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Romulus — A court date has been set for an exotic animal owner and licensed exhibitor who had hundreds of his animals seized by police in Romulus in August and was charged with animal cruelty, authorities said.

Javon Pherras Stacks, owner of Exotic Zoo, a business that brings exotic animals to school and organization events, is set to have a forfeiture and preliminary hearing on Dec. 4, said Maria Miller, spokeswoman for Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

The Wayne County Prosecutor's office is charging Stacks with three counts of animal cruelty and abandonment in 34th District Court in Romulus, according to court records.

Stacks, who has an active license with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to exhibit animals and said he has been licensed for 10 years, said he is innocent. All of his animals are properly cared-for, he said.

Stacks said he has never abandoned the animals or walked off and acted like they never existed.

"I've never done that to any of my animals," he said. "I make sure my animals are fed and drink water just like me."

The charges are connected to an Aug. 15 incident, court records show. On that day, Romulus police conducted a raid during which it seized hundreds of animals, including kangaroo and hedgehogs from a strip mall in Romulus.

According to Romulus police, the raid occurred after they received a tip about the exotic animals being kept at the property.

Stacks said while a large portion of his animals were taken in the raid, he still has some animals and has continued to do animal exhibition shows. He said he believes he will be exonerated in court.

"I actually have strong facts and evidence to show that this was a complete set-up," Stacks said.

Stacks also said that he believes the animals taken from him in the raid will be returned.

Charges were filed against the 36-year-old Stacks on Oct. 25, according to court records.

"Romulus police never even picked up the phone and called me. ... They put my face all over the news so they can try and tear down my character," Stacks said. "God is going to exonerate me ... (and) make sure that everyone knows the truth."

ecarter@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @EvanJamesCarter

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