ABC 6 News Exclusive: Rhode Island pet shop selling pets illegally
By: Liz Tufts
Super Sonic Pets in North Smithfield hasn't had the proper license to sell animals for more than a year, but that hasn't stopped them. In fact, ABC 6 News caught them in the act.
We went undercover into Super Sonic Pets on Victory Highway in North Smithfield looking for a pet, and despite the fact they don't have a state license to sell any type of animal we took home a guinea pig anyway.
This is exactly what Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management has been worried about. “We've been receiving allegations of people going in and purchasing animals despite the fact they don't have a license to sell animals, ” says Scott Marshall.
It been a constant battle with Super Sonic Pets and the state for years, including when the store was called Creatures, Creatures, Creatures. The original owner lost his license back in 2009, but has re–applied under different names.
The latest person to apply, the woman in our video, Lynn Wilkinson. She's listed as the store's current owner and is also friends with former owner. “We denied it because we don't feel like the store is being managed differently, ” says Marshall.
In fact, Scott Marshall the state's vet tells us he asked Wilkinson straight out if she was selling pets. She told him this: “I guarantee to you that doesn't happen and here we have video evidence she did it herself, ” adds Marshall.
So we went back to Wilkinson to get some answers. We asked Wilkinson if she was selling pets and she said no. We got the same run around. That's until we showed her our video. ” I don't know, the DEM has been trying to get us for a long time so apparently that's it, ” says Wilkinson.
Even though she was caught in the act, selling pets illegally, Wilkinson still says she did nothing wrong. “I'll fight it., ” adds Wilkinson.
“Operating a pet store without a license is a criminal violation and we are conducting an investigation so I can't say anything now that will jeopardize that, ” says Marshall.
As for the guinea pig we bought, we got it checked out by a vet and it's in good condition. It's now at the RISPCA up for adoption.