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Westchester Health Dept. Closes White Plains Puppy Shop Temporarily

NY Breeder in White Plains was temporarily closed by the Westchester Health Department, just two weeks after protesters stood outside the store.
Protesters stood outside a new puppy store in White Plains.
Protesters stood outside a new puppy store in White Plains.

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.– A  new White Plains puppy shop was temporarily shut down this week for not having the proper county permit, according to the Westchester Health Department.

News of the shop’s short-term closure was celebrated by local animal activists, many of whom recently held a peaceful protest outside NY Breeder to spread awareness about the breeders who often provide dogs to pet shops.

Westchester health officials visited NY Breeder on Wednesday, July 31 after an anonymous call to the county’s health department claimed a dog from the store had contracted parvovirus and was put down, department spokesperson Caren Halbfinger told The Daily Voice.

A store employee who would not give her name said on Friday at 11:45 a.m. that the store would be reopened for business within about an hour.  She said accusations about a sick dog were nothing but a “vicious rumor.”

Before NY Breeder can reopen, it must pay the $300 fee for the proper county permit – it already has one with the city – and a veterinarian must inspect the animals, Halbfinger said.

The anonymous NY Breeder employee said that having a vet inspect the animals was “a standard” for the shop.  “It’s just like any other store that opens,” she said.

Two weeks ago, Mariella Carrasquillo, a local animal activist, organized a protest when she found out about the opening of NY Breeder, at 45 Tarrytown Road.

Upon opening in June, a press release from NY Breeder announced that the shop sells designer, teacup and purebred puppies, and offers a full-service pet store, grooming and dog training services.  On its website, the company says that its newest Westchester retail establishment only offers purebred and designer puppies that meet the most exacting requirements of their breed.

Eight protesters, who say they do not support pet stores because the puppies come from puppy mills, stood outside NY Breeder for three hours on July 20 with signs, Carrasquillo told The Daily Voice in an email.  She said many people supported the group by honking their horns and giving them the thumbs up.

“No reputable breeder will allow their dogs to go to a pet store,” Carrasquillo said.  “Reputable home breeders want to meet everyone who purchases their puppies and ensure they are going to a good home,” she said.

Under its description of purebred dogs , NY Breeder’s website says the store's purebreds “are a breed of dog with written documentation proving its descent back to the dog’s ancestors, or foundation stock.” The term purebred does not determine a dog’s health, temperament or sagacity, the site says. “The term is merely a reference that the dog has a known lineage according to the breeder.”

NY Breeder says on its website that its puppies come from "the best breeders in the country," some of whom are licensed and certified, and some are local breeders. "All of our breeders are family loving people that care about their puppies and the standard of the breed. You can be assured your puppy will be a loving family member that is truly a fine representation of the breed."

According to the ASPCA , a puppy mill is a large-scale commercial dog breeding operation that often acts without regard for responsible breeding practices and often neglects the dogs. There are generally between 2,000 and 3,000 USDA-licensed breeders, commonly referred to as puppy mills, operating in the U.S., the ASPCA reported.

Carrasquillo created a Facebook page, Boycott Westchester County Puppy Stores , for her cause.  She has scheduled another protest at the White Plains shop on Aug. 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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