City issues citations against puppy mill operators

Family accused of operating mill cited by Animal Care and Protective Services

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The city of Jacksonville's Animal Care and Protective Services has issued citations against a Westside man accused of operating a puppy mill with his family.

Brook Roque was issued the following civil citations by ACPS:

  • 6 citations for offering a puppy under 8 weeks of age for sale
  • 1 citation for operating without an animal dealer permit
  • 2 citations for selling a puppy without a valid health certificate
  • 2 citations for failure to provide veterinary care for two sick pups

ACPS also issued citations to Brooke Roque's father Anthony Roque, including one for failing to isolate a sick puppy from healthy puppies.

Several people have contacted News4Jax, offering to care for puppies removed from the puppy mill. But ACPS said it did not find any other dogs at Roque's home. If there were any puppies recently, they do not know where they are right now.

Steve Templeton said he let it go years ago, but he still remembers the sting of buying his dog as a puppy from Brook Roque.

As young as six months old, Templeton's dog displayed health issues like hip dysplasia and cherry eyes, where the dog's eyes popped out of the socket.

Attorney General Pam Bondi's office froze Brook Roque's assets and shut down the dog breeding operation.

Templeton believes prosecution is overdue.

"When we bought that puppy, we were naïve to the bulldog breed," Templeton said. "You see a puppy when he's young, you think 'Oh, he's adorable.' Then you see what you think are the parents to this dog and come to find out that's just impossible by the way the dog came out. ... Two bluejays don't make a cardinal. That's the only way I can explain that."

The Attorney General's office hopes the consumer complaints have come to an end. They shut down what they deemed a puppy mill operation. And the dogs being bred came through ACPS in Jacksonville.

"We were contacted by the state's Attorney General Office, because there's an animal component to this case," said Nikki Harris, ACPS division chief. "Obviously, their facilities don't allow them to handle any animals."

Harris offered some keys to choosing wisely, if you are determined to go through a breeder.

"The most important thing would be to physically see the mom and the puppies before you considered buying the puppy," Harris said. "You would also want references of previous adopters. … And you would contact them to see. I would also ask for veterinary records from the breeder, because they should have ongoing records from the puppies and the mom."

The state Attorney General's Office said Brook Roque and the other defendants have 20 days to respond to the complaint.

No hearing date has been scheduled yet.

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