BATESVILLE, Ark. – Customers in Batesville are voicing their concerns after they say animals are being unfairly treated at a local pet store. 

Kelly, who didn’t want her last name mentioned, said she bought two tortoises from Complete Pet Store East last Thursday. Both were a Christmas gift for her daughter. 

She’s said within days, one of them had died. Now she says she’s concerned it wasn’t all that healthy to begin with. 

“My daughter is still crying,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said when she purchased the animals there were a few red flags she ignored. She said the employee picked the tortoises up from behind the counter before handing them off to Kelly. 

“There was no aquarium back there,” Kelly said. 

Kelly said when she returned to the store a few days later, more concerns arose. She said the animals aren’t being taken care of. 

“Oh it was sad,” Kelly said. “There’s dogs in kennels living in their feces like it hadn’t been cleaned up.” 

Other customers say the problems have been ongoing. 

“They didn’t care about the animals, they never have,” Alice Richardson said. 

Richardson said she bought a ferret from the store about a month ago. She claimed it was also sick when she brought it home. 

“He was not moving. He was acting very lethargic like he was going to die,” Richardson said. 

Our station reached out to the owners who say the mess is just part of business. 

“It’s a pet-oriented business,” owner Charles Matlock said. 

Matlock said he and his employees do what they can to make sure the animals are safe and taken care of. 

“The kennels get sprayed daily. The animals inside get fed and they get water just like they all do,” Matlock said. 

Matlock said his animals are healthy. 

Customers like Kelly said they still have questions. 

“Before you sell an animal you should make sure it’s ok,” Kelly said. 

Our station reached out to the Arkansas Department of Health. They said they are aware of the situation and are conducting an investigation.