UPDATED: 70 Animals Rescued, 5 Found Dead in Fire Above Puppy Store

Nesconset, St. James, Kings Park and Smithtown fire departments responded Monday morning to a fire above Pick of the Litter.

Update, 9:31 a.m.: According to the Smithtown Animal Shelter, animals were not handed over to the shelter following Monday's fire on Main Street.

Three employees of the shelter were on scene, according to employee Monica Stevens, however the pet shop owner did not request help from the shelter.

Update, 4:47 p.m.: Chief Roy Gross of the Suffolk County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said Monday afternoon that his office is investigating whether there was any animal cruelty evident at the scene, and had little else to offer in the way of a comment.

"We are in the process of investigating the fire, working with fire and police departments," said Gross. The chief added that regulation of pet dealers is overseen by the State Department of Agriculture and Markets, which is required to inspect each establishment once per year.

According to records with the New York State Department of State, Pick of the Litter incorporated in March of 2012. Elizabeth Persico took over as new manager, and .

“It’s a tough job taking care of them,” said Persico at the end of June. “But we love them all.”

Update, 2:34 p.m.: After a fire broke out above Pick of the Litter grooming and puppy shop Monday morning, 70 dogs and cats were safely rescued from the building by local fire rescue units, though five were found dead on the second floor, according to officials.

According to Smithtown Second Assistant Chief Tim Murphy, the cause of the fire - which broke out in the rear of the second floor - is still under investigation.

One person was hospitalized as a result of the fire, a neighboring male in his 20s who reported the fire shortly before noon, Murphy said.

At a 2:00 p.m. press conference, officials said they were unsure if the business was legally permitted to operate on the second floor of the building.

Update, 2:15 p.m.: Suffolk County Fire Rescue Emergency Services posted on its Facebook page, "Great work by our fire fighters, over 75 animals saved during Pet Store blaze in Smith town [sic]."

Original story: Nesconset, St. James, Kings Park and Smithtown Fire Departments are on scene at , closing Main Street from Landing Avenue to Route 111.

The puppy store and grooming shop is located at 105 E. Main St. Suffolk Police said the call came in at 11:53 a.m.

According to one firefighter on scene who declined to give his name, all dogs were removed from the store safely and given to Smithtown Animal Control.

A Smithtown Fire Marshal is also on scene, though the cause of the fire is not immediately clear.

Check back with Patch as more information becomes available.

Donna Keller July 31, 2012 at 11:30 PM
My Morky mixes, Frannie and Sophie, were from POL. I spent a lot of evenings at the store and observed John and Elizabeth and her two kids taking care of the dogs. They loved their dogs and watched over them carefully. Yes, they reminded me too not to pet one and then another as it would spread germs. It was an accidental fire...a terrible disaster..and I am hoping my dogs ' mother and father, who lived upstairs, made it out safely. I was supposed to board my dogs next week with John. John said such wonderful things about his dogs. Shut up if you did not know him! And go back to school and learn how to spell! Some of you make no sense! Sorry, John! Mike...I left you a vm. Thank you so much for getting the dogs out! Donna Keller
Lady L July 31, 2012 at 11:42 PM
anyone who buys a pet from a pet store is buying puppymill dogs.....spin it however you like to sooth your ego
Lady L July 31, 2012 at 11:47 PM
other reviews https://plus.google.com/115924060264960253960/about?hl=en#115924060264960253960/about
Lady L July 31, 2012 at 11:50 PM
another review December 01, 2011 x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x PUPPY MILL!!!!. Stay away from this place!!! John, the owner, will tell you ANYTHING to make a sale. He buys these puppies at a puppy mill auction. He has no authentic documentation of the puppies parents. If you go here, you are funding the puppy mill abuse business. The place smells horrible and don't ask to use the bathroom. I heard animal noises coming from there and when I tried to open the door I got cursed out.WHAT ARE ANIMALS DOING IN THE BATHROOM AND WHAT IS THAT SMELL??!!!!
Lady L August 01, 2012 at 05:03 AM
That location is not legally zoned for breeding or boarding.....all those dogs and no sprinkler system......senseless


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