PARAMUS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — When pictures first appeared of dogs crammed in cages inside a transport van and covered in filth, many asked – how could someone do that?
On Wednesday, the pet shop owner in charge of the 67 puppies that were found in the unattended van behind his Paramus, New Jersey store said there was an explanation for everything.READ MORE: Suspected Human Remains Found In Florida Wildlife Preserve Where Authorities Are Searching For Brian Laundrie
Vincent LoSacco said he has not done anything wrong despite police discovering the puppies crammed into the cold cages in the van he owns.
“It’s not illegal, nor inhumane, nor unsafe,” LoSacco said.
The unattended van was found behind LoSacco’s Just Pups store in Paramus around 3 a.m. Monday. Police said it was 38 degrees in the van, and some dogs had no food or water and were covered in feces.
LoSacco showed CBS2 an identical van, and said he believes police were partially responsible for the conditions they encountered.
“They were in a customized van that was fully insulated and fully heating,” he said. “The temperature wasn’t taken until the door was open for who knows how long.”
As for the feces, LoSacco said the dogs pooped when the van was being pulled onto a flatbed and angled upright.
“I’m sure there’s fecal matter all over – probably crapping while this is going on because they’re so scared,” he said.
It is unclear how long the dogs were sitting in potentially unsafe conditions. LoSacco said he never spoke to the van driver to find out when he arrived.
Sanchez: “So just for clarification, you don’t know what time the truck was parked.”
LoSacco: “Specifically, no.”READ MORE: New York City Mayoral Candidates Eric Adams, Curtis Sliwa Meet For First Debate
Sanchez: “So then you can’t say the truck was not here for more than a couple of hours.”
LoSacco: “No. I definitely know that it was sometime Sunday.”
Sanchez: “But you just said you don’t know when it arrived here.”
LoSacco: “OK, so then yes, I’ll say I can’t say that. It was Sunday.”
Protesters on Wednesday were campaigning outside the store demanding it be shut down. Katie Burns said she wants LoSacco to be accountable for his actions.
Burns bought her daughter’s new puppy, Lily, from Just Pups in March, and she said the dog got sick and nearly died just days later.
“We wish that he would step back and realize that he is really hurting a lot of people; a lot of children, and obviously, the lives of animals,” Burns said.
But LoSacco said he is not responsible for dogs that get sick or die after they leave his stores.
“All’s we can do is ensure that they’re visibly healthy when they leave,” he said.Mayor De Blasio Announces Vaccine Mandate For All New York City Municipal Workers, Including First Responders
Bergen County prosecutors as of Wednesday were still investigating what happened in Paramus.