Nessel’s battle against puppy sale schemes justified

We applaud Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and others in law enforcement and positions of advocacy in cracking down on illegal and inhumane puppy sale schemes. Nessel has said she plans to focus on the operations that include not only puppy mills but storefronts that sell sick or injured animals.

“We are here today to try to bring that practice to an end,” Nessel said last week during a news conference at the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit. “While every pet deserves a loving home, my office will make it a priority to protect Michigan residents from unscrupulous puppy con artists who break our state’s consumer protection laws and line their pockets at the expense of animal welfare.”

While puppy mills and storefronts get a great deal of the public’s attention, the internet not surprisingly is being used by crooks to sell puppies to unsuspecting consumers. Very often, the animal is not as advertised, or is ill or, remarkably, doesn’t exist at all.

“The saddest stories to me are the people who purchase these puppies and think that they’re getting a healthy animal and it ends up being incredibly sick,” she said. “It’s not just the cost of veterinary bills but the heartbreak of purchasing an animal that’s not very long for this world …”

The state has received nearly two-dozen complaints in the past several years of these unscrupulous operations, in part, prompting Nessel’s strong response.

If anyone has fallen for a puppy scam, they are encouraged to file a complaint with Michigan’s Consumer Protection Division online at www.michigan. gov/ag.

Or simply call the police.

— The Mining Journal (Marquette)

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