The NJ Division of Consumer Affairs has cited a number of pet shops for failing to comply with requirements designed to prevent the purchase of an unhealthy animal.

Seventeen notices of violation were issued to Garden State pet stores, and nine others were asked to speak to the state's Division of Consumer Affairs about alleged violations of the Pet Protection Act.

"That includes basic information, such as the age, identifying marks of the pet. But also the identities of breeders, brokers, as well as other important information," Acting Division Director Steve Lee said.

Lee said the DCA investigates any consumer complaints they receive about specific pet businesses, but the division also conducts independent surveillance of stores.

"If consumers are aware of the law and they go to a pet shop and they see that the store is not in compliance, then we will respond to that," Lee said.

In addition, the DCA has conducted inspections at all relevant pet shops in New Jersey.
He said the division's goal is to "make sure that the consumer has as much information as possible" if they plan to purchase a pet from a pet store.

Lee said he's not sure where we are going in terms of pet shop violations in New jersey, whether they are rising or declining.

"In the past, I do not think consumers received as much information as they needed in order to make informed decisions about where to get their pets," he said.

The violation notices require the stores to comply with the act and pay a small fine, which will get larger if they fail to comply.

Just a week ago, a Woodbridge pet business was shut down and the owner arrested and accused of selling sick puppies. According to reports, there are six remaining dogs of the 13 confiscated from Fancy Pups. The dogs were put in quarantine after having been found with a number of problems, including parasites.

Joe Cutter is the afternoon news anchor on New Jersey 101.5.