A four year old lawsuit that claimed Chattanooga and its animal control services illegally raided and took 82 puppies, cats and rodents from a pet store in Hamilton Place Mall was settled out of court today.
United Pet Supply Inc., the parent company of the shuttered Pet Company store, sought $10 million in damages from the city and McKamey Animal Center, which contracts with the city, claiming they had violated the stores Fifth and 14th Amendment rights related to search and seizure and due process. City attorneys confirmed that the City Council will vote Tuesday on the settlement amount.
The City Attorney's office wouldn't confirm how much it had agreed to pay to settle the case that has drug on since 2011. The amount will be disclosed at Tuesday's meeting when the council votes publicly on the case, attorneys said.
Attorneys for United Pet Supply couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
In 2010, McKamey raided the Pet Company in Hamilton Place Mall and seized the pets, business records and the shop's city permit after an employee complained that the animals didn't have air conditioning for three weeks and sick animals had been kept in an 85 degree room with no water.
After the animals were seized, McKamey's website carried a link to a petition to close the shop, the suit stated. But in later filings, McKamey officials argued that the petition was taken down after a volunteer posted the document without the animal services' permission.
Later in 2010, a judge ruled that the animals must be retured from McKamey to the Pet Company. A year later, the pet store closed its doors.
See tomorrow's Times Free Press for complete details.