Victory for Animal Welfare Advocates in $3.9 Million Federal Case 


Potomac, Maryland (May 9, 2024) — In a legal triumph for animal welfare on May 3rd, a federal jury in California awarded PetConnect Rescue, a 20-year-old non-profit animal rescue based in Potomac, MD, a significant victory against puppy mill brokers and pet store owners. 

 In the case of PetConnect Rescue v. David Salinas, a federal jury in San Diego held pet store owner David Salinas of Cedar Pet Supply and puppy mill brokers Ray and Alysia Rothman accountable for misrepresenting puppies as rescues from PetConnect Rescue in order to evade a 2019 California law prohibiting the sale of non-rescue dogs in pet stores.  Rothman is the sales manager for Select Puppies in Iowa, which supplies puppy mill puppies to pet stores across the country. 

 The $3.9 million awarded by the jury to PetConnect Rescue on May 3rd represents a portion of the wrongful profits David Salinas and the Rothmans gained while fraudulently using PetConnect Rescue’s trademark to sell puppies. 

 PetConnect Rescue learned of the fraudulent use of their trademark in 2020 when frantic customers of the California puppy stores contacted PetConnect Rescue in Potomac, Maryland to complain that their recently “adopted” puppy was seriously ill. These customers had purchased a puppy, usually for thousands of dollars, from one of several stores selling puppy mill puppies but had been misled into believing they had adopted a rescue puppy.  

 Lizette Chanock, Founder of PetConnect Rescue, said, “We are very pleased with the jury verdict, and we look forward to the opportunity to redirect funds the defendants gained from inhumane treatment of animals to caring for rescued dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens. PetConnect Rescue thanks trial counsel Bryan Pease and Parisa Ijadi-Maghsoodi of Pease Law, APC for their expertise and skill in building and presenting a successful case, and the Analysis Group and its damages expert Minh Doan for their meticulous research and analysis of the wrongful profits.” 

 Although Pease Law put the Salinas-owned puppy stores out of business in California through previous legal action, Salinas still operates stores under the name Cedar Pet Supply in Utah and Nevada. Five states in the United States have banned the sale of commercially bred puppies in pet stores and counties in thirty states have local legislation banning the sale of puppies in pet stores.  


 PetConnect Rescue, Inc, is a non-profit organization founded in 2005 in Potomac, Maryland with a mission to save dogs and cats at risk of euthanasia and care for them until they can be placed in loving homes. PetConnect rescues and places more than 1,000 animals each year and works to end animal homelessness through spay/neuter programs and community outreach.