Drunk Puppy Buying Banned By New York Pet Stores

Le Petit Puppy

Le Petit Puppy in the West Village of Manhattan.

You’ve heard of drunk dialing and drunk Facebooking, but drunk puppy buying?

Inebriated passers-by are falling in love with playful pooches frolicking in the windows of some West Village, New York City pet stores and the problem has become so bad the owners have banned them from taking the pets home.

“I feel like they always come in drunk,” said Fernanda Moritz, the manager of Le Petite Puppy which has implemented a policy against letting customers buy — or even hold — animals if they’ve been drinking.

The shop is surrounded by bars, and Moritz said many of her would-be customers stop in after happy hour around 6 p.m.

“They come from there and say ‘let’s stop by to see the puppies,'” said Moritz.

Moritz recalled selling a Chihuahua some years ago to a woman she thought might have been drunk, only to have the dog returned the next day — in a near-dead state.

“We took it to the vet and he found five pills in the dog’s stomach,” she said. “It almost overdosed.”

The Chihuahua’s stomach was pumped, and it survived.

Now Moritz and her staff are always on the lookout for intoxicated customers and won’t even let those they suspect are drunk hold the puppies to keep them from being dropped.

Moritz says the situation is an occupational hazard of working on a strip well known for bars and boozy brunches.

The adorable sight of furry faces in the window and the effects of alcohol can be a bad combination, Moritz said.

Amazingly the store, which has supplied puppies to celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker and Hugh Jackman, isn’t the only one in the New York City neighborhood forced to implement the ban.

Citipups also forbids intoxicated customers from purchasing puppies.

Leandro Jacoby, the 28-year-old manager of Citipups has come up with a creative way to test whether a customer is serious about the purchase.

“We have to tell them to come back the next day and most of the time they never come back,” Jacoby said.

“Most of the time it happens around holidays — St. Patrick’s Day or Gay Pride,” he added.

Four-years ago on St. Patrick’s Day, a couple came into the store and spent $3,500 on an English Bull Dog and a Miniature Pinscher. The morning after, the couple returned to the store, apologized to Jacoby, and gave the dogs back.

“They were just having fun,” said Jacoby.

Even though turning down drunken customers might seem bad for business, Moritz and Jacoby both say they’d prefer to lose the sale.

“We make sure they can take care of the dog. We make sure they go to a good home,” Jacoby said.

Story by Elaine Furst for Dog Files


    • Nibs says

      If all stores were to close how to you propose that the existing animals be fed?  Would you rather buy everything at the vets for twice the price?

  1. says

    Good for you. Thank you for keeping self respect in your business ethics and putting the puppy’s care first. Good business is a long lasting business with many happy return and new customers. Poor business practices are soon ( we hope ) dealt with by our laws and the animals lives protected.

    Times are financially hard on many but a shady deal  will end up costing the store owner more.

    Any well meaning person would understand the ‘come back tomorrow’ policy and what it means to them as well as the welbeing of the pups. Money earned with no conscience attached is going to be out of business.

    Good show. 

    • Pam says

      This business is unethical to begin with.  Selling puppies to anyone with a credit card?  Do they do contracts, home visits, and where do they go when people can’t afford them, move into a place that don’t allow pets.  Why do you think there are so many in shelters?  Leave the puppy sales to the ethical breeders and not money making stores like this.

  2. Angelhimm says

    Why close this store?. …It looks like a very clean well run establishment! I don’t blame them for not selling a pet to a drunk person, they’d probably bring it home, forget about it, wake up with a hang over…then get rid of it!! What should be closed are ‘Puppy mills’..!

  3. RKenn531 says

    Do a google search for Puppy Mills and see where these puppies come from. Then maybe you’ll see why pet shops should be regulated or closed.

  4. Senjimom says

    Northern California you can not buy any puppies or kittens in a pet store at all.  If I am correct, you can buy them in southern California…………but then they are mostly what I believe to be from puppy mills.

    @Angelhimm, I agree with you that puppy mills should all be put out of business!

  5. Pam says

    Ban this store from selling puppies at all!  You are selling the cute puppies in the window when the puppymills these puppies come from were in horrendous conditions?  The parents are breeding puppies for sale in this store.  No rightful respectable breeder would leave their puppies with you.  How much are you buying the pups for and selling them for over $1,000.00 a piece?  This is a simple supply and demand; do not buy puppies from pet store period!!

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