A pet shop with locations in Rockville and Towson will no longer be able to sell dogs in Maryland and the company will have to pay civil fines to the customers to whom it sold sick dogs to pursuant to a settlement agreement with the state, Attorney General Brian Frosh said Friday.
“This settlement resolves allegations that Just Puppies and its owner violated laws intended to protect animals from irresponsible breeding and mistreatment,” Frosh said in a statement. “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.”
The settlement comes after the AG’s Consumer Protection Division had alleged that Just Puppies had sold dogs in violation of a state law that governs how pet stores may sell dogs and that the owner of the company had misled customers about the store’s relationship with breeders.
The Consumer Protection Division further alleged that Just Puppies’ Rockville location continued to sell dogs even after the city had revoked the store’s license to operate.
The settlement requires that Just Puppies make refund payments to customers who purchased sick dogs or pay for the medical treatment of those sick dogs starting with purchases that commenced on Jan. 1, 2020, when the state’s “No More Puppy Mills Act,” went into effect.
Just Puppies must pay a $500,000 civil penalty. However, the bulk of the penalty is subject to waiver should the company pay $100,000 and satisfy the remainder of its settlement obligations.