Puppy Protestors Voice Safety Concerns

Demonstrators say cars crossing to enter store's parking lot spark dangerous situation.

Demonstrators who have gathered outside The Puppy Experience in Aquebogue to raise awareness about puppy mills are concerned about public safety.

Barbara Dennihy, of the Companion Animal Protection Society said this week that demonstrators who congregate on Route 25 outside the store on weekends are "very concerned" about the number of cars that cross the double yellow line to enter and leave the parking lot of The Puppy Experience.

While Dennihy acknowledged that Riverhead Police Chief David Hegermiller said it is not illegal for cars to turn into the lot -- the turns would only be illegal if a sign were posted stating so -- she said the drivers making turns in and out of the lot across the double yellow line pose danger.

"With all the traffic, this practice is a bad accident waiting to happen," Dennihy said. 

Dennihy, who has been organizing with fellow CAPS demonstrators for months, also said she noticed new tarp had been placed across the sidewalk to the entrance of the store.

"Our guess is too many customers see us and ask questions," Dennihy said. "They are trying to hide the fraudulence of the source of their puppies from the public behind the tarp. We will continue to educate consumers about the truth behind puppy mills and puppy stores. So many people have been stopping and asking questions. They are stunned to learn the truth and the  facts about puppy stores and puppy mills." 

Also, Dennihy said that The Puppy Experience has set up plastic pumpkins to spell out "Puppy Picking" outside the store. "This is a reference to pumpkin picking," she said. "Puppies are not vegetables. Puppies are living, breathing companion animals. Puppies cost money to keep healthy. Puppies need to be housebroken. Puppies need to be trained. Puppies take a lot of time, to properly care for them. People tend to forget these things when they are tempted by the cute puppies."

The Puppy Experience Owner Scott Kaphan has spoken out against the protestors, stating that they are unfairly targeting his business -- and that the efforts of demonstrators would be better directed at actual puppy mills across America. In addition, Kaphan has said a lawsuit would be leveled at the protestors. Kaphan said he is also helping puppies through a new adoption component at his store.

Depite threats of a lawsuit and a request to cease and desist, protestors have continued to stand outside The Puppy Experience. One weekend, police were called after a protestor parked in the Aquebogue Elementary School lot.

The Puppy Experience owner Kaphan declined to comment on Dennihy's most recent statements.

