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politics

Emerson Set To Become First Bergen Town To Ban Puppy Mills

About 40 protesters holding signs stood and walked along Kinderkamack Road just north of the Emerson train station
About 40 protesters holding signs stood and walked along Kinderkamack Road just north of the Emerson train station Photo Credit: Anthony Locicero

EMERSON, N.J. -- Emerson officials on Tuesday were expected to make the borough the first Bergen County municipality to ban the sale of puppy mill dogs.

A vote was likely to follow a public hearing on the proposal, introduced amid a series of incidents involving the Just Pups chain of pet shops.

Dozen of towns in Central and South Jersey have recently adopted similar ordinances.

The council voted 4-0, with two absences, to introduce their measure last month. It restricts kennels and pet store operators from carrying dogs from any "commercial dog-breeding facility in which the health of the dogs is disregarded in order to maintain a low overhead and maximize profits.”

The ordinance also is in line with New Jersey state law, requiring the dog’s birth date and place be posted, along with name and address of his or her veterinarian and breeder, as well as the USDA license number.

Vincent LoSacco closed his Paramus Just Pups store open after the Bergen County SPCA charged him and his brother, Leonard, with leaving 67 dogs crated overnight in van in the parking lot. That case is still pending.

LoSacco moved several pets over to the Emerson store on Kinderkamack Road -- which has remained in operation -- and into the hands of a local rescue organization.

The Emerson shop has been the scene of repeated protests by animal rights activists who want him out of business.

LoSacco -- who needs to re-apply for his Emerson license before July 1 -- has maintained that he did nothing wrong.

"If there was any inhumane treatment, it was perpetrated by the individual who ordered that the van be dragged across the parking lot, put it at a 45-degree angle on the tow truck and then brought it to the animal hospital," he told Daily Voice.

This was after waiting for two hours from when the dogs were found at 3 a.m. for the tow truck to arrive, he said.

LoSacco has drawn fire in various quarters for incidents at his Bergen County and East Brunswick shops.

Earlier this year, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed 267 animal cruelty charges against him after three dead dogs were recovered from a freezer of his East Brunswick location.

New Jersey lawmakers were considering a statewide puppy mill ban, along with proposals to require that dog providers certify that they're meeting New Jersey health breeding and care regulations, undergo inspections and be prohibited from selling dogs without certification.

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