ROCKVILLE, Md. - The Maryland Attorney General’s office has settled with a pet store that persisted in selling puppies despite a ban.
Just Puppies was barred from selling kittens and puppies under the state’s No More Puppy Mills Act.
Under the terms of the settlement, Just Puppies has agreed to halt the sale of puppies, and it must offer restitution to anyone who has bought a puppy that has a "congenital disorder or hereditary condition or illness at the time of purchase."
It also imposes civil penalties, according to prosecutors. The store must pay $500,000 under the settlement, however it will only be required to pay $100,000 if all other terms of the settlement are met, the state’s attorney’s office says.
"This settlement resolves allegations that Just Puppies and its owner violated laws intended to protect animals from irresponsible breeding and mistreatment. Consumers who were misled by Just Puppies and purchased sick dogs will get their money back or receive compensation to help pay for their pet’s care," Attorney General Brian Frosh said.
Just Puppies continued to sell puppies despite the state law, and then even after the City of Rockville yanked their license.
At the time, attorneys representing the store said the city had sent the letter in error.
However, a spokesperson for the Maryland Attorney General’s Office told FOX 5 in August, "the Maryland statute prohibits pet stores from selling cats and dogs to the public, no matter what method they use."