EMERSON, N.J (CBSNewYork) — The owner of a New Jersey pet store is under investigation over allegations of animal cruelty.
CBS2’s Jessica Schneider reported Wednesday that authorities shut down Just Pups in East Brunswick. The store’s owner, Vincent LoSacco, has been charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty after officials said he repeatedly sold sick dogs to unsuspecting families.
Inna Shepard told CBS2 her family bought one of those dogs. On New Year’s Day, she brought home a 9-month-old mini-schnauzer named Dreidel.
However, less than 24 hours later, the puppy was running a 105-degree fever and 30 days later, Dreidel died of distemper – a viral illness with no known cure.
“We are all so very sad. We are getting a new dog, from a breeder,” Shepard told CBS2. “Every day my kids talk about a new dog that we’ve only had for a short time. They got very attached to him.”
LoSacco denied to CBS2 that he did anything wrong.
“Every pet store has sick dogs. We don’t make them sick, they get sick,” he said. “There seem to be a lot of sick dogs, according to these complaints. Just like there could be a lot of sick kids at school.”
Officials told CBS2 they found 3 dead dogs at LoSacco’s East Brunswick store, and a 10-week-old German Shepherd named Gwen died days after authorities found her in an isolation room at the store.
LoSacco runs four other Just Pup stores in New York and New Jersey. Authorities are also investigating these shops.