ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A Long Island antique shop was shut down Tuesday after officials found dozens of rats in the back room.

The SPCA removed more than 100 rats from the Ronkonkoma store.

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A nearby shop employee told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs the rodents weren’t your everyday rats and that the shop owner considered them pets. 

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“I know he was very adamant about them being his pets. He was hugging them, and kissing them and loving them,” Mercy Elise said. “He loved his rats.”

She said there was a time when the owner had about 300 rats.

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“Some people have hundreds of cats in their house and they consider them their pets. He really considered these rats his pets,” Elise said.