Another chapter of the saga came to an end Friday.
Doreen Longo, the Toms River woman who purchased last December, won a battle instituted by Rocco Garruto, the owner of Fancy Pups, the Avenel store that sold her the sick dog.
Garruto had accused Longo of lunging at him in the waiting room of earlier this year. , saying that she threatened him and made bodily contact with him.
Longo won by default, though, because once again, as he's done before, Garruto was a no-show.
The judge dismissed the charges while Longo and her attorney waited for their case to be brought up.
As far as Longo is concerned, though, the whole thing was a scam. "I looked at the entire video of that day we were waiting. There is absolutely no evidence at all that I went near him. I never touched him," she said. "The video shows it plain as day."
She thinks that Garruto's charges were part of an ongoing strategy to force her to waste as much money and time as possible, answering his charges.
Meanwhile, Longo isn't the only person who is after Garruto. In this next bout, four other owners of dogs who were either sick or dying, and who purchased them at Fancy Pups, will be represented in court by the Middlesex County Division of Consumer Affairs. That entity has been suing Garruto under the state's Puppy Lemon Law.
several times to various offenses. Even so, the lawsuits drag on. Longo's legal battles with Garruto aren't over, she said.
"This man is such a fraud. What amazes me is that he is still in business and [Woodbridge Township] hasn't done a thing to shut him down," she said.
Part of Garruto's claims is that Longo's efforts to publicize the issues she and other pet owners have had with Fancy Pups has cost him to . Longo said she's "glad" if that's the case.
"You'd think a town would care if a pet store owner was selling sick animals, and that's only part of what he's done," she said. "What kind of a town is Woodbridge, anyway?"