1 Sunrise Mall
Massapequa, NY 11758
Date and time of the investigation: February 4, 2021; 4:30 pm
Number of animals observed: approximately 40-50 puppies
Luxury Puppies consists of one room. As you enter, there is a sales desk in the middle of the floor. The store has freestanding enclosures on both the left and right side of the store, with glass sides about 4’ high, open on top, and shredded paper on the floors. There were approximately two to four puppies in each. Sixteen cages were built into the back wall of the store, two high, with three solid walls, glass fronts and shredded paper on the floors. Each cage had approximately one to four puppies.
I saw a sign behind and to the right of the sales desk about 4’ high that read “USDA inspection reports and information regarding brokers and breeders are available upon request.“ There was another sign immediately below that which read “Information on the source of these dogs and cats and the veterinary treatments received by these dogs and cats are available upon request by prospective purchasers.”
An employee (male, African American, 5’9”, 175 pounds, approximately 30 years old, Covid mask) showed me two Victorian Bulldog puppies that were on sale for $4,300 each. Another employee (male, African American, 5’10”, approximately 35 years old, Covid mask) told me the dogs were siblings, born on August 11th. I asked him where they were from. He replied,“That I’m not too sure. When we print out the paperwork and everything, the breeder’s information pops up on the printout.” I asked to see the paperwork.
A moment later, the store manager, whose told me his name was Dave, (Caucasian male, about 5’11”, 185 pounds, approximately 40 years old, beard, hair in pony tail, Covid mask) brought over some papers to show me. These included International Canine Association registry paperwork, microchip number and registration information, and a USDA inspection report, dated March 31, 2016, listing the name and address of the breeder as Allison Hedgpeth of Lonewolf Kennels, 143 Hwy EE, Iberia, MO 65486; USDA #43-B-3435. The manager said, “The breeder is a licensed breeder, so the state has to come in. They come in anywhere from like one to three times a year, dependant on how I guess the first inspection, if they notice (inaudible). But you also can go online, you can always research other ones in the past and you’ll get all the inspections. They’re all available for you.”
I asked if the store knew or had gone to check out the breeder. The manager replied, “It depends. I don’t know if he (i.e. the owner of the store) checked out this one, but I know he’s leaving all the time. He goes out of state. He checks out all the breeders. That’s why he’s never here. He’s always all over, because he’s always looking for new breeders, checking out facilities, making sure they’re using the same foods. All different things. So there is some inspections that go on.”
The manager’s statement is false. CAPS’ research shows a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection for puppies sourced from Sanjon Kennels (CVI: Sanjon Kennel). CAPS conducted an undercover investigation of Sanjon Kennel in 2015 (CAPS Investigation: Sanjon Kennel). During the investigation, the investigator asked the breeder/owner Sandy Blake if pet stores inspect her facility. When Blake shook her head to indicate no, the investigator asked, “Never?”, and Blake shook her head again.
The manager told me, “Our breeders, all the breeders we work with, use the same food we do, so the puppies are on the same food (inaudible).” “They come here, they are on the same food. …You don’t want to go from one total atmosphere to something completely different when they come here, because it’s a lot more stress on the puppies and stuff.”
I asked about the fact the puppies came from Missouri. The manager said, “Missouri, I heard more about like ten years ago, but now Missouri is pretty good. Missouri used to be a puppy mill state twenty years ago, until the state came in. That’s when the USDA came in and they started making them all get licensed, this and that. New York State also got more strict on the rules, because they want us to deal with licensed breeders, too. But if you look now, most of the ones … they are doing everything right now.”
I asked about the fact the USDA inspection report he was showing me was dated 2016. The manager said, “That’s the one they just gave us. You can look up more of them though. If you go online, there’s a website for that.” I asked how to do that, and the manager said, “I don’t even know the website. Just Google search it. You’ll find it.” I said that I was surprised the store didn’t have anything more recent to show me, and the manager said, “I can check the files if you want.” He left and came back with USDA reports for 2018 and 2019, both of which read, “No non-compliant items identified during this inspection.”
I asked if the breeder just bred Victorian Bulldogs and the manager replied, “I’m not sure.” I asked how many dogs she had, and the manager replied, “I wouldn’t know. Again, the state would know everything. We get the basic info.”
Breeder information obtained during this investigation:
Allison Hedgpeth, Lonewolf Kennels, 143 Hwy EE, Iberia, MO 65486; USDA #43-B-3435