The sad, sick puppies were too young to be sold legally, but that’s just what befell them as they were peddled from the trunk of a suspect’s car.
But an undercover sting nabbed the offending puppy seller, and officials warned against anyone buying pets in shady circumstances.
“Around the holidays, you may be looking to adopt a puppy, but purchasing animals from the trunk of a car in a parking lot is a bad idea,” said Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles President Madeline Bernstein. “The puppies are often underage and sickly.”
Bernstein urged would-be dog owners to adopt from a local spca, humane society or shelter.
“Plus, why would you support an unscrupulous backyard breeder who cares more about money than the health and well-being of an animal?” Bernstein asked.
In the current case, a 43-year-old man who sold the unhealthy, underage puppies from the back of his car has been sentenced to take 24 animal cruelty classes and barred from owning other dogs.
Armando Viramontes Jr. was sentenced Monday after pleading no contest in September to one count each of selling dogs under eight weeks old and selling live animals in a public place, according to online court records.
Viramontes was arrested as the result of an undercover sting set up by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Los Angeles, according to spcaLA.
The animal welfare organization received a tip from someone who bought a Labrador/Shepherd mix puppy from Viramontes for $250. Viramontes advertised on Craigslist and sold the animal from the back of his car in a parking lot, according to the tipster.
Two days later, the puppy, which weighed 17 ounces and was about 2-3 weeks old, went into distress and required life-saving medical intervention, according to the animal care group.
It is against California law to sell puppies younger than 8 weeks old and Viramontes had no license to sell animals.
— Staff and wire reports
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