Iowa Authorities Cracking Down On ‘National Puppy Laundering Ring’ Illegally Selling to Chicago, California

An alleged “national puppy laundering ring” that supplied dogs to Chicago pet shops could be shut down following a Chicago Tribune report last year that exposed how the stores were selling pure-bred and designer pets, despite the city’s anti-puppy mill ordinance.

In a civil complaint filed Monday, Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller accused an animal shelter based in Britt, Iowa, of consumer fraud and alleged it’s a front for a for-profit canine wholesaler in the same small town. Miller said his office’s nine-month investigation found the owners of J.A.K.’S Puppies started Hobo K-9 Rescue in 2016 as a way to provide pricey pups to businesses in California and Chicago, where laws require pet stores to sell only shelter animals.

Miller asked Iowa courts to order Hobo K-9 Rescue to cease operation, saying it abused its authority under the state’s nonprofit laws. He is seeking fines against the rescue’s owners for alleged consumer fraud violations.

“The defendants are integral actors of a national puppy laundering ring emanating from within Iowa,” Miller stated in his complaint, which was filed in Polk County.

Neither J.A.K.’S Puppies co-President Jolyn Noethe nor her spokeswoman could be immediately reached for comment.

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SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, by