A Long Island pet store accused of selling sick puppies is blocking the state attorney general’s investigation despite a judge’s order, court documents show.
Shake a Paw did not allow appointed vets in AG Letitia James’ office to examine all of her pooches during a Dec. 23 visit to her Hicksville and Lynbrook stores – in defiance of a court order, claimed Assistant Attorney General Christina Bedell in a letter Monday.
Nassau County Supreme Court Justice Helen Voutsinas issued a temporary restraining order on Dec. 17 against Shake a Paw banning his two stores from buying new puppies for resale after his TRO date and requiring dogs that they must already be licensed by an independent veterinarian before they are sold.
The judge also ordered Shake a Paw to provide a full account of all of his dogs.
The order came in the day after AG Letitia James’ office filed a complaint against the pet store.
“The respondents ’employees were removing the dogs from the sales area and taking them into a room, without allowing the applicants’ vets to examine them,” Bedell wrote. “For example, a puppy had diarrhea and when [Shake a Paw’s] the employee was advised that the puppy needed to be examined, the employee ignored the applicants’ vet.
Bedell claims that after recent exams at least 43 dogs have tested positive for influenza, coronavirus, Bordetella, herpes, bronchitis and other bacterial infections.
The dogs had been cleared prior to the AG exam by another animal doctor, whom Shake a Paw sought to appoint as an independent veterinarian in the case.
Bedell also alleges that Shake a Paw has since placed an order for around 35 puppies, despite the judge’s order to stop sales.
“It seems like [Shake a Paw] issued several orders after the court appearance on December 17, 2021, ”said Bedell.
Bedell also says that the GA office still has not received a full account of all Shake a Paw dogs and she asks Voutsinas to prevent stores from buying and selling puppies until ‘they have been authorized by an AG veterinarian. The GA office wants a receiver to be appointed to oversee all sales.
Meanwhile, Shake a Paw’s attorney Richard Hamburger wrote a letter on Monday asking the judge to intervene “to end the abusive and unauthorized conduct of the attorney general’s office.”
Hamburger says it complied with the court ruling, including canceling orders for the last week of December and the first week of January. Hamburger also claims that the pet store provided the pet inventory to the GA office on December 22.
Hamburger said the GA’s office delayed the puppies being released for sale on the pretext that they were still awaiting lab results from the dogs’ health exams – even though, as of Monday, the results had been pending for 11 days.
“In these circumstances, [Shake a Paw stores] had no choice but to sell puppies that were certified by their independent veterinarian, ”Hamburger wrote.
Hamburger also claims that the GA’s office was not authorized to freeze the sale of all puppies on the judge’s orders.
“Clearly this is unreasonable, not supported by law or logic, not permitted by the [Temporary Restraining Order], and reflects, in reality, [the Office of the Attorney General’s] intention to shut down and destroy the legal business of Shake a Paw’s pet store without due process, ”Hamburger said.
In his lawsuit, the GA alleged that Shake a Paw bought mutts from puppy mills while claiming that they were from legitimate breeders and that many were so sick that they died within days or weeks of being treated. been sold. The lawsuit also claimed that stores gave customers the option of a trip when they requested refunds or compensation for medical bills.
At the time, Hamburger flatly denied all the allegations.
“Shake a Paw never knowingly sold a sick puppy, nor knowingly misrepresented the pedigree or breeder from which the puppy was acquired,” Hamburger said at the time.
Hamburger did not immediately return a request for comment on Wednesday.