New York pet store faces trial over secret HSUS investigation that found sick and abused puppies A Humane World

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Our undercover investigator found two Pomeranians at Chelsea Kennel Club with eyes so swollen from conjunctivitis they couldn’t see. Photo by HSUS

A New York pet store that sold numerous sick puppy mill dogs to unsuspecting consumers is now facing legal action in Manhattan Supreme Court for allegedly failing to give proper medical care to sick puppies and deceiving buyers about their health. The former store owner could have to pay nearly $4 million in fines as well as tens of thousands of dollars in restitution to customers.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs filed charges this week against the now closed store, the Chelsea Kennel Club, and its owner, Yardena Derraugh. The lawsuit says the defendants sold the puppies for an “enormous profit without regard to the health of the puppies or the financial impact on consumers of purchasing incredibly sick pets.”

It was an undercover HSUS investigation that revealed animal suffering in 2017. Our hidden camera documented many sick dogs in the store, including a French Bulldog puppy that lost a quarter of its body weight and a French Bulldog Englishman with pneumonia so severe that the animal had difficulty breathing.

Millions of people watched and shared our undercover video, which showed employees brutally grabbing puppies, restraining them and hitting them with towels. When the puppies fell ill, the pet store owner was seen ordering employees to apply crude home remedies such as cold baths, or dose them with aspirin or syrup for the adult cough, rather than seeking immediate veterinary care. Two dogs purchased as part of the investigation suffered from health or behavioral issues, but the store did not disclose them to undercover shoppers.

Both dogs found good homes and are now thriving, but many others weren’t. In one case, a heartbroken dog owner called to tell us that he purchased a French Bulldog puppy from the Chelsea Kennel Club for nearly $5,000 and incurred approximately $15,000 in vet bills, but that the puppy died a short time later.

We are happy that justice is moving forward in this case. But Chelsea Kennel Club is not the only pet store where animals are sick and abused. That’s why we’re working to pass a bill in New York that would end such neglect and cruelty in the future by banning the sale of puppy mill dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores. If passed, the bill will go a long way to ensuring that animals do not suffer at the hands of those who profit from them. If you live in New York State, please call your legislators and ask them to support this important bill.

Categories

Companion animals, public policy (legal/legislative)

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