Weehawken mother Jackie Chong has sworn that the death of her family’s puppy Marley, whom they bought from the Lucky Pet Shop in Union City, will not be in vain since former store owner Oscar Cardenas will be brought to justice.
Hudson County View reported on Friday that Oscar Cardenas was arrested last month on animal cruelty charges based on the conditions of the Lucky Pet Shop on New York Avenue in Union City, subsequently working out a plea deal for the charges during his first court appearance.
Chong, a single mother, and her 15-year-old son, Ayden Vaval, were gracious enough to invite us into their home to discuss the trials and tribulations they encountered as a result of purchasing their bulldog puppy, Marley.
Chong recalled that the dog was purchased for $1,500 on December 23, the day her oldest son Christian got engaged, before bringing him home on Christmas Day.
Unfortunately, Marley almost immediately showed signs of being seriously ill.
Chong said her family was quite fortunate with the initial medical bills, as the first two vet visits only cost $187. However, that was of little consequence when Marley’s health continued to struggle.
Chong further explained that at Marley’s third vet visit, this time at Hoboken Animal Hospital, the pup needed IV treatment for dehydration and was once again suffering from parasites.
The medical costs totaled nearly $700 this time around. Things got even worse on February 13th, when Chong returned home from a wedding and Marley began suffering from seizures.
She rushed her family’s beloved pet to the Oradell Animal Hospital in Paramus around 8 p.m. that night, where she had to write a check for $2,200 to compensate for the intensive care.
By around 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day, doctors said Marley had suffered facial paralysis and it was unlikely that his condition would improve.
While the story had a tragic ending, receiving his ashes yesterday, Chong and Vaval’s eyes lit up when asked if Marley was still able to showcase his personality during his short stay in their Oak Street home.
Chong added that she has spoken to Cardenas recently and “he just doesn’t sound sympathetic” about the whole situation, also calling the conditions at Lucky Pet Shop “disgusting” – blaming only her own ignorance for not seeing the severity of the situation then.
Finally, Chong said that anyone associated with Cardenas or the Lucky Pet Shop “should be ashamed of themselves,” saying through tears that she promised Marley his death wouldn’t be in vain.
Anyone wishing to help the family can donate to their GoFundMe page.
Cardenas could not be reached for comment.