36 dead animals found in South Dakota pet shop

A pet shop owner has been charged after three dozen dead animals were found in her shop.

Marinda Parks, 38, faces 203 charges of neglect and animal cruelty following a raid on her squalid shop which had not yet opened for business following a reported move from another premises.

Thirty-six dead animals were found in her shop, the Pitter Patter Pet Store, according to reports.

Animal control officers also seized 90 living animals including dogs, cats, hamsters and guinea pigs from the shop in Rapid City, South Dakota, the Rapid City Journal reported.

Kelsey Harty, an Animal Services and Enforcement officer, said investigators were forced to wear masks during the raid on 16 August because of the stench.

Ms Parks’ lawyer, Timothy Rensch, did not respond to a message seeking comment.

The shop owner received death threats following the raid, according to KNBN, the local NBC affiliate station.

Ms Harty told the station her team found “multiple animals in one cage”. Conditions were “a little crowded, faeces, empty water bowls, food dishes, the smell was a big thing”.

The shop is listed online as permanently closed.

Additional reporting by AP