Decision On Fates Of Animals Seized From Hamilton Place Pet Store Could Come Wednesday

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 - by Judy Frank

Attorneys for a Hamilton Place pet store and McKamey Animal Center both will get one last chance Wednesday to convince a judge that their respective clients should be awarded dozens of allegedly abused and neglected animals.

"I don't expect the closing arguments will take very long," commented Chattanooga City Court Judge Sherry Paty, who is charged with deciding the long-term fates of the animals seized by McKamey on June 15.

A Tennessee Department of Agriculture inspector has recommended that the agency suspend The Pet Company's permit to do business.

Tuesday, the manager of the store took the stand to deny charges of cruelty to animals, including throwing a live hamster into a trash compacter because it had been fighting.

Brandy Hallman said she tossed the animal into the compactor because it was already dead; she did not explain why she chose that method of disposal instead of placing its body in the refrigerator where the plastic-wrapped corpse of a dog that had died was placed.

Ms. Hallman acknowledged that the store did not follow the policies for caring for animals in the store that are outlined in the official employee handbook, but denied they were abused and/or neglected.

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