Officers seize exotic pets from shop accused of cruelty


HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) – West Virginia animal control officers have seized multiple animals, including venomous snakes, from an exotic pet store they say was in poor condition.

S&S Reptiles and Exotics in Huntington closed its doors Thursday after the Cabell Wayne Animal Shelter seized control of its animals. Animal control officer Jon Rutherford says the store owners are charged with animal cruelty. He added that animal cages weren’t being well maintained and said the scent was so “foul” it could be smelled from the parking garage and had prompted complaints.

The store opened in June and sold birds, tarantulas, scorpions and reptiles.

Three men are listed as owners and managers of the business but it’s unclear if all three have been charged. Those charged have a hearing next week.

Kassie Simmons

Kassie Simmons joined the team in January 2019 as a weekend journalist. She graduated from Virginia Tech in just two and a half years with a BA in multimedia journalism. During her short time at Virginia Tech, she served as the editor for the university’s chapter of The Tab. Kassie was named the top reporter for The Tab at Virginia Tech on multiple occasions and made the list for the top 30 reporters for The Tab in the U.S. She also studied theater performance and minored in creative writing. Before coming to WOAY, Kassie interned at WSLS in Roanoke and the Tidewater Review in her hometown of West Point, Va. She has loved following breaking news since her childhood and has a passion for delivering the stories people care most about. Kassie is excited to be working in Southern West Virginia and looks forward to all the adventures ahead of her. You can follow her on Twitter at @KassieLSimmons and like her page on Facebook. If you have a story you think she should check out, send her an email at