Federal authorities are neither confirming nor denying the possible investigation of a Rego Park business over allegations of selling products made with or from dog fur.
The allegations came to light last week as the Humane Society of the United States released the results of a two-year investigation into Unique Product Enterprises.
The use of dog and cat fur is illegal in the United States, according to Pierre Grzybowski, the research and enforcement manager for the HSUS’s fur free campaign. He said in a telephone interview on Monday that the society received its first tip on the business from a concerned resident.
“Our tipster said there were Russian-language ads in a magazine distributed in the New York area, and that the ads advertised a number of products,” Grzybowski said. “We took the tip and started to investigate it. We gathered as many of the ads as we could from three different publications. There also was a website that had the ads in Russian and English advertising products made from dog fur.” The activists also came across an ad on YouTube.
The organization then purchased four items, including a belt, a vest, a blanket and a pair of fur-lined gloves that were sent to the group’s Washington, D.C. offices. Three of the items, Grzybowski added, came with inserts claiming the products were made with dog fur.
He said all four products were then taken for laboratory testing. The results came back with the items being made of fur “consistent with domestic dogs.”
The company could not be reached for comment. Grzybowski said the HSUS is not making the address public as it may be operating out of a private home. He also said the society has presented its evidence and test results to the United Stated Customs and Border Protection agency, and has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York to investigate.
Robert Nardoza, spokesman for U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, and Anthony Bucci, spokesman for the New York City office of Customs and Border Protection, declined to comment.