Beyond MoCo: Settlement Reached with Baltimore Pet Store After Alleged Violation of Puppy Mills Law

by Patrick Herron

Per the Maryland Attorney General’s Office:  Upholding his commitment to protecting the public from those who violate consumer laws, Maryland Attorney General Anthony G. Brown announced today that his Consumer Protection Division has reached a settlement with Charm City Puppies, Inc. and its owner, Wayne Cossentino (Charm City Puppies). The Division alleged that Charm City Puppies violated the Consumer Protection Act when it sold puppies to consumers in violation of the “No More Puppy Mills Act.”

The Maryland legislature passed the No More Puppy Mills Act, and in January 2020 it became illegal for retail pet stores to sell puppies. Under the settlement, Charm City Puppies is barred from offering, selling, or transferring dogs from Maryland. Charm City Puppies and its owner also agreed to refund payments made by Maryland consumers who purchased dogs with certain conditions since January 1, 2020, or pay for treatment of certain conditions. The settlement bans Charm City Puppies from selling dogs in Maryland and requires the company to pay a civil penalty of $75,000 that increases to $250,000 if the company or its owners breach the agreement.

“The sale of puppies sourced through puppy mills is illegal in Maryland. The No More Puppy Mills Act was passed to protect pets, and our office will not tolerate those who endanger those pets by violating the law,” said Attorney General Brown. “Former Charm City Puppies customers who purchased a dog that was sick or had a congenital defect are eligible for refunds.” Consumers who are eligible for refunds will be contacted by the Attorney General’s Office. Consumers may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6569 with questions.


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