Attorney General Pam Bondi News Release
July 23, 2014
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Attorney General Pam Bondi Shuts Down Jacksonville Puppy Mill
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Attorney General Pam Bondi’s Office obtained a temporary injunction and asset freeze against five Jacksonville residents for the alleged illegal importation, breeding and sale of English bulldog puppies. Brook Anthony Roque, Anthony Rene Roque, Glenda Chester Roque, Kassaundra Ann Buttram, and Michelle Lee Echols operated as Five Star Bulldogs, Grand Bulldogs, Matrix Bulldogs, Brook’s Bullies and Remarkabull and used several websites to solicit sales. The defendants allegedly sold over 700 English bulldogs ranging in price from $1,500 to $2,300 each, totaling more than $1 million in potential profits. Many of the puppies sold suffered from congenital defects, parasites, or other serious health or behavioral issues.
“These individuals not only allegedly deceived families seeking to purchase a healthy and properly certified family pet, but they also allegedly jeopardized the puppies’ health in order to make money,” said Attorney General Pam Bondi.
According to the investigation, the defendants bred dogs with ten other breeders and illegally imported five-week-old puppies from Colombia, South America. They allegedly operated without a breeder’s permit and failed to quarantine imported dogs as required by the Centers for Disease Control. The defendants advertised that their dogs came with a valid health certificate proving they were properly vaccinated, a health guarantee, a pedigree, and were certifiable with the American Kennel Club (AKC). The defendants allegedly failed to provide consumers with the required health certificate entitled the Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection that certifies the dogs were inspected by a licensed veterinarian and received the proper vaccinations or medical care. The defendants also allegedly failed to provide the written consumer notice advising consumers of their rights under Florida law. Instead, the defendants allegedly forged and fabricated health certificates and consumers later discovered their dogs suffered from congenital defects, parasites, or other serious health or behavioral issues. Additionally, consumers were denied AKC registration due to the defendants’ suspended AKC privileges, or they learned their dog’s AKC documents contained false information. For example, one AKC certificate outlining the dog’s pedigree and lineage had the puppy’s birthday listed as being born before the mother.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction, restitution to consumers, civil penalties, and attorney’s fees and costs. The temporary injunction prohibits the defendants from engaging in the solicitation, importation, breeding or sale of any dog. The asset freeze prohibits the defendants from concealing or squandering assets that could be used for consumer restitution.