Officials seize 200 exotic animals from abandoned pet store

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) -- Dozens of exotic animals have been confiscated from a seemingly abandoned pet store in Kentucky.

News outlets report that the Franklin County Humane Society removed the animals from Backwoods Pets in Frankfort on Saturday. Shelter Manager Nancy Benton says a store customer reported that the door was locked with animals inside without food or water.

The shelter is temporarily housing some of the animals, including 45 birds, 49 rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, a chinchilla and a brown basilisk. Other confiscated animals, like tropical fish and assorted reptiles, are being temporarily fostered at Petco and other Humane Society partners.

Shelter workers estimate they took in around 200 animals altogether.

Sheriff Pat Melton says the store is under investigation, and criminal charges could be filed.

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