Breeder answers complaints about sick dogs

Buyers continue to complain about Westside man selling English bulldogs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - After multiple calls, emails and knocks on his door, a Westside man facing dozens of complaints that he knowing sold sick English bulldog puppies, Channel 4's Jason Law finally confronted Brook Roque on Tuesday afternoon

Law: "The people we talked to call you a bad breeder. Are you a bad breeder? Are you taking advantage of these people?"
Roque: "Umm. I don't think so."
Law: "Basically you're saying buyer beware?"
Roque: "Yeah, buyer beware. Absolutely."

Law first told the story in February of two women who said they bought dogs from Roque that we not healthy,

Donna Phillips purchased her dog, Molly, from Roque for $1,500. It soon became clear that Molly has many problems, including a lame right leg, a curved spine and brain abnormalities. Philips says they've spent at least $5,000 in vet bills.

"She's always in pain, but the steroids do help her," Phillips said.

After the original story, others came forward to say the same they also feel they've been duped by him.

Valerie Philip wrote: "Finally someone got him!"

Tricia Wimberly said: "Great to see the segment on Brook Roque and warning people! He sold us a sick puppy as well! "

When Law caught up with Roque Tuesday, he argued that if the dogs were that sick, the people would want to give them back to him and get a refund.

"If they want to give me the dog back and they want to give me the money back, or then me give them a replacement puppy, I'm more than happy to do that. But I'm not going to do both," Roque said.

Under Florida's pet lemon law, people who bought sick dogs from Roque don't have to give them back. The law says they're also entitled to "reimbursement for vet costs not exceeding the purchase price of the animal."

Law asked Roque if he would pay the vet bills for the puppies he sold. He said he was aware that he could do that, but hasn't.

"I want him to stop breeding and not have people have heart breaks because the animals are not healthy," Phillips said.

While a violation of the pet lemon law is a first-degree misdemeanor, neither Jacksonville Animal Care and Protective Services nor the Department of Agriculture have brought the case to the State Attorney's Office for prosecution.

Law shared the results of his investigation into and complaints with Assistant State Attorney Cyrus Zomorodian to find out what needs to happen to get Roque to stop.

"I would definitely be interested in seeing more evidence. I would definitely be interested in a further investigation into this person," Zomorodian said. "I'm definitely interested in learning more to see if a crime has occurred … to see if criminality is ongoing, to see if there's anything that can be done to help the people."

Roque knows there have been many complaints about him for years, but says he keeps selling dogs because he has many more satisfied customers.

"My response to that is, those 12 to 15 negative complaints do not outweigh the 688 positive dog sales I've had over the past five or six years."

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