Dozens of animal rights activists and families of rescue dogs came together on Saturday, March 12, outside of The Puppy Store in Merrick to denounce animal cruelty. Owner Robert Lawrence was arrested on March 2 for overdriving, torturing and injuring animals and failure to provide proper sustenance, a class A misdemeanor.
Lawrence allegedly neglected a 6-month-old Labrador Retriever in a cage in the basement. The dog was unable to walk. Nassau County Police transported the dog to a veterinarian at the time of Lawrence’s arrest.
“This store should be shut down and the animals confiscated and put into rescue,” said Keri Esposito-Michel, member of grassroots organization Puppy Mill Free Long Island, a Facebook group that seeks to educate the public about puppy mills.
The protesters brought signs encouraging boycott of The Puppy Store and all pet stores that source their dogs from puppy mills. The group also handed out flyers to passersby on foot and received encouraging honks from passing cars.