EXCLUSIVE: Investigation into puppy store on Long Island after reports of sick dogs

Kristin Thorne Image
Thursday, August 24, 2017
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Kristin Thorne reports on newly purchased puppies from American Dog Club at the Smith Haven Mall becoming extremely sick.

LAKE GROVE, Long Island (WABC) -- There is a New York State investigation into a puppy store on Long Island.

Customers told Eyewitness News exclusively that within days of buying their puppies they were extremely sick. One puppy was so sick it had to be put down.

Department of Agriculture confirms exclusively to Eyewitness News that two of the inspections the department did this year at American Dog Club at the Smith Haven Mall were in response to complaints received.

At the most recent inspection on August 8th, the inspector noted the store did not properly document the treatments provided to the animals.

Karen Clark says her puppy Armani wasn't right from the beginning.

"Brought him home. We realized right away he was coughing," Clark said.

He had parasites, kennel cough and later a bronchial infection.

"Six months straight, three days a week we went to that vet, three times I pumped that dog with medication. If it wasn't pill form, it was liquid," said William Siegfried, a Selden resident.

Courtney Reilly also bought her dog through American Dog Club at the Smith Haven Mall.

Like Clark, almost immediately after purchase the Pomeranian was sick.

"He had green discharge, green discharge from his eyes," said Reilly, a Ridge resident.

They did an MRI and they said it was pneumonia. He was in there for six days.

Another customer tells Eyewitness News she spent thousands of dollars treating her dog, Bruno.

He was diagnosed with pneumonia and parasites only three days after she bought him from the pet store.

Then there's German Shepherd, Mia.

Kathy Pagartanis had to put her down only days after purchase.

The dog was in kidney failure.

"So my birthday gift right now sits in a cremation box that I have to go pick up today with her remains," Pagartanis said.

The New York State Department of Agriculture confirms exclusively to Eyewitness News that its investigators have been looking into complaints regarding American Dog Club.

"We stand behind everything. All our dogs are purchased through USDA licensed breeders," said Ann Marie, the store's manager.

Ann Marie spoke to Eyewitness News by phone Thursday afternoon.

She says illnesses can pop up in any puppy.

She says American Dog Club does not sell sick dogs.

"All the puppies that we get are all checked within five days, which is the law, by a veterinarian to make sure all the puppies are healthy," Ann Marie said.

The manager says the issue with the German shepherd puppy Mia was a congenital issue and not something they could have known about.

She says they refunded the customer the purchase price of the dog and offered to give her another puppy.

The Department of Agriculture says they will be reinspecting the store.