Two Just Puppies pet stores must refund money to anyone who purchased a sick dog and are banned from selling dogs in the state.
Just Puppies, which has locations in the Twinbrook Center on Veirs Mill Road in Rockville and Towson, agreed to a settlement with the Maryland Attorney General’s office.
According to a statement issued Oct. 15 from Attorney General Brian Frosh, his office’s Consumer Protection Division reached the settlement with the company’s owner, Mitchell Thomson. His stores must refund money to those who purchased puppies with a congenital disorder or hereditary condition or illness at the time. He also must pay a civil penalty of $500,000.
However, if the company complies with the settlement and pays $100,000, the rest of the penalty will be dropped.
According to the consumer protection division, the pet store sold puppies after Jan. 1, 2020, when the No More Puppy Mills Act went into effect in Maryland. In some of the sales, Just Puppies mislead customers about its relationship with the breeders from which it purchased the dogs.
Also, according to the statement, the store in Montgomery County continued to sell puppies after the City of Rockville revoked its pet shop license.
“This settlement resolves allegations that Just Puppies and its owner violated laws intended to protect animals from irresponsible breeding and mistreatment,” Frosh said in the 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 Attorney General’s Office will contact those eligible for a refund.