just_inA Red Bank pet shop was among more than two dozen retailers statewide cited for violating a law aimed at giving consumers more information about animals for sale, the New Jersey Attorney General’s office said Monday.

Bark Avenue Puppies, on East Front Street, was cited for 50 alleged violations of amendments to the Pet Purchase Protection Act that went into effect last year, according to the state.

Gary Hager, who acquired the shop last summer, told redbankgreen that he had been unaware of the law, and “immediately rectified” the problems upon being notified by the Department of Community Affairs in August.

From the AG’s news release:

All of the pet shops that received Notices of Violations from the Division were cited for failing to include the required information on cage labels for each animal, including where and when it was bred; the name and address of anyone who brokered the sale between breeder and pet store; the date and name of vet who performed the animal’s initial medical exam; and the age, sex, and identifying marks or tags on the animal.
Several pet shops were also cited for failing to properly display reports of any federal inspections conducted on breeders and brokers in the past two years. Additional violations involved the failure to properly display the required “Know Your Rights” signs informing customers of their rights when purchasing an animal from a pet shop.

“Information required by the Pet Purchase Protection Act is crucial to consumers who want to know that the pets they bring into their homes were bred under healthy conditions that comply with the required standards of care,” said Steve Lee, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “The Division is committed to ensuring that these facts are readily available to consumers, as the law requires.”

According to the state, Bark Avenue faces a potential penalty of $10,000 if it settles the matter, and up to $50,000 if it contests the citations and loses its case.

Hager said his all his shop’s violations were related to the its obligations regarding the posting of information on puppy cages.

Hager said he’s hoping to persuade the state to reduce the penalty, given that the conditions were existing at the time he bought the eight-year-old business; that he was unaware of the law; and that he addressed the shortcomings immediately.

The shop’s website says Bark Avenue specializes in in French, mini and Victorian bulldogs.

Also cited was the Pet Shoppe on Route 35 in Middletown, which faces a potential $2,500 fine for 19 violations, the state said.