Sheriff's Office, ASPCA and Beaufort County Animal Services still on-scene at Roy's Aquarium in Beaufort
After receiving numerous complaints of animal neglect at Roy's Aquarium in Beaufort, the Beaufort County Animal Services initiated an investigation late last week. Subsequently, an inspection of the business was conducted and revealed unsanitary conditions and inadequate space for hundreds of animals located on-site. Due to the magnitude of the situation and the need for additional resources and expertise, Animal Services requested the assistance of the Sheriff's Office and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Animals (ASPCA) Field Investigations and Response team. In addition, Animal Services contacted the Petco Foundation for supplies needed to sustain the animals.
A meeting on Monday afternoon involving the ASPCA, the Beaufort County Attorney's Office, Animal Services and Sheriff's Office identified the need to obtain a search warrant for Roy's Aquarium to remove the animals from the apparent conditions of neglect and to provide immediate care and treatment. On Tuesday morning investigators with the Sheriff's Office met with a Beaufort County Magistrate and obtained the search warrant. Later on Tuesday morning, ASPCA, Animal Services and Sheriff's Office personnel served the search warrant at Roy's Aquarium. A temporary facility to house and properly care for the fish, reptiles, birds, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs and other animals was secured and the ASPCA and Animal Services are transporting them to the facility. Two local veterinarians are involved in the assessment and care of the seized animals.
As of this morning, ASPCA, Animal Services and Sheriff's Office personnel are still on-site documenting conditions, collecting evidence and removing the animals from Roy's Aquarium. It is expected agencies will be on-site conducting their investigation over the next few days. Criminal charges for those responsible for the neglect of the animals are currently being evaluated. No one has been charged as of this time. Additional information will be released when available.