Pet shop owner vows to fight City Hall

A pet store owner is taking the city of East Providence to court over the recent ban on the sale of cats and dogs.

The city said the ordinance was enacted over concerns about the welfare of the animals and where they come from.

"I don't get my dogs from puppy mills," said Scott Bergantino of the Perfect Puppy. "They come from USDA breeders who are visited three, four, five days a week by the government."

The Perfect Puppy has two locations. The location in East Providence has been open for two weeks, and a store in Scituate has been open since September.

What does he tell people who don't want to buy puppies from a store because they are worried about puppy mills?

"Either do your research, find out where these rescues are really getting their puppies, or don't come into my store," Bergantino said.

The Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it has had a number of complaints filed against these stores.

While some cite seeing food and water on site for the animals, the complaints go on to document seeing sparse bedding for the puppies, smelling urine and seeing some puppies "stained" with urine.

Another visitor claimed the puppies looked "lethargic" and that some of them had eyes that appeared "irritated."

Bergantino said he'll fight the ordinance and that the store will stay in business until a judge says otherwise.

"As far as I'm concerned, it serves no purpose. The purpose they're giving me, the Town Council, their activist friends don't want me here," Bergantino said.

"I am the only puppy store in East Providence," said Bergantino, who added that he feels like he's being singled out.

Bergantino said the legal battle could take two to three years.