FAIRFAX, V.A. (WDVM) — The former Fairfax Petland manager accused of animal abuse pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and three charges of failure to provide adequate care on Thursday.
In court was John Goodwin, senior director of the Humane Society U.S. Stop Puppy Mills campaign. Last year, undercover investigators with the Humane Society of the United States worked in the Fairfax pet store for five months and subsequently released a video of 14 dead rabbits in the store freezer. The organization has investigated eight Petland stores.
“If you were to stand on the sales floor of this particular Petland, you would’ve had no idea,” Goodwin said. “There was an isolation room in the back for sick puppies. It’s only when you can get in there and look under the hood that you can really see how much misery is taking place in so many of these puppy and rabbit selling pet stores.”
The City of Fairfax launched an investigation and Petland closed that location.
Kareem Koshok is facing 12 months for the animal cruelty charge. Thirty days of the remaining two months is mandatory. Koshok will pay a $500 fine for each misdemeanor. All charges were dropped against Koshok’s brother, Ayman.
“This is quite an exceptional day because it’s been a long time since a Petland employee has faced any sort of punishment; in this case, a high level employee is facing punishment for animal neglect and animal mistreatment and it needs to happen more often because this is a regular occurrence,” said Goodwin. The Humane Society of the United States is asking Petland to stop selling puppies and rabbits in its stores.