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Iowa attorney general seeks to shut down alleged ‘puppy laundering’ ring

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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The Iowa Attorney General's Office is suing to shut down an alleged "puppy laundering" ring in the state that masquerades puppy mill puppies as rescue animals and sells them for as much as $3,600 each.

The office filed a lawsuit Wednesday against for-profit breeder J.A.K.'s Puppies and nonprofits Hobo K9 Rescue and Rescue Pets Iowa Corp.

The lawsuit alleges the nonprofits sells animals purchased from puppy mills as rescue animals in an attempt to circumvent puppy mill bans. The state says the operation sold almost 1,300 animals to California, Illinois, Florida and New Jersey from 2016 to 2018.

The lawsuit also named four leaders of the operation, alleging they violated the state's consumer fraud act. The state is seeking $40,000 in fines for each violation.

None of the defendants could be immediately reached for comment.

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