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AG investigating Long Island’s Friends of Freddie Pet Rescue

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at a

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman at a news conference in Manhattan on March 21, 2016. Credit: AP

The state attorney general’s office said Tuesday it is investigating a Middle Island pet rescue.

A spokeswoman for State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman declined to reveal the nature of the probe, but two Suffolk women said they contacted the office after dogs they had adopted from Friends of Freddie became ill.

One woman said her puppy died less than a month after the adoption; the other said her dog has been sick ever since.

A spokeswoman for the shelter said it does its best to care for the approximately 70 dogs currently housed there and that the investigation is “just a paperwork issue” involving record-keeping since the shelter is a nonprofit operation.

A spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office confirmed the investigation but declined to comment further.

The facility, which operates out of a Middle Country Road shopping center, is described on its Facebook page as “a nonprofit pet rescue, dedicated to finding homes for unwanted dogs and puppies.”

One of the women who contacted the attorney general’s office, Kristen Addis, 27, of Port Jefferson, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she got her Terrier mix puppy, Leila, from the shelter on Feb. 12 and “she passed away March 5” at 11 weeks old.

“We noticed something was wrong the day we got her,” Addis said. She said Leila was shaking and they thought she was just nervous, but she also started coughing. She was diagnosed with pneumonia and canine distemper — a contagious viral illness — before her death, Addis said.

Kim Kondak, 39, of Shirley, said her dog, Maci, was adopted on March 3 at eight weeks old. “She was not healthy from the day I got her,” Kondak said of the Shepherd/Labrador mix. “She’s been sick the whole time and is on round-the-clock meds and she’s still coughing.”

She said Maci was diagnosed by a veterinarian with an upper respiratory infection, conjunctivitis, pneumonia and parasites.

Beth Matthews, the spokeswoman for Friends of Freddie and a volunteer there, said in a telephone interview Tuesday that she was aware of the probe. She said the rescue has received complaints about some sick dogs, which she called “heartbreaking.”

“Unfortunately that is the nature of rescue,” Matthews said. The dogs are “coming from kill shelters all across the country so they can come in and present healthy and can be sick two weeks or even a month later.”


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