UPDATED: Union City pet store owner arrested for knowingly selling sick dogs

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The owner of the Lucky Pet Shop on New York Avenue in Union City was arrested on several animal cruelty charges last month for allegedly selling sick dogs out of his store, City Animal Cruelty Investigator Geoff Santini told Hudson County View.

A Facebook photo of Oscar Cardenas.
A Facebook photo of Oscar Cardenas.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

Santini said that he filed seven animal cruelty complaints against Oscar Cardenas, who some know as Mauricio, on January 13 – two of which are third-degree crimes, making them indictable offenses.

He further stated that Union City police arrested Cardenas on January 20th and that the charges come with a maximum penalty of approximately $21,000 in fines and up to six months in jail.

Santini, who is opening a no-kill animal shelter in West New York, also said at one point that the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NJSPCA) has opened a separate case against Cardenas.

Matt Stanton, a spokesman for the NJSPCA, said Cardenas’ first court appearance was on January 27th and he was charged with three counts of failing to provide necessary care, three counts of cause the death of/or serious bodily injury to a living animal or creature by any direct or indirect means and three counts of overdrive, overload, drive when overloaded, overwork, abuse, or needlessly kill a living animal or creature.

According to Stanton, Cardenas agreed to a guilty plea on the charges with fines totaling $4,800.

“Someone reported a sick bulldog in the window of Lucky Pet Shop, so we responded to the call and took all the dogs out of the shop and brought them to Oradell [Animal Hospital],” Santini explained over the phone, emphasizing that all seven dogs removed from the shop tested positive for parvo.

The canine parvovirrius is a highly contagious viral intestine infection that can be deadly if not treated in an expedient manner, via PetMD.

The seven dogs removed from the shop were of three different breeds: three bulldogs, two huskies and two shih tzus, according to Santini.

Santini further explained that one of the bulldogs was euthanized the same day and a rescued husky died a couple days later.

The Husky House, of Matawan, rescued and saved four of the dogs – who were treated at Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls – and are now living at Husky House, Stanton also said.

Husky House Director Lorraine Healy added that the veterinary bills totaled over $35,000 and the facility incurred all the costs.

“[Cardenas was] operating a shop not fit to have animals in it. A lot of people are coming forward and saying he does this all throughout New Jersey,” Santini added.

“One woman said she bought a bulldog from him in an Edgewater parking lot. Now he’s not returning calls or refunding their money.”

Santini also called Cardenas’ actions “horrendous” and “horrific,” noting that he may have been importing dogs from Colombia.

The Union City Police Department could not be immediately reached for comment and Lucky Pet Shop was permanently closed when Hudson County View sought Cardenas for comment this week.

17 COMMENTS

  1. Most of this is false accusations. I use to work here for about 6 months and he never hurt the animals in any type of way, he wasn’t aware that the animals were sick since they were just fine when we received them, as soon as we found out we close down the store and started treating the animals. And he tried paying the veterinarian bills of the customers that bought any puppy from there. The news will only show you what they want you to see.

    • I never met Oscar and I wasn’t inside the pet shop while it was open so I’m not going to pretend I know exactly what happened. However, my first two thoughts are: 1. A lot of people are complaining they got screwed over by the pet shop 2. If “most of this is false accusations,” why did he enter a guilty plea right off the bat?

    • The news is showing everything there is to show. The store was closed no less than a week after we purchased our dog. Phone number was disconnected. And Oscar was nowhere to be found or contacted. Our dog died less than a month and a half later. So do not tell me or anyone else that these are false accusations. He pleaded guilty, and there’s plenty of evidence to support it.

  2. My friend bought a puppy on Christmas Eve from this person.this single mom tried to save her family puppy . She used all her family savings. She still owes a lot of money on vet animal hospital in Paramus. Mr. Marley was too sick n his little body n brain gave up.
    Mr. Marley was not even 3 months old
    RIP MR. Marley
    2/14/16

  3. this is a shame thank so god my husband never brought a puppy from him the only thing he would do is just them through the window …. but poor puppies hope justice is serve.

