A Shrewsbury man has been barred from selling dogs in Massachusetts and must pay more than $480,000 to customers after he illegally sold dozens of sick and dying bulldog puppies, officials said Monday.
Suffolk Superior Court Judge Christine M. Roach entered a default judgment against Heath Morse, Attorney General Maura Healey said.
Healy’s office had filed suit against Morse last fall for violating state laws that require pet shops to quarantine sick animals and refrain from selling them.
Morse sold more than three dozen dogs between Feb. 2016 and Oct. 2018, Healey’s office said. Each dog sold for thousands of dollars. Healey’s office said Morse falsely advertised online that he was a longtime bulldog breeder and that the puppies he sold “were from five-star living conditions, healthy, of ‘show-dog quality,’ American Kennel Club-certified, pure-bred, and veterinarian-checked.”
The reality was quite different, according to authorities. Officials claimed that Heath was selling puppies that were being kept in unsanitary conditions and had serious infectious diseases as well as congenital abnormalities. More than a quarter of the puppies that were sold ultimately died, many within a few days of purchase, Healey said in a statement.
“Mr. Morse knew he was selling people sick and sometimes fatally ill puppies,” Healey said. “This judgment orders him to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars and ensures that he can never again hurt innocent animals.”
Officials said Morse’s false representations led his customers to pay thousands more in veterinary bills to treat or euthanize their pets.
Morse’s businesses included Heath’s Legendary Bulldogs, Dream-A-Bullz, Heath’s English Bulldogs, Heath’s French Bulldogs, New England Bulldogs, and Heath’s Bulldogs, officials said.