Dog Rescue Group Shut Down For Selling Sick Canines And Flipping Them For Profit

Selling sick dogs and flipping them for profit got a dog rescue group shut down in Calverton, New York. An announcement by the New York state attorney general’s office says Precious Pups Rescue, Inc. is no longer in business after a probe concluded over complaints filed by customers.

News 12 Long Island reports that owners, Laura Zambito and Rosemary Torrillo-Hooghkirk, were illegally “flipping” ill dogs from other shelters and telling potential customers that the animals were healthy. Zambito and Torrillo-Hooghkirk are ordered to pay $24,000 in restitution.

CBS Local New York reported on an investigation being conducted on Precious Pups Rescue last summer after about 50 complaints were filed that the two operators were selling sick dogs for profit. The dog rescue group shut down was at the time selling dogs in the price range of $300 to $600. This is far more than what anyone would pay to adopt a dog at a local shelter.

New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said customers were told by Precious Pups that the dogs were all healthy, but the group misled them. The animals didn’t receive veterinarian care. Zambito and Torrillo-Hooghkirk were subpoenaed, but refused to comply with it.

Animal activist, Lisa Ludwig, told the news station that the dog rescue group shut down had all the signs of a flipping operation.

“This is a dog flipping operation. So many people have been stuck with thousands of dollars in vet bills and dead dogs too.”

A woman who purchased a poodle from Precious Pups said her dog died 36 hours later from starvation.

Zambito refused to let cameras by CBS Local in to see 75 dogs. She called the allegations against the organization a “personal vendetta by opponents.”

“We will be telling the truth in court. We will be presenting the facts with our attorney. So there is no further comment.”

The report did interview one man who said the animals were “all beautiful and healthy.”

It was proven in hearings that Precious Pups Rescue committed fraud and that conditions at the facility endangered the welfare of the dogs. As the article went on to say, this case highlights the unfortunate side of animal rescue. Almost anyone can call themselves an animal rescue group.

As with anything else, there are those in the business for the wrong reasons and have their own agendas. Operators from the now closed Precious Pups Rescue are barred from conducting any animal-related activity.

[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]