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Radford store owner charged with cruelty

By MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

RADFORD — The owner of a defunct Radford pet store is facing 43 charges after police were called to the building due to a “foul odor” complaint.

According to Jenni Wilder with Radford City Police Department, police and animal control officers were dispatched to the former “Classy Critters” store at 1031 E. Main St. in Radford June 13. The store was not in operation at the time, but Wilder said authorities made contact with the owner of Classy Critters, Alexander Montgomery Nelson IV, when they arrived on the scene.

Wilder indicated a search warrant was executed on the premises due to “the smell and the condition of the animals immediately in view.” As a result of the search, Radford Fire Department responded to test air levels in the building and building code officials also were called to the scene.

Dead and live animals were seized. Wilder said numerous fish and rodents and a fire-bellied toad were found dead. Authorities seized three dogs, two turtles, a bearded dragon, a leopard gecko, a fat tailed gecko and numerous fish.

Nelson, of Roanoke, is charged with 15 counts each of animal cruelty and failure of a pet store dealer or owner to provide adequate care; five counts of improper disposal of dead animals; three counts each of not having licenses or rabies vaccinations for dogs; and two counts of having dogs running at large.

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