Rescue takes 13 of the ‘Just Pups’ dogs up for auction … where are the rest?
The drama around Just Pups — the embattled chain whose owner is facing hundreds of animal cruelty charges — isn't over.
About 450 dogs from owner Vincent LoSacco's closed Emerson and Paramus stores were up for auction off in Missouri on Saturday. The auction was held on Saturday at a fairground in Milan by a company called Southwest Auction Service.
Tracy Turner, board member for Lucky K9 Rescue near St. Louis — which bought 13 of the dogs — said about 120 were purchased at auction. She said at least some of them had gone to individuals or rescues, but she wasn't sure what happened to some huskies being auctioned off late in the day.
Neither Southwest nor a couple listed on a flyer advertising the auction, when reached by New Jersey 101.5, would say what had become of the rest.
"The owner of 'Just Pups' and/or the breeder certainly went to great lengths to ensure, at face value, these dogs looked as good as possible for this auction, but only so much can be shaved off or covered up," Lucky K9 wrote on its Facebook page.
Lucky K9 told the Daily Voice of Paramus that two dogs — a poodle and a golden doodle — can't or won't stand out of fear."
In the flyer Southwest Auction said that the dogs were hand selected for the auction and of "superior quality."
A message via Facebook sent to Lucky K9 rescue was not answered. The group's website and Facebook pages do not include a phone number.
The dogs were removed from the Just Pups stores in Paramus and Emerson after owner Vincent LoSacco closed those stores when he was denied business licenses in both towns. He faces charges from the state Department of Consumer Affairs for allegedly misleading customers about the heath of his dogs and refused to reimburse customers for puppies that died or required veterinary care.
Charges against LoSacco spanning several towns have made news for months. In Paramus, for instance, he’s accused of leaving 67 puppies in a near-freezing van. He’s claimed the van was equipped to provide a safe environment.
LoSacco faces 267 animal cruelty charges in East Brunswick alone, in 40 separate summonses with fines that could top $100,000. Among the allegations was that the remains of three dead dogs were found in a freezer. The NJSCPA said the charges are mostly from the lack of adequate infection control procedures, poor and improper veterinary care and the co-mingling of sick animals with new animals just brought into the store.
Several animals recently bought at the store were found to be “sick and unfit for sale” after being examined by veterinarians, according to the NJSPCA.
Picketers took to the last remaining Just Pups store in East Hanover on Sunday to protest that it was still open according to News 12 New Jersey.
In an online petition looking to stop the auction, Candace Smith-Quiles of East Brunswick — a town where one of LoSacco’s stores has shut down — wrote she believes the dogs could be used as evidence against LoSacco.