Beaufort County agencies trying to find homes for hamsters after - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Beaufort County agencies trying to find homes for hamsters after Roy's Aquarium investigation

(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC) -

Seventeen-hundred animals. That's how many pets were removed from Roy's Aquarium in Beaufort after reports of animal abuse circulated on social media.

It prompted Animal Services to call in law enforcement to investigate the situation. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office served a search warrant and removed reptiles, birds, hamsters, and mice from what they call deplorable conditions, including signs of neglect and limited access to food or water. The ASPCA and sheriff's office say overcrowding was also an issue. Now, local organizations are getting involved to help out. 

"Beaufort County is a little bit more conditioned to handle those types of situations, whereas shelters like ours are cats and dogs, so it was a challenge to try to offer help because our resources are limited, but again, financially we can help, space we can help, spay and neutering we can help," said Franny Gerthoffer, Executive Director, Hilton Head Humane Association. 

More than 800 mice were removed from the store. Beaufort County Animal Services says their fast reproduction rate added to the problems.

"We had so many that were not segregated, so they were reproducing. That's why the number was so high. All of them have been placed except for the hamsters so we're trying to reach out to teachers, or someone who wants an office animal that runs on wheels. They can call us at any time," said Tallulah Trice, Director, Beaufort County Animal Services. "To have one of these animals, they do require constant care and upkeep." 

"Roy's Aquarium, we've dealt with him for many years and he's always come into compliance, but this got out of control," Trice said. "The first contact I made is with the ASPCA because I don't have the staff to take care of this many animals. They're a great resource to our community."

There are still over 60 hamsters waiting to find forever homes. Beaufort County Animal Services and Petco in Bluffton are working together to hold an adoption event on Aug. 19. 

BCSO says the investigation is still ongoing. No charges have been filed as of right now. 

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