Columbus pet store owner receives online threats

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A west side pet store owner called Columbus Police Thursday in response to several online threats.

Doug DeVaul, owner of Grove City Reptile says recent social media posts about the condition of animals in his store triggered some threatening responses. “Four, five, maybe six people said they were coming here with force to take all the animals,” DeVaul said. “We’ve received hundreds of messages over the night – the phone was nonstop.”

It started Tuesday after Mina Tipple visited the store, took a picture, and posted a message on Facebook. “This place is AWFUL and needs to be shut down,” she wrote. “Two puppies in ONE LITTLE CAGE!!! The kitties are sick they have stuff in their eyes!! My friends please let’s all come together and get this place SHUT DOWN!!”

Tipple says she was moved to tears during her visit to the store. “I don’t understand how anybody could treat animals like that.”

Trent Fijolek also posted a message after visiting the store Wednesday.

“There were cats that were soaking wet and I would have thought maybe they had just had a bath but they had feces stuck to them, shivering,” Fijolek said.

The Facebook posts drew thousands of comments and shares and some additional photographs.

DeVaul says some of the photos were not even his animals.

DeVaul says he decided to call the City of Columbus veterinarian Wednesday to request an inspection. The inspection report, obtained by NBC 4 noted  “high humidity” and “odors characteristic of large numbers of reptiles.” It noted that 5 kittens were present and an order was given for veterinary exams. The report did not detail any other problems.

There were no cats in the store today. DeVaul told NBC 4 that a single buyer bought all the cats Wednesday after the city inspection.

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