East Providence pet store fights new city ordinance - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

East Providence pet store fights new city ordinance

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Nicole Gerber  
ngerber@abc6.com
@nicolegerber

EAST PROVIDENCE - The Perfect Puppy has been open in East Providence for just two weeks as a branch of a shop in Scituate.

Now, a new ordinance threatens to shut it down.

"I have to provide for my family, I'm trying to make a business for my family to continue... The city council would rather have me standing on a street corner with a sign and a tin bucket saying I'm homeless," said owner Scott Bergantino.

The council voted on the ordinance, which bans the sales of cats and dogs, after a public hearing last Tuesday where community members voiced their concerns about pet shops.

"They have inflated prices, the history of pet stores includes a track record of selling sick animals... And the vast majority of these puppies that are sold in pet shops, are raised from puppy mills," said one resident at the meeting.

But Bergantino — a former breeder with 25 years of experience working with dogs — says none of that happens in his shop.

"I pick most of my puppies up, I transport them myself, I bring them in, I have them vet–checked from the state they're coming in before they come over the state lines, I make sure they're seen here by my vet, I do all the right precautions," he said.

Local resident Pamela Marshall, who stopped in with her daughter in search of their newest addition, has no problem with the store.

"The animals all look happy, it's clean, it's open, it's friendly... I think it's great that they have something like this in East Providence I hope it stays," she said.

The Perfect Puppy is still in operation because of an injunction that Bergantino filed, calling the city's actions "unconstitutional."

The fight will continue in a courtroom.

A superior court hearing scheduled for this afternoon was moved to federal court.

There's no word yet on when a judge will hear the case.

(c) WLNE-TV 2014


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