Animal Services working to remove dozens of animals left at warehouse

Feb 7, 2018, 6:46 AM | Updated: 10:33 pm


MIDVALE — Salt Lake County Animal Services workers are removing dozens of venomous snakes, poisonous spiders, alligators, turtles and other creatures left at a warehouse for two weeks by the embattled owner of a reptile rescue.

James Dix, owner of Reptile Rescue Service, had left the roughly 100 critters at the warehouse on Jan. 22, according to workers.

“He promised to have these animals out of here in two days,” said Kyle Workman, one of the workers. “It’s been two weeks-plus.”

Workman said Dix had only returned once since that time, and several of the workers had tried to feed and care for the reptiles themselves over concerns of their well-being, despite little experience of how to do so.

He characterized the situation as Dix, a sub-contractor for the organization, essentially dropping the reptiles in the workers’ laps.

“It more or less came down to, ‘you will watch these animals,’” Workman said. “‘You employ me, you are obligated to help me.’”

Workman said he ultimately contacted Salt Lake County Animal Services.

“See, one of the lizards has died,” Workman said, pointing to a carcass. “We’ve had a few turtles perish.”

Salt Lake County Animal Services spokesperson Callista Pearson said workers planned to assess and remove the creatures Wednesday morning with the help of experts from the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

Inside the warehouse was an SUV belonging to Dix that was marked with caution signs about venomous snakes and reptiles inside.

Pearson said Dix was already under investigation for suspicion of animal cruelty and abandonment, after workers roughly two weeks ago removed and relocated nearly 150 animals from a space in Magna that Dix had been occupying.

Pearson said a quarter of the animals appeared to be undernourished.

“It looked to us as if he had not fed or watered them for an extended period of time,” Pearson said.

She said county prosecutors would ultimately have to screen the case.

Dix, who was awaiting surgery Thursday night, said it was not unusual for his service to receive animals that were undernourished, and he suggested that the recent matter in Magna was simply part of an ongoing dispute with the county.

He maintained that the animals that remained under his care were generally well cared-for.

Workman said the reptiles left at the warehouse would likely receive better care if turned over to animal services.

“This is not the environment for these reptiles,” Workman said. “It’s not our responsibility as a business owner to take care of rescued animals.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

(Courtesy: Salt Lake City Police Department)...

Eliza Pace

One person injured in stabbing, one person in custody

SALT LAKE CITY —  One person was stabbed near Redwood Road and 1700 South. According to the Salt Lake City Police Department, the victim is in critical condition and the suspect is in custody. On the scene of a stabbing right off Redwood Rd, behind a building. Police say 1 person is in critical condition. […]

19 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Ladd Egan

High runoff is both good and bad news for algal blooms on Utah Lake

In recent years, algal blooms started to develop on Utah Lake around mid-June. This year, Bonner said the blooms could be delayed if the water level stays high and cold.

19 hours ago

Utah ski resort...

Alex Cabrero

Utah’s ski resorts report record-breaking season

Utah's ski resorts continue to celebrate an extraordinary winter season.

19 hours ago

Dead mosquitos...

Mike Anderson

The downside to the record snow and runoff water: Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are likely to be a big problem this summer, thanks to all of that much-needed water we now have.

19 hours ago

Tanya Vea...

Larry D. Curtis

Darrell Brown to retire as Bonneville president, Tanya Vea will helm company

SALT LAKE CITY — President of Bonneville International Corporation, Darrell Brown, announced his retirement Thursday, scheduled beginning in August 2023. Tanya Vea will be Bonneville’s new President and Chief Operating officer starting Aug. 1. Brown started as president of Bonneville in December of 2013. During his tenure helming the broadcast company, it acquired four stations […]

19 hours ago

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Eliza Pace

Driver heading to Seattle gets stuck in mud after GPS leads them astray

Police rescued a stranded car at a reservoir after the driver's GPS led the driver astray.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Brunette guy in headphones playing games on his desktop computer...

PC Laptops

Looking For a New Computer? Use This Desktop Buying Guide

Choosing a new desktop computer can come with a lot of questions, so we created this desktop buying guide.

Portrait of happy boy playing and splashing water in the swimming pool...

Get Out Pass

Family Fun Activities in Utah You Have to Try This Summer

These family fun activities will entertain you all summer, so if you ever feel stuck in a rut wondering what to do, refer to this guide!

Woman IT specialist in elegant suit working on notebook computer in data center next to server rack...

Les Olson

Your Complete Guide to Outsourcing IT Services

This guide covers everything you need to know about the different benefits of outsourcing IT services to meet your small business needs.

diverse group of friends dance outside under string lights...

Lighting Design

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Outdoor Lighting

Read for the most frequently asked questions about outdoor lighting to help narrow the search for your home.

Stack of old laptops with dark background...

PC Laptops

Old Laptop Upgrades You Need to Try Before Throwing it Away

Get the most out of your investment. Try these old laptop upgrades before throwing it out to keep it running fast and efficient.

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...

BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.

Animal Services working to remove dozens of animals left at warehouse