Misdemeanor citations dismissed against operator of pet shop targeted in DART raid

Vivian Louie was issued four citations in November related to the the care of animals and record keeping

Vivian Louie walked KSAT around her family's pet store earlier this year. (Joshua Saunders, KSAT)

SAN ANTONIO – San Antonio city prosecutors dismissed the remaining misdemeanor citations against the operator of a North Side pet shop this month.

Vivian Louie was issued the citations related to the care of animals and record keeping in early November, as Animal Care Services investigators documented potential issues inside the store in the 1000 block of Basse Road.

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City investigators flooded the property in late January as part of a Dangerous Assessment Response Team (DART) enforcement action.

Louie and her family, which has operated the shop for decades, have called the raid excessive.

City officials have defended the action, claiming an extensive history of violations at the store and the family’s refusal to come into compliance forced its DART unit to get involved.

The three citations against Louie were dismissed on May 2 after the ACS officer assigned to the case left employment with the city, a spokesman for the city attorney’s office confirmed to KSAT, calling it a standard practice in these types of cases.

A fourth citation issued to Louie was never entered into the city’s municipal court system, her attorney confirmed to KSAT.

A city spokesman told KSAT its investigation into the property continues but declined to say whether the store had come into compliance.

According to past media reports, DART targets homes and other properties where criminal activity is believed to be occurring.

The property must have a history of non-compliance dating back at least two years, and its DART unit targets the worst of the worst properties in San Antonio, city officials previously said.

“With DART, it’s not just about code violations or criminal activity. It’s about the health and safety of not only persons but of animals too,” Assistant City Attorney Savita Rai told KSAT earlier this year.

Read more reporting on the KSAT Investigates page.

About the Author

Emmy-award winning reporter Dillon Collier joined KSAT Investigates in September 2016. Dillon's investigative stories air weeknights on the Nightbeat and on the Six O'Clock News. Dillon is a two-time Houston Press Club Journalist of the Year and a Texas Associated Press Broadcasters Reporter of the Year.

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