What to Know
- Richard Doyle owned and operated three retail pet stores in Westchester and the Hudson Valley
- The NY AG's office opened a probe into him in 2015 after getting multiple complaints from customers that pets they got from him were sick
- Doyle was arrested in 2015 on a series of animal cruelty charges involving multiple store locations
A man who owned and operated three retail pet stores in Westchester and the Hudson Valley has been permanently barred from working as a pet dealer and faces fines and penalties for repeated animal cruelty, the office of the New York attorney general announced Monday.
Richard Doyle, who ran American Breeders, Inc. in Wappingers Falls, Puppies and Kittens in Mohegan Lake and Best Breeds, Inc., in Larchmont, engaged in disturbing practices to make sick animals appear healthy, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said.
Doyle, who is not a veterinarian, regularly performed surgery on animals in the back rooms of his stores, Schneiderman said. Doyle 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, Schneiderman said.
These procedures were not carried out in a sanitary environment and there was no veterinarian supervision or approval, according to Schneiderman. 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, Schneiderman said.
Schneiderman's office began investigating Doyle in 2015 after getting multiple complaints from customers who bought pets from his stores only to discover shortly thereafter that the animals were quite sick. The investigation also found Doyle use fake names and license numbers of suppliers to make it appear he got the animals from reputable sources.
Doyle initially was arrested on a series of animal cruelty charges involving multiple store locations in 2015.
In accordance with the agreement announced Monday, Doyle must surrender all licenses related to the sale of animals and pay $15,000 in restitution to be distributed to the customers who bought sick animals from his stores. He also has to pay $5,000 to the state.