The embattled owner of a string of pet stores misled customers about the health of puppies" sold from his shops in Emerson and Paramus, refused to reimburse them for those who died required veterinary care and "committed dozens of other consumer protection violations," said state authorities who vowed to shut him down.
A complaint filed in Superior Court in Hackensack alleges that Vincent LoSacco "caused his customers to suffer financially and emotionally as they sought expensive veterinary care for the sick puppies he sold them,” Acting Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said Tuesday afternoon.
In turn, the state action seeks to permanently ban LoSacco and Just Pets from advertising or selling animals in New Jersey.
It also seeks consumer restitution, civil penalties, and reimbursement of attorneys’ fees and investigative costs.
Lo Sacco and Just Pups face civil penalties of up to $10,000 for each of the 32 violations contained in the six-count complaint, Porrino said.
LoSacco, "advertised or otherwise represented that puppies were healthy and up to date with vaccinations, but then sold at least 55 'sick or defective' puppies, and failed to provide refunds or reimbursements for veterinary fees, in violation of the Consumer Fraud Act (CFA), the Pet Protection Act (PPA), the Pet Regulations and the Advertising Regulations," the attorney general said.
The violations occurred at the Bergen County stores and at Just Pups shops in East Brunswick and East Hanover, he said.
- Misrepresenting as healthy and selling to consumers puppies suffering from Kennel Cough, Parvo, Bronchitis, and Giardia.
- Refusing to reimburse consumers for money paid for veterinary fees associated with the treatment of the sick dogs.
- Failing to refund the purchase price of an animal that died due to a congenital or hereditary cause within six months of delivery.
- Selling an animal without completed animal history and health certificate.
- Misrepresenting on the Just Pups website that all dogs are up to date with their vaccinations when such was not the case.
- Misrepresenting on the Just Pups website that all puppies are free from adverse health symptoms at the time of sale, when such is not the case.
- Misrepresenting that on the Just Pups website that Just Pups is not related to any other business with the name of Just Pups, when such is not the case.
- Misrepresenting on the Just Pups website that previous complaints against Just Pups were made by one person, when such was not the case.
- Failing to post, in a conspicuous location on the cage or enclosure for each animal, a sign with all required information, such as the date and place of birth.
- Failing to have an animal that was examined more than 14 days prior to purchase reexamined by a veterinarian within 72 hours of delivery.
- Failing to inform buyers of their legal right to recover the purchase price or the veterinary costs for an animal that dies or is deemed unfit for purchase.
Authorities in Emerson and Paramus closed LoSacco's shops following a host of violations.
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