Iowa Attorney General uses CAPS Evidence to Shut Down Fraudulent Rescues Created by Iowa Broker J.A.K.’s Puppies
California and Chicago Pet Shops were Selling “Rescue Puppies” from Hobo K-9 Rescue and Rescue Pets Iowa
CAPS investigated Hobo K-9 Rescue and Rescue Pets Iowa, both nonprofits started by J.A.K.’s Puppies, a large USDA-licensed dog broker in Britt, Iowa. We persuaded the Iowa Attorney General to start a case against these entities. J.A.K.’s Puppies set up these nonprofit “rescues” to sell puppy mill dogs to retail pets shops to help them circumvent laws that ban the retail sale of dogs and cats, particularly in California and Chicago.
CAPS also investigated every pet shop in California and Chicago selling mill-bred dogs from fraudulent rescues – fronts for USDA-licensed dog brokers. We gave this evidence to attorneys general in Iowa, Missouri, and California.
CAPS shared all of its investigative evidence with the Iowa Attorney General, who filed an action under State of Iowa V. Hobo K9 Rescue, Rescue Pets Iowa Corp., J.A.K.’S Puppies, Inc., Jolyn D. Noethe, Kimberly K. Dolphin, and Russell Kirk. This action resulted in a Consent Decree ordered by the Court on March 22, 2020. This decree provides for the following: (1) a fine of $60,000; (2) dissolution of the fraudulent nonprofit corporations; (3) prohibition upon the individual defendants forming or using further nonprofit corporations;(4) prohibition of the defendants from the “transfer of dogs to another entity while having knowledge that the purpose of the transfer is to evade local or state restrictions on the sale of commercially bred dogs;” (5) monitoring and providing quarterly reports to the Court and compliance with inspections.
J.A.K.’s Puppies created Rescue Pets Iowa after the Iowa Attorney General started investigating Hobo K-9 Rescue in June 2018 at our request. Rescue Pets Iowa puppies passed through Bark Adoptions, a fraudulent rescue created by Amilcar Chavez, the owner of two Southern California pet shops, Bark Avenue and Bark Boutique. Bark Avenue is closed because of a court-ordered preliminary injunction. Bark Boutique closed after considerable pressure by animal control officers from Animal Friends of the Valleys in Wildomar, California.
The use of fraudulent nonprofits to engage in illegal “puppy laundering” — to pass off puppy mill dogs as legitimate rescues for sale to consumers — continues with other entities, such as Pet Connect Rescue in Joplin, MO and a nonprofit “rescue” recently formed by David Salinas, who owns pet shops in Southern California, Nevada and Utah. CAPS is suing California pet shops for violation of The Pet Rescue and Adoption Act and is working with a coalition of nonprofits to amend the language of the California law. This amendment will close the loophole that is allowing pet shops to sell fake rescue puppies.