Owners cited for dog in store

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – Inspectors 'dropped- in', unannounced at a South Richmond restaurant and market after 12 on Your Side investigated a dog bite complaint at the eating establishment. The business broke the law and was officially cited after our news report.

The restaurant occupies one side and a grocery store the other. The owners apparently thought it was ok, to have dogs in the store side, but having a dog in either area, even for one day is a violation of Virginia food laws.

The owners were ordered to remove all paraphernalia associated with the animals.

STORE OWNER: "He's home. Not come in here."
DIANE: "He hasn't been back."
DIANE: "They told you, you couldn't keep the dog bed or the bowl here either, right?"
STORE OWNER: "Uh uh. Everything clean up. Everything throw away."

Department of Agriculture investigators were in and out before we could get them on camera, but they found exactly what we showed and more.

A dog's food bowl and bed behind the checkout counter long after 8-year-old Danielle was bitten October 23rd. The dog on the right is the biter. Store owners, Sung Suh and her husband say the canines were at the store just one time, the day the child was bitten. Her father says they were always there.

"They were always barking at people but this time around they're out in the open without a leash," said Andrew Tracy, Danielle's father.

He also says they have yet to offer assistance. The Suh's say they apologized and offered to pay medical bills but the girl's father hasn't produced one.

"They saying the dog bit her. It did not bite her. It just scratch her," said an employee.

"The first thing should have been out of their mouth was a true sincere apology to my daughters. Not how much money are you going to be asking for. I wasn't going to ask for a penny. All I wanted them to do was cover the insurance portion of it," Tracy said.

The father says three dogs ran out of the store. The owners say the incident happened in the parking lot and involved two dogs. Government inspectors left the owners a copy of their findings, which say: 3 dog bowls, a dog bed, and a bag of dog food were found being stored behind the checkout counter in the retail area. A dog was not observed.

Andrew Tracy says he shopped there, knowing there were dogs, but he always bought pre-packaged food. He says the dogs were not a problem, until one bit his daughter. Guide dogs are allowed in areas, where they won't contaminate food.

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