Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh announced Friday that his Consumer Protection Division reached a settlement with online puppy retailer Maryland Puppies Online LLC that bans the company from selling dogs in the state.
The Attorney General’s Office alleged that Maryland Puppies Online and its owners, Nathan and Sara Bazler, violated the Consumer Protection Act and No More Puppy Mills Act, a Maryland law that forbids the retail sale of dogs and cats, by selling puppies after the law went into effect in January 2020.
Under the settlement, the company is barred from selling dogs in Maryland and must refund customers who purchased dogs with congenital or hereditary medical conditions. Consumers also may be reimbursed for the cost of their sick pets’ treatment.
Maryland Puppies Online faces civil penalties of up to $250,000. As much as $175,000 of that amount could be waived if the company complies with other stipulations of the agreement.
The Bazlers denied violating any Maryland laws, including the 2020 puppy mill law, according to the settlement. Their attorney Justin Blume wrote in an email Sunday night that his clients declined to comment.
Maryland Puppies Online sold dogs at a location in Bel Air in Harford County as well as over the internet. Little Puppies Online, an LLC founded by Nathan Bazler, is also registered in Indiana, Pennsylvania and Georgia.
In 2021, the attorney general reached similar settlements with two pet stores in Towson and Rockville that barred the stores from selling dogs and required customer restitution. A judge upheld the puppy mill law after plaintiffs, including Just Puppies, one of the stores named in the settlement, argued in a lawsuit that it violated the U.S. Constitution.
The Attorney General’s Office will contact consumers who qualify for refunds. Consumers with questions may contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 410-576-6569.