Pet store owners Peter Mullan and Matthew Mullan are facing up to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to trafficking and selling a dog with a “high blood volume” and “high cholesterol.”
The dog, named “Samantha,” had a high blood pressure and a heart condition and a history of heart problems.
The couple had an estimated $2 million in proceeds from the sale of the pet, which they sold to a Florida veterinarian in February 2016.
According to a plea agreement filed in federal court, Mullan admitted to illegally trafficking the dog.
The court document said Mullan sold the dog to a local pet store in March 2016 for $8,500.
The dog was a black lab/poodle mix named “Lily,” with an estimated weight of around 5 pounds.
Mullan was ordered to pay a $1,500 fine and forfeit $9,500 of the proceeds, which the plea agreement said were seized from the couple’s home.
Mulligan also agreed to undergo a psychological evaluation, and to report to the court within 180 days, or face up to a year in jail.
Mullans attorney, Daniel Bittner, said the plea deal is a victory for the community.
“We’re pleased that this case has been resolved and that Peter and Matthew will have a chance to rebuild their lives and their businesses,” he said.
“This will help prevent more tragedies like this in the future.”
Mullan has also agreed not to sell or possess the dog for a year.
Bittninger said he would like to see more enforcement of the law, as well as the prosecution of the Mullans.
The plea deal comes a week after the Humane Society of the United States released a report detailing a number of animal abuse cases involving the Mullans.
According the report, “at least 10 percent of the dogs in the U.S. were transported from pet stores to puppy mills and puppy farms.”
Mullans lawyer, Michael H. Balsamo, said he is hopeful the Mullas will get justice.
“I hope that they will get to the bottom of it, and if they don’t, they will find another place to sell the dog,” Balsamos said.