Embattled pet store owner wants her side to be heard

One of the 24 puppies that Michael Staley, husband of North Puppies pet store owner Tammy Staley, allegedly dumped in the woods in western Clinton County.

One of the 24 puppies that Michael Staley, husband of North Puppies pet store owner Tammy Staley, allegedly dumped in the woods in western Clinton County. Shawn Ryan

PLATTSBURGH—While an impromptu protest was gaining strength outside her Plattsburgh Plaza pet shop, Northern Puppies’ owner Tammy Staley wanted her side of the story to be heard. 


Protestors picket outside the Northern Puppies pet store Aug. 6.

Staley was arrested for 20 counts of cruelty to animals on July 10, after a spot inspection by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets discovered one dead kitten, and several in what they determined were unsuitable conditions. The kittens, along with two adult chow dogs, were seized, leaving Staley with 30 dogs. She was barred by the Department of Agriculture from selling, giving away or euthanizing the dogs. 

Staley doesn’t believe in crating her animals, even at night. Instead she had pens built at her shop, where numerous puppies and kittens were housed in the pens at any given time, puppies separate from kittens. 

“Have you ever had a litter of puppies? When you wake up in the morning, what do you wake up to?” Staley asked.

Staley said that when she and her employees get to the store each morning, typically the first thing they do is to clean up any feces the puppies and kittens had made during the night, which was sometimes all over the pens, and fill up water and food bowls. 

“Every morning that’s what we come in to - a mess,” she said.

That’s what Staley claims one of her employees came in to find on the morning of July 10. When a customer followed her in that morning to purchase a Rottweiler, she didn’t have a chance to clean the pens. Then inspectors from the Department of Agriculture showed up for an unannounced inspection, and found the animals in this messy condition. 

Her problems, she says, were compounded by the discovery of a dead kitten that morning. 

“A month ago we took in five litters of sick kittens. We had five litters in two days,” Staley said. “We called our vet, we had her come in. She did some tests, it came back that some of them had coccidia, some had ringworm, so we were treating them for that.”

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anonymouse 1 year, 11 months ago

To paraphrase Shakespeare "methinks the Lady doth protest too much.... The facts of the matter are, people have been complaining about the conditions of animals at that store for the past few years. The animals were found in conditions that showed neglect of a few weeks not just a few days. There are many of us who will make it our duty to be sure they never get a license to sell or handle animals again. But I also blame the police for allowing these conditions to go unchecked and for the husband to have the ability to take those puppies in the first place. They should've been removed from the pet store at the same times the kittens were. Could money have something to do with it? We need a dedicated cruelty officer for this county.


burgessrd 1 year, 11 months ago

I totally agree with you!! If this woman gets a lisence to sell animals again that will be a crime in itself!!!


cutsbydot 1 year, 11 months ago

She sure does have an excuse for everything. These store puppy mills drive me crazy and I am amazed they are still allowed to operate. First of all, the store should not be such a mess overnight. Litter boxes don't fill up that fast. And if you are so overwhelmed with family, how do you run a business that requires care of that many animals. And to try and justify how your husband dumped those puppies like that. You should be held accountable for each and every one of those babies. Obviously everyone involved with that business dropped their responsibilities, too bad they all can't be held accountable. But these are just animals, who cares about them!


avalanche5 1 year, 11 months ago

Far as I'm concerned she don't have a side to be told....she has many many EXCUSES AND LIES! I visit this pet store often as do My family members and we see the same thing all the time, lethargic and ill looking cats and dogs...from backyard breeders being sold at High prices.....and small animals and critters who are overcrowded , with no food and water at all hours of the day...she can use all the excuses she wants cause they don't fly with me! This place needs to close and them both permanently unable to own animals of any sort....walk in and find her children all there, small baby in seat on floor where these same ill pups have been....small children being instructed to feed a bleeding mouse to a snake and lizard while I was there last Friday.....these people have no use for animals.....and they don't have money for animal care then they shouldn't own a pets store....Disgusting the whole thing, these people need to be in jail! But they will get off cause thats how our crappy New York State laws work!


burgessrd 1 year, 11 months ago

Totally agree with anonymouse! She had plenty of warning to clean up her act and she didn't and the police should have done a better job removing those poor animals! Soooo.....if they don't have any money coming in to feed the 5 kids do they leave them in the woods next and hope someone finds them???


chadbaker 1 year, 11 months ago

It's really sad. First that this whole avoidable mess stopped a year ago when this ignorant person's actions where first revealed to the public. Second, someone needs to sit down with this girl, and just using this article filled with her own words, go through and show her, because she obviously isn't smart enough, everything that she is quoted as saying is wrong. So I'm now torn as to whether to pity these people because of their obvious lack of intelligence or just continue to see them as the monstrous and terrible people that they are but just also really stupid people. I'll stick with the second.


Tammy 1 year, 11 months ago

I want to say to the people of Plattsburg, good luck finding the puppies I pray each one is found!

The next thing I want to say is to Tammy Staley and her husband...you are unworthy to even be called human beings, you are not even worthy of being called monsters. I hope you go to jail for a long time and rot in hell!!!


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