EMERSON, N.J.– Picketers with signs that said "Just Say No To Just Pups" and "Don't Shop, Adopt" gathered Wednesday night outside a closed Emerson pet shop whose owner was cited for keeping 67 dogs crated overnight in a van outside his Paramus location.
Betty Rodriguez-Michelmore and Robike Noll-Faries organized the protest, whose 40 or so participants drew honks of support from motorists on Kinderkamack Road just north of the Emerson train station.
"Here for some reason in Emerson...[officials] are giving him extensions and giving him [owner Vincent LoSacco] a chance a clean up the violations," Noll-Faries told Daily Voice. "But [inspectors] have been here seven times in the past two months, and for some reason the violations still exist."
Two of the protesters – Cathy Schmidt and a young borough girl named Jarah -- came dressed as dogs.
Schmidt brought a metal cage – which Billy Gold, Connor Maloney, and Luke Miniatis of the Woodcliff Animal Rescue Club sat in – to underscore her point.
"We wanted to let people know that puppies are living things," Schmidt told Daily Voice. "They spend – especially when they're part of a puppy mill operation or a pet store – a lot of time in cages. They don't have water and food when they're being transported from a mill, they're laying in their own feces."
"This is something that really needs to stop," added Gabrielle Monroe of River Edge, who owns two rescue dogs. "It's absolutely disgusting.
Reached by phone, Just Pups owner Vincent LoSacco of Emerson told Daily Voice: "My assumption is that anyone there is sincere in what they're doing. My belief is that they are uninformed.
"They're basing their protest against alleged accusations."
A group picketed outside the Route 17 store in Paramus on Saturday.
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