Tom October 22, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Oh Lord, why don't you report on something important, something substantive, instead of one man's opinion that there might be a safety issue at one place on earth? Really? Left turns across double yellow lines to enter a parking lot? What, did Dennihy contact you to tell you about this left turning travesty, or did you seek him out? We're not asking for an in depth article about the impact that all the additional drivers coming out to the North Fork for pumpkin picking has on the CO2 levels on the area, and whether or not Harbes, Krupski, Stakey's, or others should be forced to add a Carbon Tax to the price of each pumpkin, but come on. Left hand turns? The poor electrons that gave their life for this article... makes my heart cry. PS- I love puppies, and hate puppy mills, but I marginally hate fluff reporting more.
paw October 22, 2012 at 11:06 PM
So...demonstrating is your American right....but COME ON NOW! it is a parking lot a and it is legal act to come and go. And in case you didn't notice, there are several other businesses that need are entitled to that lot. You are the ones putting yourselves at risk and distracting drivers and risking their safety by your presence and waving signs, not the other way around. Do what you have to do...just do not spin it against the pet store for your own agenda,or put others (or yourself) at risk of injury. Surely, your cause can be demonstrated in a peacful, respectful way. And not that it matters, I am a huge animal lover, my opinion is based on my experience I have had with this situation and as a patron of a business there.
Benja Schwartz October 23, 2012 at 12:28 AM
Wow! Who knew that there is such a strong hatred for "fluff reporting"? Out of all the businesses on the North Fork, the tackiest one is the Puppy Experience. For such a display of ugly commercial propaganda to greet all who drive past is a shame on Riverhead Town for allowing it to happen and on Southold Town for not officially protesting. How long will it take before an emancipation proclamation is made to end companion animal abuse? Puppy mills breed mothers and fathers with their children, siblings with each other. They create puppies with genetic defects. Apparently Tom and Paw are OK with that.
Jessica October 23, 2012 at 12:59 AM
Here we go... left turns into a parking lot really that is what you are reporting. So now the town of riverhead should invest money in a traffic study since animal activists are now playing traffic engineers. Well, I am a traffic engineer and a civil engineer licensed in NY and this parking lot with all the left turns is not a safety issue. There have been no accidents and what should be a next a traffic signal installed here. Oh and the tarps is part of our new holiday display as part of our puppy picking that we celebrate every year at the Puppy Experience. Holiday decorations are legal as far as I know in America especially religious ones concerning All Saints Day- Halloween. Now you arent trying to mix church and state are you Barbara?? Where did u get your traffic engineer degree from ? I actually have a Masters and am licensed as an engineer so yes I am an expert so I think you lost this argument. By the way thanks for the support from those who think this left turn concern is ridiculous.
Jessica October 23, 2012 at 01:03 AM
All the business' in this area hate seeing the 3 protestors out there every weekend but what are ya gonna do Town of Riverhead seems to have given them a free pass so these same protestors dont protest the Town of Riverhead ANimal shelter at least that is what I was told. Now there is some news to print Lisa Finn instead of this junk. Actually, we adopted two dogs from Town of Riverhead to readopt and paid for them but the Chief of Police would not allow it at the last minute because he didnt want it to seem that his shelter didnt do its job so we just told the shelter to keep the money to help save these animals. Yes we do adopt puppies and rescue them. I just adopted out a lab mix who originally came from ARF but its new family was not allowed to take it to their new home by the landlord. The owner did not want to take it to a shelter since they put dogs down that dont get adopted so they asked us to rehome the dog. I made no profit just did a good deed. So for all those who are so upset that we do this oh well -were not bad people we just get a bad rap by those who dont even know us. I love my store and love my husband and wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season.
Tom October 23, 2012 at 01:14 AM
Yawn... Would someone wake me up when Benja finally has a point. If the point of the article, as the headline says, is to express the "Safety Concerns" voiced by the protesters, then the article itself has no point. It is just another article being used by the protesters to gain additional attention to their cause. The stated point of the article bears no relation to the real reason behind the article, and thus it is fluff. The article states "Safety Concerns." The content within is meaningless to the stated point, and then goes on to effectively accuse the owner of likening puppies to pumpkins, and not being aware of the differences thereto. And now let me get this straight... You think that Riverhead should close down a legally operating business, one that is using legal advertising methods? And Southold town should waste valuable time lodging a formal protest? What next? Shall Southold invade Riverhead? Perhaps to force an emancipation of the companion animals? And then what happens? Hundreds of emancipated puppies roaming the streets starving to death? What is this, 1865? Also, out of all the businesses on the North Fork, I think Vineyard 48 takes the cake for tackiest. Any vineyard whose best reviewed wine is the "Peach Wine" should seriously consider a new winemaker. But that's a discussion for another thread. The balance of your comment fails to address either the article, or the previous posts, and as such I won't waste time commenting on it.
Tom October 23, 2012 at 01:19 AM
Also, Dennihy said that The Pumpkin Experience has set up plastic puppies to spell out "Pumpkin Picking" outside the store. "This is a reference to puppy picking," she said. "Pumpkins are not vegetables. Pumpkins are living, breathing companion animals. Pumpkins cost money to keep healthy. Pumpkins need to be housebroken. Pumpkins need to be trained. Pumpkins take a lot of time, to properly care for them. People tend to forget these things when they are tempted by the cute pumpkins."
Kristie M October 23, 2012 at 03:10 AM
You are not a licensed rescue so why would any town shelter let you take two dogs to adopt out? That is their job. They would have a better chance of doing it if pet stores were not seliing puppies for profit down the road. Second, there are always more than three protesters based on posted photos. You're making a half-hearted attempt to diminish the impact of this demonstration. Third, freedom of assembly allows it, not the town. Fourth, the subject of "we're not bad people." When approached about your business practices and informed of the possibility of the mistreatment of animals, the responsibility then falls to you, the business owner, to ensure this is not the case. If you are a good person, provide proof that all of your puppies come from breeders that are not merely USDA certified, which, as we all know is worthless and no protection at all for puppies and their parents. Bad people knowingly, willingly and deliberately deceive the public about the health and welfare of their animals. A good person would not ask, as your "good" husband did, why the demonstrators were not protesting puppy mills. A good person would be offended at the notion of participating in something of this nature. Those who don't even know you can see your response has all the earmarks of a bad person.
