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.
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.