The Puppy Experience pet store on Main Road in Aquebogue. RiverheadLOCAL file photo

A second lawsuit has been filed seeking to annul the Riverhead’s recently adopted local law banning the sale of commercially bread dogs, cats and rabbits in pet stores.

The owner of Puppy Experience in Aquebogue and the pet dealers advocacy group People United to Protect Pet Integrity, known as PUPPI, have jointly filed a lawsuit against the Town of Riverhead seeking to invalidate the Riverhead law, adopted Oct. 5 and set to take effect Jan. 3.

The local law, introduced by Councilman Ken Rothwell, took aim at “puppy mills” by requiring animals offered for sale at pet stores to be sourced only from humane societies and animal shelters.

Like the lawsuit filed Nov. 4 by Sportsman’s Kennels, the Puppy Experience/PUPPI complaint alleges that the town’s new law violates N.Y. State Agriculture and Markets Law, which allows municipalities to adopt local laws to “governing the health or safety of animals acquired or maintained by pet dealers” but “may not result in essentially banning all sales of dogs or cats raised and maintained in a healthy and safe manner.”

The suit also alleges Riverhead’s local law violates the State Constitution and State Municipal Home Rule Law in that it is allegedly inconsistent with state law.

The suit also seeks a permanent injunction against enforcement of the town law.

The Puppy Experience/PUPPI lawsuit was filed yesterday in State Supreme Court, Suffolk County. Both plaintiffs are represented by David Schwartz of Gerstman Schwartz in Garden City.

In an affidavit filed with the complaint, Keith Lewin, operator of Puppy Experience, a pet dealer licensed by the state, said he complies with all state and county regulations governing his business and has “only offered animals for sale from USDA-licensed Class A breeders and/or Class B brokers.” He said he has never “obtained or possessed animals intended for sale originating from breeds or brokers that have received any direct or critical violation from the USDA.”

Lewin said in the affidavit Riverhead’s local law will put the Puppy Experience out of business on the first day it goes into effect.

Sportsman’s Kennels owner Helen Camlakides made similar statements in her affidavit in support of the action brought Nov. 4 by Andrew Martingale, of the Melville law firm Hamburger, Maxson, Yaffe & Martingale.

In that action, State Supreme Court Justice James Hudson signed an order preventing the town from enforcing its law pending the court’s decision on Sportsman’s Kennels’ application for an injunction while the matter is litigated.

The Sportsman’s Kennels action was an item on the town board’s work session agenda Wednesday, for discussion in executive session.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.