EAST HANOVER, NJ- Just Pups pet store owner, Vincent LoSacco, is now having action taken against him in response to allegations that he lied to customers regarding the health of puppies he sold from his stores in East Hanover, East Brunswick, Paramus and Emerson. In addition to misleading customers, according to state officials, LoSacco reportedly refused to reimburse affected customers whose puppies required veterinary care or died.
Complaints flowing out of Bergen County point a finger at LoSacco who advertised to customers that all of his puppies were healthy and up to date with vaccinations. This turned out not to be the case as 55 puppies were sold that were sick and required care. State officials say LoSacco’s actions violated the Consumer Fraud Act, the Pet Protection Act, as well as Pet and Advertising Regulations.
“Just Pups and its owner Vincent LoSacco allegedly fooled consumers into buying sick puppies by making blatantly false claims about the health of the animals, and by withholding information consumers needed to make educated choices,” Division of Consumer Affairs Director Steve Lee said. “Families who purchased sick puppies were faced with the heartbreaking choice of paying costly vet fees or losing their pet. The Division intends to hold Just Pups and LoSacco fully accountable for these alleged actions.”
Office of Consumer Protection Investigator Donna Leslie investigated the case, which included allegations such as 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, misrepresenting on the Just Pups website that all puppies are free from adverse health symptoms at the time of sale, and failing to have an animal that was examined more than 14 days prior to purchase reexamined by a veterinarian within 72 hours of delivery. These are just a few of the allegations being levied against LoSacco.
“Vincent LoSacco’s alleged deceptive behavior 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 Porrino said, according to the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety. “This kind of consumer fraud has a devastating effect on pet lovers and will not be tolerated in our state.”
The prosecution hopes to stop LoSacco and Just Pets from doing business anywhere in New Jersey and to find financial compensation for the victims of these allegations to the tune of up to $10,000 for each of the 32 violations contained in the complaint.
In addition to the slew of consumer fraud violations, LoSacco is being charged by local and state authorities with over 400 counts of animal cruelty and neglect in his East Brunswick and Paramus stores. The charges include harrowing tales of negligence boarding on abuse, such as investigators finding 60 emaciated and ill puppies shivering and left alone in tiny cages stored in the back of a van earlier in April.
The complaints mentioned by the Department of Law and Public Safety focus largely on the stores of East Brunswick and Paramus, barely mentioning East Hanover’s location. When approached, East Hanover’s own Just Pups store had no comment on the current state of events regarding their own puppies or any legal action against them. LoSacco has had his stores in East Brunswick and Paramus permanently closed and his store in Emerson was shut down last week as local government officials voted unanimously to withhold a business license for the upcoming year.