rodent ridden stores.
Corporate closed the stores on Hull Street Road and Westover Hills Boulevard on Tuesday after 8News reporter Kristin Smith spoke with employees and shoppers of those stores on Monday, who said the rat problems have been going on for a long time.
8News went to the store and found droppings everywhere; ironically the biggest pile was directly in front of the toilet paper. Click here for Monday’s complete investigative story.
On Tuesday, 8News obtained raw video that a former employee filmed of a giant rodent underneath a store shelf during business hours.
“Oh my gosh, that’s the size of a puppy!”
RAW VIDEO: Giant rat inside local Family Dollar
8News showed the raw video with someone at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services — the state agency that oversees grocery stores. But not Family Dollar; they’re exempt because they only sell pre-packaged food.
“If that’s all they sell then they are exempt from the food laws in Virginia, which means that we do not inspect them unless there’s a complaint,” the official explained.
Area residents who have been shopping among the rodents, meanwhile, are disgusted.
“Disgusting, that’s how I would describe that,” one shopper told 8News. “If you’ve got rats in there, imagine what else you could have in there.”
Like rat poop, which there’s a trail of inside both stores — in aisles and on shelves.
“I knew something was wrong because there was a very strange stench as you enter the building.”
Tuesday morning, customers were turned away after Family Dollar’s corporate office closed both stores in order to take time to resolve the issue.
Stay with 8News for updates.