Riverside County Animal Services ran a successful "puppy buy" sting operation Friday, issuing two misdemeanor citations to a woman who allegedly sold underage puppies to undercover officers. It is unlawful to sell puppies under the age of 8 weeks.
Authorities said the illegal sales typically happen on free classified websites and social media.
"But fortunately we have many animal advocates who tip us off to these illegal animal sales," said Chris Mayer, commander of Riverside County Animal Services.
Kandace Marie Simpson, 21, of Riverside sold two collie-mix pups, estimated to be 4-weeks-old, to Lt. James Huffman and a colleague posing as his wife. Simpson was issued a citation for each sale and will be required to appear in court.
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"We hope today's action helps curb some of these illegal sales. We also hope to educate would-be buyers that they're engaging in an unlawful act, and they're buying a dog that could have many health issues," Mayer said.
The six puppies and their 5-year-old mother were taken to a shelter in Jurupa Valley. Veterinarians will give each dog a full health inspection.
The dogs will remain in the shelter until they're old enough for adoption.