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Former Virginia pet store owner cited for dozens of animal cruelty charges

Nelson faces dozens of animal cruelty charges for living and dead animals seized from his store.
Nelson faces dozens of animal cruelty charges for living and dead animals seized from his store.
Radford booking photo

A former Radford pet store owner of Classy Critters located on East Main Street faces multiple counts of animal cruelty involving both living and dead animals reports

Authorities were called to the store on June 13 after reports of foul odors emanating from the inside of the store. When police arrived they found unsanitary conditions at the store and called in the fire department and appropriate city departments to assess air quality.

Alexander Montgomery Nelson IV was charged with 43 counts of animal cruelty misdemeanors. Three dogs, two turtles, one bearded dragon, two geckos and fish were seized. Authorities also found a dead fire bellied toad, rodents, and fish.

Charges include:

  • Animal cruelty 15 counts
  • Failure to provide care 15 counts
  • Improper disposal of dead animals 5 counts
  • No rabies vaccinations 3 counts
  • No licenses 3 counts
  • Dogs running at large 2 counts

For years customers had complained about Classy Critters. One such complaint was found on dating back to 2012:

"This place either needs to be shut down or seriously renovated. I worked with aquatics for years, and this shop displays a terrible array of neglect and disinterest in its aquariums. Aside from that, there are "shop dogs" that wander freely during all hours. The dogs are not for sale. They are mostly tame, but relieve themselves all over the shop, leaving behind an unbearable odor..."

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