A Rockville pet store is one of two charged with breaking the state’s Puppy Mills law, which prohibits the sale of puppies and kittens in retail stores.
Just Puppies, which operates stores in Rockville and Towson, accuses of breaking the law, which the legislature passed in 2018, according to a press release from Attorney General Brian Frosh’s office. The law entered into force on January 1, 2020.
Representatives for Just Puppies could not immediately be reached for comment on Friday.
Just Puppies’ Rockville store in 2004 Veirs Mill Road has been offering and selling dogs for 17 years, according to documents from the Attorney General’s office. The stores do not breed the dogs, but order them from the breeders and organize their transport, according to the documents.
Other than a move to a date-only model in February 2020, Just Puppies hasn’t made any changes to its business practices since the Puppy Mills law came into effect, according to documents.
Frosh said in a press release that the move to a date-only model “does not exempt stores from this law which was designed to limit the supply of animals from irresponsible breeders.”
Documents indicate that Just Puppies claim to work directly with their breeders, and have been doing so for over 10 years in some cases. But the attorney general’s office says stores bought dogs through online exchanges.
The attorney general’s complaint then alleges that Just Puppies misled customers by telling them the company can legally sell dogs and that they did not tell customers they were giving dogs from breeders with whom they had no relationship.
The complaint also alleges that the Rockville location has been operating without a pet store license since September 2020.
The attorney general’s office is seeking an injunction and financial penalties, according to the complaint. An administrative hearing is scheduled for September 13.
Dan Schere can be contacted at [email protected]