Long Island pet store sued by NY AG for selling sick puppies to customers

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New York Attorney General Letitia James is throwing no punches in suing a Long Island pet store that allegedly illegally and deceptively sold sick puppies to customers.

James announced that she has filed a lawsuit against pet store Shake A Paw for illegally selling several sick or injured dogs at its Long Island locations in Hicksville and Lynbrook, both in Nassau County.

According to investigators, Shake A Paw:

  • Sick pets falsely advertised as healthy;
  • Manufactured health certificates;
  • failed to disclose legitimate animal medical conditions;
  • Poorly Represented Puppy Breeds;
  • Refused to reimburse consumers for veterinary bills when they filed complaints with the company.

in addition to the lawsuit, James also requested a temporary restraining order against Shake A Paw to protect the puppies currently in their care on Long Island.

“Shake A Paw’s actions of misleading consumers into purchasing sick or injured dogs are unconscionable and illegal,” James said. “My office’s thorough investigation uncovered a series of violations by Shake A Paw that defrauded consumers and found sick puppies from unsafe puppy mills.”

The investigation into Shake A Paw was launched after James’ office received several complaints from customers about the puppies they had purchased from the store.

According to James, a review of hundreds of veterinary records and complaints revealed that Shake A Paw sold puppies with serious illnesses, some of whom died within days of being brought home.

Several puppies also suffered from serious illnesses and birth defects, showing visible signs of illness at the time of the sale, despite obtaining signed health certificates from Shake A Paw’s contract veterinarians, often days before the sale.

Of the 408 records reviewed of puppies sold at Shake A Paw stores, more than half were infected with parasites; 52% had coughing, sneezing, an upper respiratory infection or breathing problems, and nearly 10% were diagnosed with pneumonia.

In addition, the attorney general’s office reviewed 113 Shake A Paw records, 67 of which — nearly 60% of health certificates — were issued between zero and 19 days before the sale.

“I’m so grateful that Attorney General James is taking action to hold Shake A Paw accountable for what all puppies and families have had to go through,” Erin Laxton, who bought a dog from Lynbrook Shake A Paw who died in the weeks following the purchase, said. “I just hope that in the future, other families don’t have to go through the same grief as us. I’m proud to be able to be involved in this because I feel like I’m getting justice for my dog ​​Merlin.

Officials said the illnesses and defects were consistent with animals purchased from puppy mills, thousands of which were shipped to the two Shake A Paw locations.

James noted that the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) informed its office that the US Department of Justice had charged a puppy mill breeder who supplied puppies to Shake A Paw.

“When New Yorkers bought puppies from Shake A Paw, they never expected to bring home dogs in such heartbreaking and horrifying condition,” James said.

Today, we hold Shake A Paw accountable for its illegal and inhumane actions by filing a lawsuit to permanently ban the company from selling puppies any longer, as well as recover what consumers paid. Animal abuse is despicable and will not be tolerated.

Investigators also said they also obtained sworn testimony from a veterinarian who had a previous relationship with Shake A Paw, but ended that relationship due to concern over the number of sick animals sold by Shake A Paw, as well as other ethical reasons. concerns.

“We can’t and shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the stories of people buying sick puppies from Shake A Paw and other pet stores. Not only are families heartbroken, but they’re also left with huge bills. veterinarians,” said U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi. “Pet stores that buy, transport and sell animals from puppy mills must be held accountable, and the attorney general’s efforts will achieve that.”

Often it is alleged that Shake A Paw turned a blind eye to consumers seeking a refund for their pup and burdened the new owner of the puppies with huge veterinary bills.

State Senator Jim Gaughran added that “adopting a ‘faithful’ friend shouldn’t be a process filled with lies, falsified records or expensive vet bills,” adding, “Shake A Paw cheated d Countless families looking to bring home a puppy, prioritizing profits over pup welfare.

“It is wrong for Shake A Paw to exploit consumer trust to make a profit while risking the health and safety of puppies,” added Senator Kevin Thomas. “Not only did consumers lie about the origins of their pets, but also about the health and well-being of the beloved animals they brought into their homes.”

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