It was gratifying to the dogs' owners to see Mr. Principe stand in front of a Judge, and each of them, and hear Mr. Principe admit what he had vehemently denied to them all along -- that he knew those dogs were sick when he sold them; it was in stark contrast of Mr. Principe's professed innocence.
The HVHS intends to monitor Mr. Principe during the Court's supervision.
Original Media Release Posted May 13, 2014: John Principe, 51, pled guilty to 4 counts of selling or offering to sell or exposing a diseased animal, in the Stony Point Justice Court. Mr. Principe was arrested on 4 separate occasions between September 2012 and August 2013 by The Hudson Valley Humane Society's Humane Law Enforcement under Article 26, Section 357 of the New York State Agriculture and Markets Law. In New York State, it is a misdemeanor to sell sick animals. Mr. Principe, a licensed breeder in New York State, was fluent in the State's requirements and knowingly sold sick Golden Retriever and Labrador Retriever puppies. The respective buyers of these puppies endured the care, expense and emotional stress while seeking to help their newly acquired family member(s) overcome their illnesses. Unfortunately, at least 2 pups succumbed:
"JAKE", a black Labrador Retriever, purchased by his new family on Christmas Eve to cheer their father who was mourning the loss of his 13-year old dog. Two days later JAKE was at the vet and was diagnosed withthe Parvo virus and Giardia. Although every supportive care was afforded this pup by his family, the combination of viruses proved fatal and he died at 7 weeks of age.
A chocolate Labrador puppy named "BOSCO" endured illness his entire short life and required euthanasia at 8 months. This pup, at the time of purchase, had Giardia, staff infections of the skin and was lethargic. His new family sought immediate veterinary care. Medical tests indicated a high white blood cell count and BOSCO later became paralyzed. He was humanely euthanized and never experienced a joyful puppyhood.
"KAYLEIGH", a Golden Retriever, was diagnosed with Parvo at 6-weeks of age, the owners sought immediate and extensive veterinary care and, luckily, she survived.
"JADE", a 9-week old Golden Retriever, was sold and returned to Mr. Principe after being diagnosed with Coccidia and Giardia, fleas, and an ear infection. This buyer returned the puppy to Mr. Principe; whether this dog survived is unknown.
All 4 buyers were awarded restitution totaling $10,618.80 which Mr. Principe must satisfy prior to his sentencing on September 9, 2014.
HVHS Humane Law Enforcement Chief of Patrol, Richard Raheb, led the investigation which spanned more than 1 year. Rockland County District Attorney, Rob Trudell presented the case. The statute under which Mr. Principe plead guilty is as follows:
Article 26, § 357. Selling or offering to sell or exposing diseased animal. A person who willfully sells or offers to sell, uses, exposes, or causes or permits to be sold, offered for sale, used or exposed, any horse or other animal having the disease known as glanders or farcy, or other contagious or infectious disease dangerous to the life or health of human beings, or animals, or which is diseased past recovery, or who refuses upon demand to deprive of life an animal affected with any such disease, is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by imprisonment for not more than one year, or by a fine of not more than one thousand dollars or by both.
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