NEW JERSEY -- The New Jersey Division for Consumer Affairs has cited over two dozen pet stores across New Jersey for not informing consumers about animals’ breeding and health history.
Stores are facing fines of over $138,000 for not complying with the Pet Purchase Protection Act, which went into effect last year. It is aimed at reducing the number of puppy mill puppies sold in the state.
“The law requires that consumers have access to very specific information about breeders, about brokers, about medical history,” said Steve Lee, the acting director of N.J. Consumer Affairs.
The biggest offender in the state was found to be The Puppy Hut in Robbinsville, N.J. The shop was fined $38,500 for 153 violations. D&G Petite Pup’s in Paterson was fined $22,500 for 90 violations.
“The pet store is trying not to tell everything because sometimes a dog or a cat may be not 3 months, but 5 months. And they really don’t want to disclose that because they feel the people won’t want them, because it’s a little bit bigger,” said Kathy Johnson of the Humane Society of Bergen County.
She said the Humane Society and other shelters usually get an influx of unwanted puppies and kittens after the holidays.
“A lot of the pets that we get are from pet stores,” said Johnson, “like we had a bengal a couple of years ago that was brought in because it was crying and crying.”
“It was improperly spade and the pet store sold it anyway,” she said.
The Passaic County SPCA responded to one of the offending pet stores ahead of the statewide sting.
“I tell consumers that the Passaic County SPCA encourages them not to buy from puppy breeders,” said Passaic SPCA Agent Luis Vazquez, “We do encourage them to adopt from local shelters.”
The full list of pet stores cited in the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs investigation can be found here.