The customer who tried to bring a local pet store to task for that died of a contagious disease has found that complaining has a price.
A big price, said Doreen Longo.
"Every time I turn around, it's something else."
Since last December when she purchased Sasha, a German Shepherd puppy from , an Avenel pet store, Longo said she's who died days later of parvovirus and for the costs of treating the animal.
Her reward has been that the owner of the store, Rocco Garruto, and his various attorneys, have been in what Longo calls a series of slapback suits.
"He's decided since I've been complaining that I'm the problem, not the sick and diseased puppies he's been selling," she said.
Nonetheless, Longo has been fighting back. On Monday, she was in New Brunswick, again, to answer to stop her from posting about him and his store on the Internet.
On Friday, she'll be in court - again - to answer charges from Garruto that she allegedly physically attacked him while in the waiting room of Woodbridge Municipal Court. Next week - again in Woodbridge - her case is one of five against Garruto being brought by the NJ Department of Consumer Affairs. They charge that with the animals he's sold customers.
Longo so far has prevailed in the cases that have come before various courts.
Garruto apparently hasn't been that lucky. He's complained in court papers that Longo's 'vendetta' has ruined his business to the point where he is selling only one or two puppies a month, and despite the other series of cases involving sick and dying puppies he's sold to other people, he blames his misfortunes on Longo.
As for attacking Garruto, the case due to be heard in Woodbridge on Friday, Longo laughed.
"It's absurd. I never went near the man," she said.
She's got the proof, she added: the videotape of the waiting room shows her never going near Garruto. Longo said she reacted to vulgarities Garruto said loudly about her to his then-lawyer.
The court officer in the waiting room never moved from her seat, and Longo was never escorted from the room during the alleged incident.
"This whole thing is just ridiculous. He's simply trying to throw everything, including the kitchen sink, at me for his bad business practices," Longo said. "He wants to try and make me spend as much money and time as possible."
Not that it will work, she said.
"I remember that poor puppy who died crying and bleeding in my arms. I'm not giving up."
Garruto could not be reached for comment.