Western Brooklyn

Bensonhurst Puppy Dealer Scrutinized After Yorkie Death [Updated]

9-month-old Nyla (Source: Facebook)
9-month-old Nyla (Source: Veronica Giovan/Facebook)

A Bensonhurst pet store is facing scrutiny after a heartbroken customer claimed her tiny Yorkie died a day after she purchased it.

Veronica Giovan, who took home 1.25-pound, 9-week-old Nyla from The Puppy Boutique (8002 17th Avenue) on Sunday, wrote in a Facebook post that she immediately fell in love with the tiny pup.

But after one night in her new home, Nyla began shaking and crying, so Giovan said she called the pet store thinking the dog was having a seizure. She says she was told to bring Nyla in:

 After we got there they said oh no worries its just low blood sugar that wasn’t a seizure and gave her more food and some gatorade? Anyways. I brought her back home and she puked about 13 times non stop within that half hour, it was coming out of her nose too I had to hold her a certain way for her to breath I took her back to the store once again, They told me they’d take her for the night since they have a “vet” there. Bullshit! My regret is not taking her to the real vet right away instead of going back to these assholes. They promised she’d be fine, that she was just stressed and the “vet” will watch her over night, they probably didn’t even look at her the whole night. The next morning the owner called me while I was work saying Nylah died, no explaination whatsoever, no nothing. She had only stayed 1 night with me.

The puppy dealer, which specializes in toy breeds and sells between 5,000 and 7,000 dogs a year, has wracked up dozens of complaints of health problem-ridden dogs on the Consumer Affairs website, and less than favorable reviews on Yelp.

Philip Reinhardt, the owner of The Puppy Boutique (claiming to be a store manager named “James Boyer”), told us these kinds of complaints are not uncommon for pet dealers that handle their kind of volume.

“I could show you contracts from the floor to the ceiling; what is online is less than 1 percent,” said Reinhardt.

He claims Nyla died from hypoglycemia because Giovan failed to care for the dog properly, which needed to be fed frequently because of its size.

“You can’t take a pound and a half dog and make it a show piece to your friends,” said Reinhardt. “She drove it around, she stressed it out, it had no food in the stomach — basically she killed it.”

The Puppy Boutique (Photo: Google Maps)
The Puppy Boutique, 8002 17th Avenue (Photo: Google Maps)

The Puppy Boutique has refunded Giovan’s money and Reinhardt says they have requested an autopsy report from the veterinarian.

Meanwhile, Giovan said she exchanged numbers with another customer on the same day she purchased Nyla, and that the other puppy is also having health issues.

“They are heartless scammers, only go to someone who can show you both dog parents and have PROOF of age and health history,” she warned in the post.

Have you had purchased a toy breed from The Puppy Boutique? Post your experiences in the comments below.

Update [June 9, 2016, 9am]: Reinhardt has shared an “autopsy report” with Bensonhurst Bean in the form of a note from a veterinarian, which states that a gross autopsy did not reveal any cause of death, but that hypoglycemia was the likely cause.

Here is a copy of the note: Veronica Vet Report

Meanwhile, a sign has appeared on poles outside The Puppy Boutique, urging customers to avoid purchasing dogs from puppy mills, which place profits ahead of the animals’ well beings.

Submitted by reader Brian Doherty
Submitted by reader Brian Doherty

Correction [June 9, 2016]: An earlier version of this article quoted “James Boyer,” an alleged manager of The Puppy Boutique. An anonymous tipster notified us that “James” is an alias of the store’s owner Philip Reinhardt. When we called the location and asked for Phil Reinhardt, a woman who answered passed the phone to the same individual who initially claimed to be “James.”

Department of Building records also indicate that the phone number we called is registered to owner Philip Reinhardt.