Tuesday, October 7, 2003
Carmel on the Case: Pet World Closed
A controversial pet shop is once again in the dog house. Authorities say the owner has ignored the law for too long. Investigative Reporter Carmel Cafiero has been "On This Case"-- for twelve years!
(WSVN) -- Pedro Martinez says, "I know my rights!"
Pedro Martinez had to be restrained by Miami Dade Police Officers who were at his wife's pet store to shut it down.
Authorities say she has ignored the law - ignored consumers who bought sick puppies from her - and ignored county fines for too long.
Captain Carlos Vasquez ofMiami Dade Animal Services says, "As of right now, you can't sell anymore animals."
Captain Carlos Vasquez had to talk with the owner of the shop, Karina Pubchara, by phone - she never showed up.
Karina says, "You never make people happy."
Back in July, I questioned her about nearly 13 thousand dollars she owed in fines in connection with the way she has operated her business.
Carmel asks, "What do you have to say about all the complaints and fines against your business?"
Karina says, "I have nothing to say Carmel."
That attitude has served her well over the years.
It was 1991 when I first reported on her.
A customer claimed Pubchara charged her for a pure bred dog that turned out to be a mixed breed.
Carmel says, "She also says she got no documents as the law requires."
Karina responds, "Tell her to get a lawyer, I don't have to talk to you."
Back then we found dead and dying puppies on the sidewalk behind her Flagler street pet shop.
While we were inside the shop, someone knocked out the windows of our news unit.
At the time authorities found sick dogs without the proper paperwork.
Today - 12 years later - she has a pet shop in Kendall with the same kinds of complaints.
And now close to 40 thousand dollars in outstanding fines.
Police have shut it down.
Captain Vasquez says, "And she never complied and we just kept having to come back. So we're doing this in an effort to save the animals and the public who is coming here to purchase these animals who are in bad condition."
He adds, "This one has a little bit of a fever and it appears he has Mange."
And Miami-Dade Animal Services found two others puppies that appeared to be sick and another that appeared to have a hernia.
Conditions however were not bad enough to seize the animals.
Captain Vasquez says, "It's troublesome to leave them here. It's troublesome to see the condition that they're in and not be able to do more than what we were just able to do."
The Dade State Attorney's Office is also now investigating.
SAO Investigator, Fran Miller says, "We are doing all that we can just to have this woman abide by the laws."
Meanwhile, Pedro Martinez seems to blame me for his wife's troubles.
He says, "I got the proof. I show it to the people what you are Carmen Cafiero. You don't escape from me."
Carmel says, "Pet World no longer has a permit to sell puppies, although there are still puppies here. Animal Services will be watching carefully to see what happens next at Pet World and so will we. Carmel Cafiero 7 News."
If you have a story for Carmel or for more information, contact her at:
305-627-CLUE in Miami-Dade
954-921-CLUE in Broward