SHREWSBURY – A Shrewsbury man has been sued by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey for selling fatally ill puppies out of an unlicensed and unsanitary pet shop in his home.
According to the AG’s office, Heath Morse allegedly routinely sold very sick dogs to Massachusetts consumers for thousands of dollars. According to the complaint, these consumers later paid thousands more in veterinary bills after their puppies suffered from serious diseases and, in some cases, died within days or even hours after they were purchased.
“For many people, getting a dog is like adding a new member of your family – it can be a big financial and emotional investment,” AG Healey said. “We allege this man scammed families out of thousands of dollars, leaving them heartbroken, in serious debt, and in some cases, without the pet they paid for. We are taking this defendant to court to stop him from ever working with animals again.”
Morse — whose businesses included Heath’s Legendary Bulldogs, Dream-A-Bullz, Heath’s English Bulldogs, Heath’s French Bulldogs, and Heath’s Bulldogs — allegedly falsely advertised on various websites and social media platforms that he was a longtime bulldog breeder and that the puppies he sold were healthy, of “show-dog quality,” American Kennel Club certified, pure bred, and veterinarian checked.
The AG’s Office alleges that while Morse advertised that the bulldog puppies were housed in “five-star” living conditions, he was keeping puppies who were infected with contagious diseases alongside the healthy dogs in an outside-fenced in area, which was covered in their own waste. State law requires animals that are suspected to be diseased be quarantined from other animals for at least 10 days.
Despite receiving a cease and desist order and multiple penalties from the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR), Morse allegedly continued to misrepresent the health and condition of his puppies and operate his illegal, unlicensed pet shop.
“By allegedly running an unlicensed pet shop, the defendant not only deceived consumers, but also put the health of many dogs at risk. Pet shop licensure is necessary so that we can ensure compliance with state and federal regulations and protect the health and safety of animals,” said Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) Commissioner John Lebeaux. “The Department of Agricultural Resources is committed to ensuring that all Commonwealth pet shops properly care for their animals and is proud to work with the Attorney General’s Office to ensure justice in this matter.”
The AG’s Office’s complaint seeks restitution for the victims of Morse’s unfair and deceptive conduct, civil penalties, and a permanent injunction preventing Morse from ever selling puppies or falsely advertising puppies again.