In the case of Northern Puppies, Staley argued that she did provide veterinarian care, but said the death of the kittens was out of her hands simply because “cats get sick.” She also said that the animals in her care were not looked after because she was away recuperating from an operation at the same time that employees were on vacation.
But those excuses simply do not hold water. Yes, animals get sick, but it is up to their caregiver to follow through with a proper treatment of medicine to avoid death.
And, all small businesses deal with employees taking vacation or moving on to another job, but it is up to the owner to make sure the shop is covered — especially when that shop is a pet store. Letting both employees take vacation at the same time and then scheduling an operation during that time was irresponsible, plain and simple.
Clayton Smalley of Plattsburgh had a very similar opinion on The Burgh’s Facebook page: “As the business owner they’re still responsible. If your pets die because you’re not there to care for them it’s still your fault. If you were to hire negligent people, it’s still your fault. You have all responsibility for the place. Those problems didn’t happen overnight.”
This pet store is also not new to controversy. A year ago, photos were posted to Facebook showing animals living in filthy conditions. At the time, picketers protested in front of the store.
It is good to see people take a stand and speak out in instances of animal abuse, for a whole host of reasons. The most obvious is that they cannot speak for themselves, another is that animal abuse and cruelty is often a predecessor to other crimes like child and spousal abuse — even murder.