Thieves target high-priced English Bulldog puppies in credit card scam

Posted at 7:23 PM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-18 10:08:23-04

"It's about sixteen other breeders that have been caught up in same scam in last couple weeks," said Latorrie Phillips who drove from New York To Michigan Tuesday to recover a puppy he sold to a Detroit man last week for nearly $6,000. 

Ecorse Police say Phillips is one of at least four breeders recently targeted by crooks using stolen credit cards to purchase the high-priced puppies or reverse the charges on the cards once they received the puppies. 

The puppies were discovered at a home in Ecorse after a breeder in Saint Clair County contacted their local sheriff with a tip on where their stolen puppies could be found.

Investigators went to the home and say they discovered nine stolen English Bulldogs being kept outside in kennels.

River Rouge Animal Control Officer Brian Daugherty says some of the puppies were emaciated and being kept in horrible conditions. 

The man who lives at the house where the stolen puppies were recovered claims he purchased them from someone else and he was looking to breed them himself. He's now been charged with Animal Cruelty for the conditions of some of the puppies and their environment.

Three of the puppies were returned to the breeder in Saint Clair County, but a fourth puppy has not been located. 

"It's like three dogs missing," said Ecorse Police Officer Fred Hugley. "We still have no clue where those dogs are at."

A couple from Kentucky was able to recover two of their three puppies. And another puppy was returned to a breeder in Ohio. 

The breeders told investigators that they met the thieves they thought were legit customers in person, adding that they appeared to be genuinely interested in giving each puppy a good home.

The remaining puppies are now being fostered in private homes as the investigation continues. 

Click on the video to hear from investigators and one of the breeders in Kimberly Craig's report.