'The video does not lie': Whistleblower speaks out after animals seized from pet shop, home

(Courtesy: Tina Morris)

NOTE: Some may find the footage in the video player above disturbing. Viewer discretion is advised.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A former employee of a troubled central Ohio pet store is speaking out after Columbus Humane seized hundreds of animals.

It happened Tuesday at the Petting Zoo Pet Shop on West Broad Street and the owners' residence on Demorest Road.

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Tina Morris worked at the pet shop for about 1 1/2 years. She said while there were some red flags, she stayed for the animals.

"I always gave it my best. I always did what I could to provide and protect the animals," Morris said.

Morris said she was one of about two employees responsible for about 100 animals. She said they often didn't have the resources to take proper care of them.

However, it wasn't until July that she finally had enough. Morris said the owners were on vacation and called, needing her to check on their dogs. When she got to the home, she was horrified.

"I turn the corner and it was like a live PETA commercial," Morris said. "It's heartbreaking to know you can't do anything. The only thing I could think to do is call the Humane Society right away."

She took videos on the property. One inside of a barn or garage, the other in the backyard. You can see dozens of dogs packed into cages. There was also a freezer of dead animals with maggots all over. At that moment, she believed the rumors and complaints she heard about the owners.

"I don't want to believe they can be such a monstrous person to do that to innocent animals and then when you walk in and see it, unequivocally, these animals are in horrible conditions. It's heartbreaking," she said. "The video does not lie."

Morris said she wants the owners to be held responsible. She said she talked with them briefly and turned in her keys.

"They don't think they've done anything wrong. They've seen the video I sent you. They think the cages are clean," she said.

10TV went to the owners' home and knocked on the door. No one answered. Columbus Humane said Tuesday charges will be filed.