The Hamptons Police, responding to complaints from animal welfare activists, moved to investigate the activities of a local tobacco business that caters to dogs.
On Thursday, the owners of Puff ’n’ Pooch, the canine-centered Southampton smoking parlor in question, allowed police inspectors to enter their premises during business hours to examine how they are running the business and to determine whether any laws are being broken.
“We have nothing to hide,” Robert Rauchund, the manager of Puff ’n’ Pooch, told reporters who accompanied the police. “We don’t provide tobacco to puppies. We have loyal customers who bring their mature dogs to our establishment because their dogs appreciate fine tobaccos.”
Reporters who were granted access to Puff ’n’ Pooch’s interior described it as including a spacious central area with shag carpeting and large cushions, and said that several large dogs were resting comfortably on the cushions and inhaling deeply and frequently from long tubes connected to a shared hookah. The reporters said the smell of the room was “just about as bad as you would imagine,” but none of them saw any particular reason for alarm.
As a health precaution, according to Rauchund, dogs are allowed a maximum of one half hour in Puff ’n’ Pooch’s smoking parlor per day, after which the staff shampoos them and brushes their teeth before sending them home with their owners.
In briefing the press, Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch noted that, while he understands the concerns of animal welfare activists, “right now Puff ’n’ Pooch appears to be completely legal.”