From NJ.com Washington Township.
A Washington Township pet store’s doors will be closed for the next month after it was found to be in violation of health and safety regulations.
The Washington Township council passed a resolution to suspend The Puppy Stop’s license for 30 days, beginning on April 1, and charge a $500 fine after an investigation by the Gloucester County Department of Health alleged violations regarding the Fries Mill Road store’s keeping of medical records and sanitary conditions.
According to a case synopsis of the department of health v. The Puppy Stop, Inc., the pet store was issued a noncompliance rating after county and state animal facility inspectors found violations in May and June of last year.
The “charging documents” issued to the store owner, Mark Harnish, alleged problems with sanitary operations, as well as problems with “patterns and practices” in suggesting the suspension of his operation license.
The synopsis said inspectors could not “effectively correlate” the animals’ medical histories because of issues with intake records. The county reported it did not find any specific harm to animals.
In addition to ceasing operation for 30 days, the owner is to implement a “record keeping system that will ensure that inspections can be done such that each animal’s medical history can be easily tracked and verified,” as well as “pay strict attention to labeling and expiration of medication.”
The synopsis also said Harnish “presented as someone who has a genuine concern for those animals in his care.”
Since 2010, the county’s Department of Consumer Protection has received five complaints regarding The Puppy Stop.
A man who identified himself as the owner, but did not give his full name, said he had “no comment” on the closing when contacted by phone last week.
A notice on the pet store’s Facebook page said the store would be temporarily closing for renovations, including upgrades to the floors, pens, walls and more. It announced on the page on March 26 that “ALL PUPS NEED TO FIND HOMES THIS WEEK.”