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Puppy Experience Owner Found Dead In Riverhead Motel

Police say the cause of death is still unknown.

Riverhead town police have confirmed that Scott Kaphan, owner of the Puppy Experience in Aquebogue, was found dead in a Riverhead motel room Saturday.

Chief David Hegermiller confirmed the death. Riverhead police said they received a 911 call on Saturday at 11:09 a.m. from the Swiss Motel on West Main Street in Riverhead, stating that Kaphan, 42, of Hampton Bays, was unresponsive.
Resuscitation efforts were not warranted, police said; the cause of death is unknown at this time.

The Riverhead police detective division and the Suffolk County medical examiner's office responded to the scene. Kaphan's death, police said, does not appear to be suspicious in nature. An investigation is ongoing.

The Puppy Experience has been the center of controversy in recent years, with puppy mill protestors demonstrating outside.

Kaphan had threatened legal action against the Companion Animal Protection Society, stating that he believed the organization was targeting his business and should instead be focusing on puppy mills. 

He said that he was a man of faith who worked hard at his business and said he set up an adoption component to the shop. 

The protestors said they demonstrated weekly to raise awareness about pet shops and puppy mills.

Editor's Note: This story was changed from its original version to reflect the fact that although a lawsuit was threatened, no legal action was ever commenced by Kaphan against CAPS. 
mike edelson July 22, 2013 at 02:20 PM
And now he meets his maker. Free the puppies!!!!!
Lisa Russotto July 23, 2013 at 02:49 PM
please do this family a favor and wait a few months before you have diarrhea of the mouth about his business. he is a human being, a father, a husband, a brother, an uncle, a cousin, a son, and a friend! please have respect!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Eric Larson July 24, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Every dog will have his day.
Barbara Murray August 03, 2013 at 10:42 AM
Several people that I know purchased puppies from Scotts shop./ All healthy well bread pups! Scott would provide backround info on the breeders upon request. Not from puppy mills. People need to learn the difference! Don't use someone as an example or a TARGET if you don't have the facts in place. Whjen I went to Scotts shop he not only was honest but everything was down on paper. I fell in love with a beautifiul Bassug that I just couldn't afford and he lowered the cost so much ( without me asking) that my mom handed him her credit card . I was concerned as to why he took so little money especially when I looked at her paperwork. It would have cost more than that just for her shots. Plus she came with a free vet visit! Clean bill of health! That day he had told me that its not always about the money. Its about making people happy and placing the pups in loving homes. He called every day for two weeks to check on the puppy. He had done the same for the other people I know of that purchased from him. He answered any questions or concerns. I can honestly say he did right by my pup. My m others pup. My Aunts pup. My neighbors pup. Thats what I know. Those are facts!
Susan Elaine September 06, 2013 at 03:58 PM
Am truly sorry that a human has passed. Hopefully this closes this "pet store". Backyard breeders and puppy mills and stores like this contribute to the overpopulation and ultimate killing of millions of animals a year. Don't shop- adopt.
Jennifer Mercer October 19, 2013 at 02:08 PM
To everyone who made a comment about his death - shame on you. This was someone's son, father, friend, lover. I am an animal lover and have four rescues - but rescue dogs are not for everyone and millions of people will continue to buy from breeders whether that be directly or via a puppy store. So get over it and put your engery into shutting down puppy mills, not breeders or stores. I have been in that store many times - I wish there were an outdoor area but that too is in inherit to problems with young puppies and I wish certain things were different about it but he did NOT abuse animals and many people have gotten good pets from him. The comments about this poor guy are outrageous ......and remember karma folks - what goes around comes around - and I just heard he killed himself - I hope that is not true but if it is, you know who you are that pushed him over the edge. He was running a LEGITIMATE business - you may not like it but those type of businesses are never going to go away and show some respect people.

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