Benja Schwartz October 23, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Tom, you say you are sleep writing. So I am guessing your eyes are closed. That explains why you don't see the tasteless display of advertising Puppy Experience uses to try and attract business. Puppy Experience regularly mounts huge signs on top of a Hummer. Riverhead Town code prohibits "Any sign visible from a public right-of-way that is mounted on a vehicle or trailer designed to be transported by wheels, or is mounted on a chassis with or without wheels." For this and other reasons, I do not believe that Puppy Experience is "a legally operating business, one that is using legal advertising methods". btw law does not make right. the claims of Puppy Experience to be rescuing animals are more lies. You refuse to say where your puppies are bred. It is obvious that means you are nothing but an outlet for puppy mills.
Amy October 23, 2012 at 08:33 PM
Oh so those big yellow signs, the stuffed animals with balloons attached to them, and puppies in cages outside the Puppy Experience don't distract drivers?
Amy October 23, 2012 at 08:39 PM
You have an engineering degree and you sell PUPPIES????!!!! Whoa what a waste. You don't need an engineering degree to contribute to the puppy mill abuse. didn't someone tell you that before you wasted your money in college? I am dumbfounded that someone with your degree is selling puppies for a living.
Amy October 23, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Well not sure who lied to you, but both nurseries, the one next to you and across the street hate your guts as do the girls in the hair cutting place, as does the cigar store. . LOL Please, keep playing the innocent victim. You are contributing to the inhumane practices of puppy mills whether you like it or not.
barbara d October 23, 2012 at 10:08 PM
New York Saftey Council states There are certain conditions where you are allowed by law to make turns over, and left turns out of, a driveway and crossovers from driveway to driveway as long as the flow of traffic is not impeded and no excessive speed is used. If oncoming vehicles must slow or make drastic maneuvers, these are not safe actions. Double yellow lines cannot be crossed in any other situations than those described. The demonstrators witnessed all of the above non safe actions multiple times on Sunday. I guess alerting everyone to a safety issue is not important. Hard to believe owner of Puppy Experience went to law school and his wife has a masters in engineering, but have to make their money off the backs of puppy breeding mill dogs. You would think such educated people would know about the truth behind puppy brokers/ puppy mills and puppy stores! What does adopt to readopt mean Jessica? The chief made the right desicion not to allow this to happen. Adopting a dog to readopt is just a dumb idea. The dog has been traumatized once already being surrendered to a shelter. You can not have your cake and eat it too Jessica.You are either a humane store , rescue and adoption or you continue to support puppy mills . By the way Jessica and Scott, the shelters and rescue groups on Long Island do a great job with the resources they have. You should be ashamed of yourselves for saying anything less.
Jessica October 24, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Amy-dumbfounded- nah your just dumb and barbara if its so unsafe why not make a police report about it you do with everything else here that happens. What do you two have degrees in ? By the way barbara -I love cake who doesnt?????? This is America and I love that the two of you actually react to what I say !Its great:)
Jessica October 24, 2012 at 05:02 PM
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH- adopt readopt sell buy hahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha this whole article is such a joke
Amy October 25, 2012 at 12:43 PM
Wow, you are so good. I am dumb??!!. whoa great comeback!!! You are reacting to every single post with nothing but insults that make us laugh. You are the joke. That degree did you wonders in this world. Well Jessica, who gives a crap who has a degree. in your case it is a total waste. When you are old and die nobody will give a crap as to what degree you had. But they will remember you selling sick puppies whos parents were tortured for a buck. If you can't see this Jessica, I am sorry you are so cold. Life is not about what you have, it is about what you give. It's about doing the right thing. It is about making a difference in someone life, It's about raising your kids knowing right from wrong(in yur case your poor kids). Oh and if you want to get into who has more money since you are so into your degree and fancy clothes and barbi makeup, I will make a bet I am way better off then you, degree or not. Where do you live? what is your house worth? What can you sell it for today? How much land do you own? How much does your household bring in a year? You want to compare? I will compare.
Amy October 25, 2012 at 01:13 PM
And by the way, you give a death sentence to hundreds of thousands of dogs every time you buy another puppy from your brokers. Still use Tracey's or are they out of business? How about Jan Todd or Liberty Kennel that Ira started upstate? Jan has some nice labs doesn't she? How about Honeydew I love my puppy? Lambriar? Hmmm who was that nice Maltese breeder? Is she still around? her name slipped my mind but hey what do you expect from dumb people???!! Wow it has been 20 years so I am out of the torture puppy loop, but please tell me which brokers you use, because that semi that pulls up weekly in the weeeeee hours seems to have about 300 puppies on it stops at every puppy store on Long island. What a reputable breeder Hunte is. You and Scott can change this so easily with one easy change. Stop buying from brokers. Get yourself a van and do what Last Chance does. go down southweekly and pull puppies( alot of pure breds) and nice adults from the high kill shelters and come back and sell/adopt them out. even if you sell them we will leave you alone because it is all about the puppy mills being fed dollars to keep producing puppies like they are clothes.. This is what we are fighting for. Has nothing to do with you or scott personally. Has to do with lives being tortured while you defend it. admit your wrong and change your ways. P.S. Do you have a 501c3 to collect donations?
southold jim October 26, 2012 at 05:00 PM
Okay Barbara , Let me get this straight , You walk back and forth in front of a business holding up signs and your concerned about traffic safety.Im scratching my head here. Why are the safety concerns of people distracting motorists a news story ?


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