A Virginia man who is charged with animal cruelty told WTOP that he is innocent, and plans to move forward opening a pet shop in Fairfax County. But there is already a similarly named business in Northern Virginia, and a trademark question led to greater concerns.
The spelling of the stores differs, as do their logos, but she had deeper concerns about what she found when she tried to contact Woofys general manager Ayman Koshok.
“We started researching him and were completely horrified to find out what his background was — that just less than six months ago they were arrested with animal cruelty,” Reed said.
Ayman and his brother Kareem Koshok are both facing three misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty in the City of Fairfax after a Humane Society of the United States investigation found the Petland store they operated was storing dead rabbits in its freezer and force-feeding puppies.
“It’s very clear these are people who should not be in the pet business,” Reed said, after learning of the accusations.
Reed sent a cease-and-desist letter and plans to move forward with a trademark infringement lawsuit.
“To have any type of confusion in the marketplace with our brand is unacceptable. It’s protecting our company of 15 years and our franchises. But in the end of the day, the even bigger issue is protecting these animals that could be going into this store and these unsuspecting owners that are going to purchase animals from this store,” Reed said.
In response to WTOP’s request for comment, Ayman Koshok wrote in an email:
“With regard to the trademark infringement accusation, this absurd allegation has no merit. About my pending trial, I am innocent of any wrongdoing, and am confident I will be acquitted once the legal system is allowed to take its course.”
Court records show a City of Fairfax judge agreed to postpone the Koshok brothers’ March 3 trial. Their new trial date is scheduled for May 7.