FAIR LAWN - A local puppy retail store has 90 days to remain open and wait for reconsideration on a local ordinance that currently prohibits selling dogs or cats other than from rescue or adoption services.
On June 13, the Borough Council gave the NJ Puppy Store, 24-02 Broadway, an extension on its license to operate after they appeared before the council to plead their case.
Ira Levine, the businesses attorney, asked the council to reconsider the ordinance that prohibits animal sales.
"That's my client's whole business," he said. "You're effectively leaving them without a means to pay the rent."
The lease on the store is valid for another 18 months, but the license for business would expire June 30.
"At least grandfather my client in," Levine said.
The store, previously known as Broadway Puppies, currently has a new owner and has met all reporting requirements with the Health Department, according to Levine.
Borough attorney Ronald Mondello agreed with the current good record.
According to the borough ordinance, "a retail establishment where dogs and cats are sold, exchanged, bartered or offered for sale as pet animals to the general public," not including an animal care facility or animal rescue organization, may offer for sale only those dogs and cats that the pet shop has obtained from or displays in cooperation with an animal care facility; or an animal rescue organization.
Dogs or cats younger than eight weeks old are not allowed for sale.
The borough passed the ordinance in response to news last year that a few area pet shop owners were found in violation of state law: refusing to disclose any breeder information regarding the puppies. NJ Puppy Store was not one of the businesses found in violation.
"We're willing to revisit this," councilwoman Lisa Swain said.
"It's going to be an interesting conversation after what we heard during the testimony to pass this ordinance," deputy mayor Kurt Peluso said.
The issue is scheduled for the July 18 work session for discussion.