1622 Hart Place
Brooklyn, NY 11224
Date and time of investigation: 1/26/21; 11:30 am
Approximate number of puppies in store at time of investigation: 25
NYC Breeders has one large room. The front part contains pet merchandise, and there is a sales counter in the middle. Towards the back of the room is one long wall with approximately 15 cages built into it. The cages have glass fronts, wire backs and wire flooring. Each cage contained one to two puppies. There were three stalls on the left side of the store, in which customers can interact with puppies individually.
The manager of the store (Caucasian male named Pete, 64 years old, 5’9”, 175 pounds, balding with short grey hair, eyeglasses, Covid mask) told me that the puppies were microchipped. I saw a sign on the wall, above and to the right of the cages, about 6’ high, that read “Information on the source of these dogs and cats and veterinary treatments received by these dogs and cats is available for review by prospective purchasers.” There was a sign posted above that one at about 7’ high that read “Pedigree registration means that the particular registry maintains information on the parentage and identity of the animal.” However, there was no signage posted stating that United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports were available to customers upon request.” N.Y.C. Admin. Code, Title 17 Health, Chapter 17 Pet Shops, §17-1703 c states that every pet shop selling dogs or cats must post conspicuously in one-hundred point type: “United States Department of Agriculture inspection reports are available upon request
When I asked to see a French Bulldog, the manager said, “Let me get you some info.” He motioned for me to step behind the sales counter and showed me the computer screen with the puppy’s date of birth, breed, color and price information. He said it was a black and white piebald born on 10/21 (2020) who was $6,000, AKC, and that it would be “fixed and microchipped” for me. He then said, “Training is free for the life of the dog. Barking, biting, chewing, housebreaking and jumping. You get (inaudible) paperwork, medical records, breeder disclosure, and even a free vet visit.”
Later in the visit, the manager told me “She comes with USDA reports from the breeder with their inspection that they have passed.” When I asked for the breeder’s name so that I could research them, the manager said he would “print it right out.” He returned a moment later and told me “The breeder is Debra Shine, and she is out of Missouri” as he handed me two USDA inspection reports for same. One was dated 12/3/2019 and the other was dated 10/5/2017. Both read “no non-compliant items identified during the inspection”.
When I asked for an explanation of what the inspection reports were, the manager told me that the USDA number was a “A” number, saying “An A means that you buy directly. If it was B it would mean a broker, and a broker buys from other breeders and then resells. You’re not allowed to do that in the five borroughs.” I asked, “What’s that breeder like? Do you guys, have you used her before?” He replied, “Debra Shine has been used very, very often. The owner we work with, he owns three stores and he’s the buyer. He’s been doing this forty, fifty years and he has the same people over and over again. The other thing is, he really likes, he’s more of a guy who goes to someone who just sells specific dogs. Not someone that will breed a Yorkie and a Great Dane, you know? So she is famous for Bulldogs.” I asked “So she just does Bulldogs? Or just does French?” He said a moment later, “Um, I think she’s pretty much Frenchies.” This information is incorrect. CAPS’ research shows a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection dated 12/19/20 which shows two dogs going to NYC Breeder, one being the French Bulldog puppy that I was interacting with and the other being a Boston Terrier (go to CVI – Debra Shine). Another CVI (CVI – Debra Shine 2) for Debra Shine shows two Boston Terriers going to NY Breeder, which is also owned by Gary Nudelman of NYC Breeder and CT Breeder. Additionally, CAPS’ research shows multiple CVIs for breeder Anna Harris of Gatewood, Missouri supplying both Siberian Huskies and one Rat Terrier to NYC Breeder (CVI – Ann Harris (huskies) and CVI – Ann Harris (Rat Terrier)).
I asked if the store went to get the dogs from the breeders. The manager replied, “No, they get transported.” He told me that the vehicle the puppy was transported is “not a van, it’s actually a mobile vet. It’s got cages, it’s got a doctor. It’s really, they invest a lot because that’s all they do. There are transporters that do just that. There’s breeders that only trust certain transporters. They want to make sure the puppy arrives safe, because if it doesn’t, I might not want the puppy. But we use the same people over and over again.” I asked, “So that means you guys, do you know them or you’ve met them, or you feel comfortable with them obviously.” He replied, “Absolutely. We do a lot of facetiming when we look at a puppy.”
I asked for any other paperwork on the puppy. He replied, “So we don’t present it, I mean we could present it to you and you could take a picture of it, that kind of thing, but I can’t give you the paperwork without the puppy. But you could read what you’re getting into by all means.” He returned and came back with some papers for me, including health and immunization records, and the name of the dam and sire. When I asked about whether or not the store was concerned about the fact that it got puppies from Missouri, which is known for bad breeders, he replied, “We’ve been dealing with Missouri for a while, and that’s like saying a certain area is a bad area. You just have to pick and choose.” I asked, “So how do you guys do that?” He replied, “Well the owner has been doing this for forty years.”
The manager later said of the required city protocols, “There’s a big protocol here. Once you’re in the City, you have to follow all kinds of rules. You have to hold a dog for three days, then get it checked, then hold it for another three days, then have the surgery. So I can have a dog two weeks before I can release it.” He described how it is better to get the dog fixed before it goes home with the owner, because then the owner doesn’t need to worry about the procedure themselves.
I asked, “How would I, your average housewife, buyer, know that this dog is coming from a good place?” He replied, “You can obviously take a snapshot of the breeder and look it up if you like. Also you get a twelve month congenital guarantee. And it’s in the paperwork. The only contingency on that you have to go to a vet within ten days.” I said, “In terms of where it’s [i.e. the puppy] is coming from; I want to make sure that I am doing the right thing. I want to make sure that I’m being a responsible person, because I know my husband’s going to give me the third degree. Where this dog is coming from and what it’s parents, you know, what is the situation.” The manager told me that they (i.e. the breeders) don’t give information on the parents, just a name.
When I pressed for information on how the condition of the parent dogs, specifically “how this breeder takes care of the parents, where the parents live, are they in the house, are they in the field, are they in a barn?” Pete said, “Well here’s the thing. In that thing I showed you that is an inspection report that they have passed, so it shows that they’re up and up. You can just google their name. If you’re happy, fine. If you’re not, that’s fine too.” The manager walked away then returned less than a minute later with USDA inspection reports saying “This is the three year inspection; it’s 2017, 2018, 2019.” All three reports indicated “no non-compliant items.” He did not object when I took photos of the inspection reports.
Later when I asked if sterilization was an extra cost, the manager told me that it was included in the price.
Breeder information obtained during the course of this investigation:
Debra Shine (16351 Foxtail Road, Lebanon, MO 65536, USDA #43-A-6039