Borough’s bid to immediately close Just Pups denied by judge
On Friday, a Superior Court judge denied the borough of Emerson's bid to immediately shut down the controversial pet store Just Pups for operating without a license.
Judge Lisa Perez Friscia's decision came less than 24 hours after the borough filed it's bid at about 4:15 p.m. Thursday, according to NorthJersey.com. When giving her decision, the judge questioned borough officials as to why the request was "so emergent" last week.
"What is so emergent here? Where has everyone been," Friscia said, the NorthJersey.com article states. "It’s not that this hasn’t been out there and a central focus of coverage and community."
Just Pups owner Vincent LoSacco’s license to operate the Emerson Just Pups store expired June 30 and the borough has not yet approved his application to renew the license. Since July 1, police in the borough have been giving LoSacco two summonses a day for operating without a license.
“We applied for our license in a timely fashion, all the paperwork was accurate according to my attorney, and I guess you have to ask the borough why they haven’t issued it,” LoSacco told NJ 101.5 last week. “It’s beyond my control. That’s why my attorney advised me to stay open, because he knows everything was submitted timely and accurately. We’ve done everything according to the law.”
In addition to the Emerson location, LoSacco's Just Pups store in East Brunswick closed down earlier this year after he was charged with 267 counts of animal cruelty. Officials from the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals claims healthy dogs were being kept with sick ones at that location. The remains of three dead dogs were also found in a freezer at that location, officials said.
In April, the Just Pups store in Paramus was forced to close after LoSacco and his brother were charged with 134 counts of animal cruelty, after police located a van in which several dogs were left unattended in near-freezing temperatures. Still, the owner insisted he did nothing wrong and that the conditions inside the van were adequate. Those puppies were later put up for adoption.
According to Judge Friscia, it is ultimately up to the borough whether or not to issue LoSacco a license for his Just Pups store in Emerson. The Borough Council could decide on the license renewal at its next regularly scheduled meeting July 12.
Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.