Tenn. AG targets puppy vendor

Chris Rizo Apr. 10, 2008, 9:55pm

Robert Cooper Jr.

NASHVILLE-Tennessee Attorney General Robert Cooper Jr. on Thursday took action to shut down a business accused of selling sickly imported English and French bulldog puppies.

Gina De'Lynn Price of Blountville, Tenn. and her business, Rebel Ridge Kennel, gained attention last year after she was charged in a federal indictment of wire and mail fraud, lying, witness tampering and concealing information from the Social Security Administration.

She allegedly advertised the disease-ridden puppies as homegrown pedigrees. Authorities said the puppies came from Eastern Europe, and often were afflicted with hereditary and genetic diseases.

On Thursday, Cooper's office sought a contempt order alleging that Price failed to meet the terms of her 2006 agreement to stop selling bulldog pups and cease operating Rebel Ridge Kennels, CSA Bulldogs and Confederate Sands.

The attorney general is seeking civil penalties of $10,000, in addition to attorneys fees and court costs.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for April 18 at Chancery Court in Bristol, Tenn.

In related news, the U.S. Attorney's office in Greeneville on Wednesday amended its November 2007 indictment against Price to include charges that she submitted false federal income tax returns in 2004 and 2005.

Price, 46, was allegedly collecting Social Security while selling the puppies for between $1,200 and $2,800.

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