Former pet store owner pleads guilty in animal cruelty case


April 5—The former owner of a Burnside pet store that was shut down by law enforcement last September pleaded guilty to resolve three separate cases in Pulaski District Court.

Timothy Charles Lorraine, 62, of Whitley City, changed his plea last Wednesday and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, 24 months probation and a total fine of $7,100.

Two of the cases were investigated by the Burnside Police Department and involved 19 counts and 34 counts of second degree animal cruelty respectively resulting from an investigation dating back to April 2021 on Tim’s Reptiles and Exotics, which had been located off South US 27 at the old Tri County Flea Market.

According to the warrant served on Lorraine by Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, the animals inside the store were subjected to “cruel and injurious treatment for failure to provide sufficient food, drink, space [and] Health care.”

In executing the search and seizure warrant Sept. 1, Burnside police conducted the investigation with the assistance of Pulaski County Animal Control, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Special Investigations Unit. , the Pulaski County Attorney’s Office and the Somerset-Pulaski County Humane Society.

Due to the scale of the operation, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) – based in Washington, DC – was also enlisted by BPD to help rescue some 150 exotic pets that were in the store during the its closure. Of these, Burnside Police Chief Mike Hill estimated that there were 80 animals – such as snakes, lizards, turtles, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils – to deal with, the rest being fish.

Chief Hill told the Commonwealth Journal at the time that authorities were at the scene for more than seven hours.

It was for these two cases that Lorraine received a one-year sentence, for which he is on probation without supervision for two years.

The third case was brought by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife and involved 16 counts of buying, selling or transporting protected wildlife as well as two counts of business license violation of resident – ​​for which he was fined an additional $1,800.

In addition to fines — essentially $100 for each count in the three cases — Lorraine was ordered to commit no further violations of the law and prohibited from owning, operating, volunteering or working. be employed by “any enterprise (for profit or not) that involves animals of any kind.”

Lorraine has until January 25, 2023 to pay her fines.

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