The operators of an exotic animals company are appealing a court ruling that granted custody of about 27,000 creatures to the city of Arlington.
The formal appeal on behalf of U.S. Global Exotics was filed Thursday as it disputes allegations of animal cruelty related to the Dec. 15 raid.
A municipal judge on Jan. 5 ruled Arlington must retain custody of the animals removed from the international pet wholesaler's warehouse.
Arlington officials have said the raid turned up starving snakes, reptiles packed in shipping crates and rodents in cramped quarters that ate each other to survive.
U.S. Global Exotics maintains the seizure was unconstitutional. Attorney Lance Evans said the raid by animal welfare officials effectively shut down the business.