Pet Station manager facing legal battle for invasive fish species

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A local pet store is under fire once again after federal authorities accused its manager of selling invasive fish species.

Pet Station’s Manager Ash Khatib, 39, is facing a legal battle after federal authorities alleged he sold invasive fish species, according to published reports.

A June 4 criminal complaint filed by Detroit’s U.S. District Court and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service agent alleges Ash Khatib, manager of the Pet Station, 5317 S. Telegraph Road, connected him with a dealer of snakehead fish and provided him with walking catfish, two illegal invasive species.

Pet Station already was in legal trouble when the pet store owner and Dearborn Heights resident Ramzi Dakhlallah was charged with animal cruelty April 11 by Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

Dakhlallah, 40, is accused of letting roughly 70 birds, 20 dogs and an undetermined number of other animals live in poor conditions, while withholding water and food at the Pet Station.

Dakhlallah is charged with one count of abandonment or cruelty to 10 or more animals, a felony with a penalty of up to four years in prison, one count of false pretenses between $200 and $1,000, one count of nonsufficient funds between $100 to $500 for writing a bad check on the pet store’s account, and 20 counts of pet shop violations.

The alleged abuse was tracked from July 31, 2009, to April 10, in a collaboration between the Dearborn Heights Police Department, Dearborn Heights Animal Control, Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Michigan Humane Society.

Khatib was arraigned June 8 in Detroit and his preliminary examination will be on June 29 in Detroit.

Daklallah, 41, was arraigned April 12 on animal cruelty and related charges in the 20th District Court. Daklallah’s arraignment on information was scheduled for June 6 at Third Circuit Court.

(Sherri Kolade can be reached at skolade@bewickpublications.com.)