  4. Dejen de ser sapos….. In English better, stop being sniches. Now everyone wants to come out and talk s*** abt him. Oscar loves animals n he would never hurt a animal. I know him for years, he’s a good friend of mine. If he pleaded guilty he has he’s reasons.

  5. I am jackie the one taking his sorry excuse as caring dog seller. To the ones that support Oscar be in court so you can see how many animals have been hurt and put to sleep by his actions. My puppy never had a fighting chance. So look him up, plenty of us to back up every bit of the story and I will not stop till he pays for what he’s done to me and my family and all the other puppies he’s killed for his own selfish reasons.

  6. Idk how this guy is selling sick dogs ? Are the dogs that he is breeding sick as well ? How can this be avoided in other situation or in the future when purchasing a puppy from dog store or breeder. My cousin brought a bull dog from a reputable breeder in nj and three years later dog got cancer and died. Some dogs more than others are prone to getting sick etc.

    • Solution- ADOPT FUTURE DOGS FROM REPUTABLE RESCUE GROUPS SUCH AS HUSKY HOUSE INC, MATAWAN, NJ, AND PUT JACKASSES LIKE THIS OUT OF BUSINESS!! EVERY DOG ADOPTED FROM A REPUTABLE RESCUE GROUP MAKES IT EASIER FOR THE RESCUE GROUP TO SAVE ANOTHER DOG ON DEATH ROW/HIGH KILL SHELTER. IF THIS BOZO REALLY WAS AN ANIMAL LOVER AND NOT A MONEY GRUBBING TAKE ADVANTAGE OPPORTUNIST, HE WOULD HAVE MADE SURE THOSE DOGS SAW A VET. THIS IS NOT THIS GUY’S FIRST RODEO. HE JUST NEVER GOT IN TROUBLE BEFORE. SO HE BELIEVED IT WAS NO BIG DEAL AND KEPT DOING IT. BUT THE LAWS ARE CHANGING, AND THIS GUY NEEDS TO CHANGE JOB TITLES WHICH NO LONGER HAVE DOG, PET, ANIMAL OR BREEDER IN THEIR DESCRIPTION!

  7. I followed the story on the news and on FB through a group I’m part of on Bulldogs. Got to say that the lady who had the bulldog Marley was real quick in excepting another bulldog from a group member. That’s pretty sad if you ask me, how much did you really care and love for your dead dog? A real dog owner who loves their dog won’t be able to except a dog that quick. My dog is a family member to me not a worn-out pair a shoes that could be replaced with a new pair that fast. Everyone saw the complete story on Hudson County View but the final chapter was never said…… And there you have it.

  8. This guy is now driving around in a car that says Prestige Bulldogs and claims he’s a breeder from CT.

  9. I purchased my six week old bulldog from Oscar at the recommendation of a friend who also got her bulldog from Lucky Pet
    I got my Bubbah the week prior to those who got their ill pups just before Christmas
    Upon leaving LuckyPet Bubbah had diarrhea which Oscar chalked it up to a change in food. Long story short it became excessive and my puppy had two visits to the vet for almost a month of antibiotics. I tried to reach Oscar who guaranteed a healthy dog to no avail. Other issues my puppy was and is agressive biting. We had to hire a dog behaviorist who states that Bubbah was not socialized beings we got him at six weeks in a pet store. Who knows when he was removed from mama and the litter
    By the way remember my friend who had recommended Oscar? Her bully died a few months old, it cost her about $8000 invest bills and most of all it cost her her heart
    We plan to sue

  10. Oscar is a very bad person. He threats people, he curses out in public. Oscar has no such respect to anyone. I understood why he got arrested with many guilts, he has never holding a moral character.

    BE Aware!!! Criminal is Back in town!!!!
    He is dangerous!!!!!!!

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