A Manhattan pet store, which was forced to close after knowingly selling sick puppies, has been ordered to pay nearly $ 4 million in fines, a judge said.
Manhattan State Supreme Court Judge Melissa A. Crane ruled that the Chelsea Kennel Club and its owners must pay $ 3.9 million in fines and a restitution fund to customers who were deceived by the store.
In July 2017, the Humane Society of the United States conducted a secret investigation at the Chelsea Kennel Club, concluding that puppies with fever, infections and illnesses were not immediately taken to a veterinarian. Instead, the store sold sick animals, some with closed eyes, breathing problems, and bloody diarrhea.
The investigation also revealed animal abuse by staff, hitting the puppies with towels, grabbing them by the skin and holding them with the muzzle closed.
The New York State Attorney General’s office also filed a lawsuit against the owners of the Chelsea Kennel Club, accusing the couple of “crook” customers of not having relevant medical information about the puppies. The lawsuit also accused the couple of illegally selling animals obtained through unauthorized breeders, false advertising, unlicensed veterinary practice and inhumane treatment of the animals.
After learning of the fines, John Goodwin, senior director of the puppy mill campaign for the Humane Society of the United States, issued the following statement:
“Our Humane Society of the United States’ secret investigation of the Chelsea Kennel Club revealed that the store owner knew he was selling sick puppies and customers would soon be paying heavy vet bills and possibly being killed. heartbreaking of their puppies. These problems are common in pet stores due to the inhumane and unsanitary conditions in which puppy mill puppies are raised and transported.
“We applaud Judge Crane and expect this to send a strong message to every pet store selling puppies that it is their responsibility to provide professional veterinary care promptly to sick and ailing animals,” added Goodwin.
Earlier this year, the New York State Senate passed a bill banning the retail sale of pets. The accompanying bill still sits in the State Assembly.
According to the ASPCA, New York has one of the largest numbers of pet stores selling puppies in the country, which receives puppies from puppy mills where dogs are inhumanly bred and kept in harsh facilities with conditions unhealthy and dangerous.
Source: The Humane Society of the United States / YouTube
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