Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Safety Harbor pet store owner faces more animal cruelty charges in Tarpon Springs

TARPON SPRINGS — The owner of a Safety Harbor puppy store was charged with 12 more counts of animal cruelty Monday, a day after more than two dozen puppies were confiscated from his shop.

On Sunday, Bernard E. Nowakowski, 58, was charged with 26 counts of animal cruelty — one for each of the puppies found living in filthy living conditions at PuppyLuv pet store at 2741 McMullen-Booth Road in Safety Harbor, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office.

The extra counts were added after Tarpon Springs police found 12 hungry and thirsty puppies locked in five pens without food or water in a rented U.S. 19 storefront, police said.

Police said Nowakowski apparently rented the unit Friday in Olympic Plaza, 40176 U.S. 19 N, and moved the 12 puppies there.

According to the Sheriff's Office, which investigated the Safety Harbor incident, deputies asked Tarpon Springs police to check on the welfare of puppies being kept at the Olympic Plaza storefront.

A plaza maintenance employee unlocked the door for officers because there were no employees present tending to the animals. The puppies were given food and water, and the SPCA Tampa Bay arrived to take custody of them.

The 12 puppies of various breeds appeared in good health other than being hungry and thirsty, police said. Dog food was found inside the business.

"The bowls were completely dry and in one of the cages, there was no bowl at all," said SPCA Tampa Bay humane officer Jill Purl, who responded to both locations.

Nowakowski was arrested Sunday after customers at his Safety Harbor store called police when they noticed several animals living in filthy conditions. Would-be customers arrived at the store and noticed the door was open, but no one was tending the sales floor.

Purl called the conditions Sunday deplorable.

SPCA Tampa Bay has confiscated all of the animals, which include dachshunds, Yorkshire terriers, Shih Tzus, various mixed breeds and one juvenile pit bull.

Nowakowski refused to surrender the animals, which he was selling at PuppyLuv for prices ranging from $500 to $1,400, Purl said. The agency will try to get legal custody through the courts, a process that takes about 30 days, Purl said.

On Monday afternoon, the puppies were being examined by a veterinarian. If SPCA gets custody, the animals will be put up for adoption, Purl said.

Fast facts

Protect animals

To report suspected abuse or neglect of animals, call the SPCA Tampa Bay investigation department at (727) 586-3591, ext. 135.

Safety Harbor pet store owner faces more animal cruelty charges in Tarpon Springs 10/11/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 4:35pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Gators rally past Kentucky, streak hits 31

    Blogs

    LEXINGTON, Ky. — For the second week in a row, Florida found itself storming the field in a game that came down to the last second. A 57-yard field-goal attempt by Kentucky kicker Austin MacGinnis came just a few feet short of making history and snapping a 30-year losing streak, as the No. 20 Gators escaped a …

    Florida wide receiver Brandon Powell (4) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Kentucky, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017, in Lexington, Ky.
  2. Pen makes it way too interesting as Rays hang on for 9-6 win

    Blogs

    A couple of home runs provided the news pegs of the night for the Rays, but it was more topical to talk about what nearly happened as they hung on for a 9-6 win over the Orioles.

    Lucas Duda's three-run homer in the third inning was the Rays' record-breaking 217th of the season, as well as his …

  3. An attempt to project what Rays will look like in 2018

    The Heater

    BALTIMORE — We know what the Rays look like this year: a team that had enough talent but too many flaws, in construction and performance, and in the next few days will be officially eliminated from a wild-card race it had a chance to win but let slip away.

    Adeiny Hechavarria, high-fiving Lucas Duda, seems likely to be brought back.
  4. Trump fallout: Bucs' DeSean Jackson to make 'statement' Sunday

    Bucs

    Bucs receiver DeSean Jackson said Saturday that he will make a "statement" before today's game against the Vikings in response to President Donald Trump's comment that owners should "fire" players who kneel in protest during the national anthem.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson (11) makes a catch during the first half of an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017.
  5. Kriseman invites Steph Curry to St. Pete on Twitter

    Blogs

    Mayor Rick Kriseman is no stranger to tweaking President Donald Trump on social media.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman took to Twitter Saturday evening to wade into President Donald Trump's latest social media scuffle