The owner of the by the Middlesex County Dept. of Consumer Affairs (MCDCA) is going to be back in court again today.
Rocco Guarruto, the proprietor of , is scheduled to answer charges in Woodbridge Municipal Court that he violated the state's Puppy Lemon Law when he sold sick animals to owners who had problems getting refunds when the puppies got sick and sometimes died.
Garruto was in court several weeks ago and was ordered to come back to make arrangements for repaying the puppy owners fees that include the cost of the animals plus money paid to veterinarians for their care.
was at the earlier court hearing and plans on being back in Woodbridge today.
"Everytime he's in court, I'm going to be there," said Longo, whose German Shepherd puppy, Sasha, died of parvovirus and parasites less than two weeks after she purchased it as a Christmas present for her daughter.
Longo has retained her own lawyer to fight Guarruto, and her case is one of four that attorney Edward Harrington Heyburn has taken on against Fancy Pups.
"I'm suing under the Consumer Fraud Act," Heyburn said. "I'm alleging [Guarruto] committed an unconscionable commercial practice by selling sick dogs and lying about the quality of the dogs."
One of the clients Heyburn is representing purchased a German Shepherd puppy from Fancy Pups. That dog died of parvo before Longo even purchased her dog from the pet shop.
"He knew that those puppies had parvo. One of the puppies died of it before Doreen bought her dog," Heyburn said.
The attorney said that Guarruto is misrepresenting the puppies he sells. "They aren't AKC registered dogs, and their parents aren't AKC registered," Heyburn said. "We aren't sure who the breeders were or where they came from."
Guarruto could not be reached for comment.
By charging Guarruto with an "unconscionable commercial practice", Heyburn said that his clients can ultimately recover triple the damages they've incurred, plus other costs, including attorney fees.
At this stage, he is suing Guarruto for $15,000 for each of his clients, Heyburn said.
He also encourages anyone who has had bad dealings with Fancy Pups to contact him.