A new pet shop in the Smith Haven Mall has passed its recent state inspections after being cited in May for not logging veterinary care for several sick puppies in the shop.
State inspectors visited the American Dog Club soon after its May opening, and according to the state reports, four sick puppies were in isolation without documentation supporting treatment deemed by a veterinarian, a critical violation.
“Animals were being treated by the store while awaiting a visit from the veterinarian,” said Joseph Morrissey, spokesman for the New York State Department of Agriculture.
Then, after making necessary adjustments, the store passed its June 4 follow-up inspection.
“A treatment plan was established for the animals and signed by the store’s vet, bringing them back into compliance,” said Morrissey.
Store owner Elliot Gordon said the puppies were put in the isolation area and were being treated as they awaited a visit from the vet.
“If they get sick, we isolate and treat and in a few days it’s gone,” said Gordon, who also owns a shop in Roslyn and has been in business for 18 years. “They get better treatment from us than they would from a shelter.”
Barbara Dennihy, who represents the Companion Animal Protection Society, said she believes the Department of Agriculture has a low standard and would like to see local municipalities given the authority to regulate pet shops like American Dog Club.
“Essentially they are required to come in once a year,” said Dennihy. “They can’t keep up with what is happening in these stores.” According to Dennihy, local municipalities cannot enact, enforce or inspect pet dealers or retail puppy stores. This is true, since these shops fall under the purview of state inspectors, much like supermarkets do.
Gordon said he gets all of his dogs from breeders certified by the United States Department of Agriculture and that his store is one of the good ones.
“There are some really bad stores out there. We do a really good job,” he said.
Morrissey said his agency will continue to work with this store to make sure they remain in compliance with state standards. The next inspection will likely happen in December.
Gordon said he stands by the dogs he sells in his shop.
“The one thing we don’t want to do is sell bad puppies. We are a business,” he said.