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Vincent LoSacco, Owner of Just Pups, the pet store chain that since April 2016 has been mired in controversy over allegations of animal cruelty, filed a motion in Superior Court in Hackensack to amend his legal action against the borough — reversing his decision in July to drop the lawsuit.

LoSacco, an Emerson resident, has been under fire since more than 60 dogs were found in an unattended van behind the chain’s Paramus location in April.

The amended complaint alleges that the nearly six-hour hearing that Emerson officials had on July 12 to decide whether to renew LoSacco’s business license was “unlawful,” and that the borough’s decision to deny the renewal was “arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable.” LoSacco announced after the hearing that he was closing his Emerson store.

LoSacco argued in the lawsuit that his license should have been renewed immediately because Just Pups was a pet store and not a kennel under borough code, and therefore not subject to the hearing.

In addition to arguing that Just Pups is a pet store rather than a kennel, the lawsuit also alleges that the council made a decision based on evidence that was not related to the Just Pups location in Emerson and heard comments from residents who had not purchased dogs from the store in the past three years.

The lawsuit also accuses Emerson of depriving LoSacco of his “legal and property rights,” including his right to due process. It asks the court to compel Emerson to issue Just Pups a “pet shop” license for 2016-17, retroactive to July 1. The Just Pups store in Emerson has been closed since July 13.

Mayor Lou Lamatina said he was confident the borough was within its rights to hold the hearing and to deny LoSacco’s business license renewal. He said the borough will “aggressively address” LoSacco’s amended complaint.

“I’m extremely disappointed that Mr. LoSacco did not keep his word and has decided to continue litigation against the borough,” Lamatina said. “We are not terribly concerned about the merits of his amended complaint, especially given his statements after the application hearing.”

“We gave the gentleman more than ample opportunity to present his position – ending the meeting at 12:46 a.m.,” Lamatina said. “We would have gone on as long as he wanted for him to present his position. I am very confident that our actions were not arbitrary and capricious, as his amended complaint alleges."

LoSacco was charged with 134 counts of animal cruelty by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office. He also faces 267 animal cruelty charges filed by the New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after three dead dogs were allegedly found in a freezer at the Just Pups location in East Brunswick in February.

Many residents attended the July 12th hearing and witnessed for themselves the abuse and unscrupulous dealings Mr. LoSacco brought to the town of Emerson.  Please let Mayor Lamatina know that you support him aggressively defending the town of Emerson against the Vincent LoSacco and Just Pups lawsuit by signing this Petition.





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