In December 2021, an investigator from the Humane Society of the United States concluded a six-week undercover investigation of American Kennels, an Upper East Side pet shop which operated at 798 Lexington Avenue (between 61st and 62nd streets) since 1954.
According to the report, the investigation “revealed sick and dying puppies stored in the designated sick rooms and a basement, hidden from the public. Some of the ailing dogs were sold to customers who were not made aware the puppies were sick and sourced from cruel puppy mills. The investigator documented that at least one puppy died in the store,” and “at any given time, there were approximately 60 puppies in the store, with 12 to 20 of them hidden in sick rooms and the basement.”
A representative from American Kennels denied all allegations.
Following the report, the City began its own investigation. Peter A. Hatch, Commissioner of the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, told the New York Post “We have reviewed the Humane Society’s disturbing report, sent our own inspectors to American Kennels and intend to enforce all applicable consumer protection laws.”
On December 21, the Humane Society sent a letter to the state requesting that “… American Kennels not receive a renewal of its state permit until active investigation findings are completed by city agencies.”
Today (Feb 16), a tipster reached out to tell us that the space American Kennels had occupied all those years is now on the market (thanks to ‘Upper West Sider’).
We’re not sure if the results of the investigation have a direct link to the store’s closure, but we’ve reached out to both American Kennels and the Humane Society for statements.
I have seen similar dog “storage” situations in other NYC dog stores. The store owners don’t really care about pets at all. To them, they are things to sell, like treats. Sales of pets should be banned at all pet stores. There are other and better types of places to acquire pets.