A New Jersey pet store owner is being investigated by multiple agencies after police say they discovered 67 puppies crammed into a van behind one of his shops.
Paramus Police were carrying out routine rounds on Monday morning when they heard whimpering and smelled urine and feces coming from a van parked in a lot just before 3 a.m., according to a statement.
When they looked inside the van, police say they saw several puppies. Police then entered the van, which was unlocked.
Police in Paramus, New Jersey found a van full of puppies early Monday.
Behind the sliding door, police say they found dozens of puppies--most of them Golden Retrievers and terriers--inside cages that held two to four animals each.
"The officers also observed that the crates were too small for some of the dogs who could not stand up inside of them, some of the crates also did not contain food or water and that some of the dogs were covered in feces," the statement said.
Police also said the temperature in the van was 38 degrees Fahrenheit despite the propane heater that had been placed inside.
There were 67 puppies all told, many of them in cages with two to three other dogs, police said.
Police ran the van's plates, which led them to Just Pups owner Vincent LoSacco, who is currently being investigated on over 200 animal cruelty charges related to a separate incident.
In that incident, the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals filed 267 animal cruelty charges against LoSacco after police allegedly found three dead dogs in a freezer in his East Brunswick store, the Paramus Daily Voice reports.
In response to the accusations, LoSacco posted a video to YouTube refuting the charges.
"I would first like to ensure anyone watching this video that neither I nor any employee of mine is guilty of any of the crimes," alleged by an NJSPCA officer, he said.
On Monday, officers took the puppies found inside the van to a veterinarian in Paramus for medical evaluation. At that location it was determined that 15 of the puppies needed further medical treatment, the police statement says.
Authorities say the tags on the van were traced to the owner of several area pet stores.
Authorities in East Brunswick revoked LoSacco's license for his store there last week. LoSacco also owns the Paramus store, one in the town of Emerson and another in the state of New York.
The Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office Animal Cruelty Task Force is investigating the Paramus incident along with police detectives and the Health Department, which closed the store.
Messages left for LoSacco at the Emerson and East Brunswick store numbers were not immediately returned Tuesday morning.