MOHEGAN LAKE, N.Y. – A local politician is demanding that the state suspend the license of a pet shop owner facing animal cruelty charges.
State Sen. Terrence Murphy, R-Yorktown, wrote to the state commissioner of agriculture and markets recently, asking the agency to yank Richard Doyle’s license pending the outcome of an investigation into the charges in Connecticut.
Doyle, 56, of Mahopac, has pleaded not guilty to charges of animal cruelty and practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
Doyle sold his Animal Breeder stores in Danbury, Conn., and in Wappingers in Dutchess County, but still operates a pet shop in the Lake Mohegan section of Yorktown in Westchester County.
Doyle has been arrested three times since last year, Murphy said.
“Three strikes and you’re out,” Murphy wrote, adding “Animal cruelty in itself is despicable but to be charged on three separate occasions …”
It’s time, the senator said, for the state “to step in and do the right thing.”
According to an arrest warrant, Murphy said, Doyle was accused of having “maliciously caused wounds” to a puppy when he tried to operate on a cyst.
Doyle was also charged with performing an illegal medical procedure on the eye of an older dog and of failing to provide proper medical care for a puppy and a kitten, media reports said.
Murphy, who is seeking stiffer penalties for animal abusers, has introduced a bill requiring more frequent inspections of pet dealers charged with violations. The bill is now before the Agriculture Committee.
Murphy said the Doyle case “should be a wake-up call for the Legislature to act and act now.”
Yorktown Councilman Tom Diana, a former police K9 trainer, said that if the courts determine that Doyle is guilty of the charges, “he must answer for it.”
Diana backed Murphy’s call for tougher animal abuse laws.
County Legislator John Testa, who represents Mohegan Lake, said: "Cruelty to animals cannot be tolerated in any form in our society, especially from someone who has portrayed himself as an upstanding businessman.”
Testa joined Murphy in calling for the suspension of Doyle’s license “until the courts determine his guilt or innocence."
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