Sentencing rescheduled for Pet Station owner

By SHERRI KOLADE
Times-Herald Newspapers

HEIGHTS — A new sentencing date is scheduled for a local businessman who pleaded guilty Aug. 17 to keeping animals in his pet shop in poor conditions.

Ramzi Dakhlallah, 40, pleaded guilty before Third Circuit Court Judge Thomas Jackson in Third Circuit Court, to letting 70 birds, 20 dogs and numerous other animals live in dire conditions — some animals were underfed, while others sat in their own waste — at Pet Station, 5317 S. Telegraph Road.

The Heights resident — arraigned on April 12 in 20th District Court and whose preliminary examination was April 25 — was scheduled for sentencing Sept. 12 before Jackson, but the judge rescheduled the court date to Oct. 3.

Dakhlallah — who purchased the pet shop about five years ago — posted a 10 percent bond of $25,000.

Dakhlallah pleaded guilty to one count of abandonment and cruelty to 10 or more animals, a felony with a penalty of up to four years in prison, and 13 counts of violation of the Animal Industry Act for not following the state Department of Agriculture rules for importation of dogs into the state, a misdemeanor with a penalty of up to four years in prison.

He also pleaded guilty to several counts including writing a check with insufficient funds, abandonment or cruelty to 10 or more animals, several counts of violation of the Animal Industry Act and pet shop rule violations.

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

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a written statement in April the conduct of Daklallah exposed the customers of the store to “an enormous potential health hazard.”