A breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels will serve two months of home detention and another 22 months on probation for selling a dog to a breeder without a license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Attorney Tom Moss announced today.
Elizabeth Simmons, also known as Jolene Sorenson, operated her business, Royal Family Cavaliers, from her home in Garden City, advertising primarily on the Internet. At one point she had 64 dogs at the home, which was approximately 1000 square feet in size.
Simmons pleaded guilty in July to the misdemeanor charge. In sentencing her last Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge commented that "it's not the biggest case, but it had a lot of feelings behind it." He also ordered Simmons to pay $4,500 in restitution to the buyers of several of her dogs.
A USDA license is required in order for a person to sell dogs to breeders on a wholesale basis. According to Simmons’ plea agreement, in February 2005 she sold a male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel to licensed USDA dog breeders A. & L. Bruna for $1,800, with the promise that the dog could be registered with the Kennel Club of England. Simmons did not provide the Brunas with documentation to support registration of the dog, nor could the dog have been registered since only dogs born and bred in England can be registered.
When Simmons did live in England, in 2004, she was investigated for defrauding purchasers of her dogs and creating fraudulent health certificates.
Moss commended the Garden City Police Department for its extensive work on the case. "As responsible dog breeders well know, there are good reasons for these rules,” he said. "When someone breaks them, law enforcement and the justice system take it seriously."
CONTACT: JEAN McNEIL
Public Information Officer
Assistant United States Attorney