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Merrick Puppy Store owner arrested on animal cruelty charges


The owner of the Puppy Store, in Merrick, was arrested Friday by county SPCA detectives on animal cruelty charges.

According to the Nassau County SPCA, detectives visited the store on Jan. 30 in response to a complaint. There, detectives found a 6-month-old Labrador Retriever in a cage in the basement, unable to walk, SPCA officials said. The dog was taken to a veterinarian for immediate care.

The dog continues to be rehabilitated and treated, according to Gary Rogers, spokesman for the SPCA.

After an investigation, the store’s owner, Robert Lawrence, 40, of Woodmere, for overdriving, torturing and injuring animals, because of the failure to provide the dog with veterinary care, according to Miriam Sholder, spokeswoman for the county district attorney's office. The failure to provide veterinary care charge is a Class A misdemeanor, according to SPCA officials.

Under state law, the charge carries penalties of a fine of up to $1,000, and/or up to a year in prison.

Lawrence was to be arraigned on Friday in Hempstead First District Court.

The charges are merely accusations, the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty. Attorney information for Lawrence was not available as of press time.

- This story will be updated.