Paramus shuts down Just Pups pet store after animal abuse complaints
PARAMUS — Borough officials have shut down a pet store accused of mistreating animals and facing 400 health and city code violations.
Two days after 67 puppies were found in a van parked in the back of the store during near-freezing temperatures, Mayor Richard LaBarbiera on Wednesday issued the order and urged the Board of Health to "initiate hearings into the revocation of Just Pups business license, and report their findings/recommendations to the governing body" according to the Daily Voice of Paramus.
“In my 12 years, I’ve never gotten so many emails on the same issue as I’ve had this past week,” LaBarbiera said at a public council meeting Tuesday night, according to the Bergen Record.
The order comes after owner Vincent LoSacco told NJ Advance Media the store had reopened on Tuesday after an inspection by the board of health. He told the news website the dogs were brought in from Missouri via a van he had customized and used for the past six years. Employees and a vet were supposed to meet the van on Monday morning but didn't show up. Police driving by the store heard whimpering and crying coming from the van and found the dogs locked in small cages.
The Oradell Animal Hospital said on its Facebook page that four of the puppies were still receiving medical treatment as of Wednesday Tyco Animal Control Services, which took possession of many of the puppies. It said Tuesday via Facebook its “biggest need at this time is cleaning supplies: Paper towels, bleach wipes, bleach, laundry detergent, and Lysol spray.” Both organizations said that despite phone calls from people interested in takiing in the dogs they are not available for adoption.