New Jersey officials say a pet shop chain owner has agreed to permanently stop selling animals in the state and will pay $326,000 to settle claims the shop misled customers about the health of dozens of puppies it sold.
The agreement made public Monday resolves a consumer fraud complaint filed against the Just Pups pet stores and its owner, Vincent LoSacco. The chain has stores in East Brunswick, East Hanover, Emerson and Paramus.
Officials say the chain didn't reimburse consumers for animals that got sick or died and committed dozens of other consumer protection violations.
The state has said LoSacco advertised or otherwise represented that puppies were healthy and were up-to-date with vaccinations. But officials say the Emerson resident sold at least 55 puppies that were "sick or defective."
New Jersey police officers saved 67 puppies from a near-freezing van last April. Cops later determined the van belonged to LoSacco.
LoSacco was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty late last February for alleged poor conditions at the East Brunswick outpost of the store. The location later had its business license revoked by the town.
LoSacco's Emerson store was closed last summer when the town voted against issuing him a business license.
Earlier this year, the SPCA took custody of 73 dogs salvaged from a Just Pups store he had closed in East Hanover. The animal rights organization said a store in Valhalla was also shuttered.