BATESVILLE, Ark – The Independence County Sheriff’s Office is now leading an investigation into the Complete Pet Store East in Batesville.

They are asking anyone with information to go to them directly instead of posting on social media.

Our station first started investigating this story in early December. Wednesday we were contacted by a customer who says he lost more than a pet, but his entire business, blaming the pet store.

Timothy May and his wife Susie breed Red Cherry Shrimp and sell them to fish stores to keep tanks clean.

Mays says he’s now out $30,000 and is blaming the pet store in Batesville.

“The amount of cruelty and neglect that’s going on is absolutely criminal,” May said.

Last week, Susie May said she went to the pet store to buy frozen bloodworms for the shrimp. She says she noticed the store conditions were not up to par.

“There was liter all over the place, the animals looked like they had not been fed,” Susie May said.

She says she asked the employee for the deed and when it was placed on the counter, it was a darker red.

“They should be nice and bright red even when frozen,” Timothy May said.

“He assured that it was fine that nothing wrong was with the freezer, that everything was good to go,” Susie May said.

The May’s say they fed the worms to their animals and the next morning they were dead.

“They were piled up at the bottom of the tank and our whole two-year effort, just went down the drain,” Timothy May said.

May says he lost 30,000 shrimp and at one dollar apiece that adds up to a loss of $30,000.

The Arkansas Department of Health was previously investigating other claims made by customers earlier this month. They say the investigation has now been passed off to the sheriff’s office.

We reached out to the sheriff’s office who says the investigation is ongoing, asking the public to contact them with any concerns moving forward.

May says he’s calling for the store to be shut down. He says if something isn’t done soon he will seek legal action, not just for the loss of $30,000 but he says, the safety of the animals.

Our station reached out to the pet store on these specific claims but has not heard back.