NEW YORK – Former Yorktown pet shop owner Richard Doyle, who two months ago plead guilty to five counts of animal cruelty in Connecticut, has been barred from ever selling animals again in New York State, according to state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman.

Schneiderman, in a press release, said his office began investigating Doyle in 2015 after receiving multiple complaints from customers. He said his office determined that Doyle sold animals that had serious medical issues, despite claims of being healthy.

At one time, Doyle, a Mahopac resident, owned four pet shops: three in New York and one in Connecticut. At his shop in Danbury, where he was arrested twice, Doyle was convicted of illegally performing surgery on and failing to provide proper care for ill animals.

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As part of his plea deal in Connecticut, Doyle must have no affiliation with a pet store or animal rescue shelter for three years. He was also required to make a $5,000 donation to Second Chance Rescue.

His penalties in New York were much stiffer. On top of his permanent ban selling animals, he is required surrender all of his licenses relative to the sale of animals and pay $20,000 in fines: $15,000 will be distributed to customers who purchased sick animals from Doyle, and $5,000 in penalties and costs to the state, according to an agreement between Doyle and the attorney general’s office.

“By shutting down stores that mistreat animals—and sell sick animals—we can help ensure that consumers are purchasing healthy pets, while protecting the animals themselves from those who break the law to turn a profit,” Schneiderman said. “Disturbing cases like these reaffirm my commitment to encouraging those in search of a new pet to adopt from a local shelter, rather than purchasing an animal. This gives an animal in need a home, and gives the consumer the peace of mind that they are receiving a healthy pet.”

Customers reported that, after purchasing the pets from Doyle, they were found to be suffering from serious health conditions such as parvo, giardiasis, pneumonia, intestinal parasites and kennel cough. Schneiderman said Doyle also falsified the names and license numbers of his suppliers in order to make it appear as though he purchased animals from reputable sources.

He also said that Doyle and his staff also carried out “disturbing” medical practices to make the pets appear healthy. According to the attorney general’s office, “Doyle, who is not a veterinarian, regularly performed surgery on animals in the back rooms of his stores. He also ordered high school-aged employees to routinely administer injectable medications and intravenous fluids to mask rather than cure diseases and infections in sick animals. Doyle would then lie or ask his young employees to lie to the inspecting veterinarians regarding the illnesses so the veterinarians would not mark the animals unfit for sale. These procedures were not carried out in a sanitary environment and there was no veterinarian supervision or approval. Syringes were re-used and pre and post-operative infection control was not practiced. In some cases, when Doyle was unable to ‘cure’ an animal himself, he let the sick animal suffer and, in some cases left it to die, rather than paying for routine veterinary care.”

This case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stephen Barry of the Poughkeepsie Regional Office, with assistance from investigators Stephanie Brideau and Adrienne DeGaetano, under the supervision of Poughkeepsie Assistant Attorney General-in-Charge Jill F. Faber and Executive Deputy Attorney General for Regional Offices Martin J. Mack.