A Nassau judge has upheld State Attorney General Letitia James’ temporary restraining order forbidding a Long Island pet store, with sites in Hicksville and Lynbrook, from purchasing new puppies for resale.
Nassau Supreme Court Justice Helen Voutsinas issued her bench ruling Wednesday, dismissing a request by Shake A Paw to resume acquiring new puppies after the attorney general’s office filed a lawsuit in December alleging that the store knowingly purchased and sold sick dogs.
The AG’s office also presented new evidence that some of the breeders patronized by Shake A Paw were giving horse medication to the puppies, according to court documents submitted as part of the case.
The horse medication includes the active ingredients in Ivermectin, which is used to treat parasitic worms in livestock but is not approved for dogs.
“It’s unconscionable that Shake A Paw bought and sold sick puppies,” James said in a statement. “I am glad that our court order has been upheld so that Shake A Paw cannot buy or adopt any more puppies for resale in New York. My office will continue to hold them accountable and protect innocent puppies.”
A Shake A Paw attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The company has previously stated that it does not purchase dogs from puppy mills and that on the “rare occasion” that an animal becomes ill, it provides refunds or replacement puppies.
James’ lawsuit against the pet store argues Shake A Paw sold seriously ill puppies, many of whom died within weeks of purchase. The lawsuit also accuses Shake A Paw of fabricating health certificates, thereby misrepresenting the animals’ health.
The lawsuit contends that Shake A Paw sold dogs that the store acquired at poorly maintained puppy mills, lied about their health and pedigree, and failed to provide refunds, in violation of the state’s Pet Lemon Law.
The suit seeks restitution for Shake A Paw’s “unfair and deceptive conduct” and civil penalties.
Voutsinas issued a temporary restraining order in December banning Shake A Paw from acquiring any new animals for resale in New York.
The court order allowed the shop to stay open and continue selling the puppies they currently own, but only after they are examined by an independent veterinarian appointed by James and found fit for sale. The company must also produce a full inventory of puppies that are already purchased, but not yet sold.
Voutsinas also froze Shake A Paw’s bank accounts, potentially to pay restitution to families who bought puppies at the store that later got sick or died.
Check back for updates on this developing story.