Shake A Paw: Corruption Without Compassion


Tess Rechtweg

Shake A Paw has recently been at the center of much controversy.

Lynbrook community members gathered on Oct. 18 to protest Lynbrook’s Shake A Paw, a pet store chain, which is speculated to be selling sick and dying puppies. According to the Patch ( in an article entitled “Puppy Mill Awareness Accountability Protest,” the protesters strived to send a message to the store’s owners that urges them to discontinue purchasing animals from puppy mills; it only causes emotional trauma at the end of the process.

Shake A Paw has been in business for many years and has sold thousands of dogs to its customers. However, the store has seen an increasing number of negative reports, some claiming that people should “never go there if they want to buy a healthy and happy pet.” 

An unsettling number of Shake A Paw pets have fallen ill with diseases like parvo or cancer, or died prematurely, which some believe is due to the company’s treatment of their animals. According to the Long Island Herald ( in an article entitled “Dozens Protest Outside Shake A Paw in Lynbrook,” an East Rockaway woman bought a bullmastiff from the store, but it quickly became aggressive and then died of cancer a short time later. 

“She would attack anyone that wasn’t an immediate family member,” the woman told the Herald. “When my dog died, it was gut-wrenching, and we put in thousands of dollars toward the situation,” she added. Sadly, there are many more stories like this one, leaving innocent pets dead, and their owners heartbroken. One LHS student, who wished to remain anonymous, commented, “I believe in ‘adopt, don’t shop’ because you never know what kind of sicknesses these dogs from pet shops might have. One of my mom’s friends was thinking about getting a dog from [Shake A Paw] and noticed all the dogs were sleeping all at once, which is a little weird. When she asked someone who worked there, they just laughed at her question and walked away.”

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) strongly recommends adopting a pet instead of buying one. According to its website (,  “Puppies purchased at pet stores almost always come from cruel breeding facilities where dogs are confined to small, filthy spaces and receive little to no veterinary care. By adopting from your local shelter or rescue, you are giving back to your community instead of helping cruel breeders profit.” Another anonymous LHS student agreed that adoption triumphs purchasing: “I would rather adopt a pet from a shelter/rescue because you would get to save a life.”

It is important to be aware of reported issues pertaining to Shake A Paw. Hopefully activists and rescue agencies like the ASPCA will help put a stop to such situations and get puppies the help they need. If one is planning to bring a pet into his/her home, he/she should go to an adoption center or a reputable breeder rather than a pet store. This will not just be helping an animal in need, but also its owners.