At a time when most Americans view companion animals as family members, authorities are cracking down on people engaged in any unscrupulous activities that are harmful to dogs and cats.
Just recently, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced sanctions against a former Westchester County pet shop owner. Schneiderman’s office has been investigating the man, Richard Doyle, for more than a year and determined that he “sold animals that had serious medical issues, despite claims of being healthy.”
As a result, Doyle can no longer sell pets in New York state. Furthermore, he must surrender all licenses associated with the sales of animals and pay $20,000 in fines. According to media accounts, customers that bought sick animals from Doyle will get most of the money.
“Disturbing cases like these reaffirm my commitment to encouraging those in search of a new pet to adopt from a local shelter, rather than purchasing an animal. This gives an animal in need a home, and gives the consumer the peace of mind that they are receiving a healthy pet,” Schneiderman said.
The Connecticut connection
In an unrelated case, Doyle pleaded guilty to five counts of animal cruelty in Connecticut. The charges reportedly stemmed from arrests at his pet store in Danbury, where he was accused of “of illegally performing surgery on and failing to provide proper care for ill animals.”
As a result, he is also banned from having “any affiliation” with pet stores or animal rescue shelters there for three years.
More than 70 dogs confiscated from NJ pet store
Meanwhile, in New Jersey, the SPCA confiscated more than 70 dogs from an East Hanover pet store where the owner “allegedly failed to provide records and veterinary care for the dogs.”
The owner, identified as Vincent LoSacco in published reports, is now in trouble with the town health department in addition to being investigated by the state attorney general’s office.
In addition to the East Hanover shop, authorities have reportedly closed two of LoSacco’s pet stores in New Jersey and one in New York.
As nbcnewyork.com reports, one of the New Jersey locations closed after LoSacco was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty late last February. The other “had also been the target of investigations and complaints.”