Irvine Police Arrest Woman for Peddling Sick Puppies
Irvine, Calif. – The Irvine Police Department on Wednesday arrested Megan Ann Hoechstetter on multiple felony and misdemeanor charges related to crimes against animals. Hoechstetter was arrested after selling a sick puppy that died a week after it was purchased by an Irvine family. Nineteen puppies were found in her possession.
Hoechstetter, 42, of Seal Beach is accused of setting up a fake rescue organization online and using the website to sell animals she may have obtained from Mexico that had not received proper healthcare. Hoechstetter, who was operating under the name Pawlosophy, was apprehended with six puppies in her possession. Police believe she may have operated under other false businesses names.
Irvine Police Department Animal Services officers learned that Hoechstetter was staying at a hotel in Cypress and responded to that location, where they found 13 additional puppies. All of the animals were transported to the Irvine Animal Care Center to receive much needed care. The puppies are not available for adoption at this time because of their age and fragile health.
The Irvine Police Department Animal Services Unit reminds residents to use caution when purchasing or rescuing an animal. Follow these guidelines:
*Be cautious of groups or organizations who only communicate with you online.
*Reputable rescue organizations will always want to visit your home for an inspection; be wary of anyone who wants to meet you in a parking lot or other public place.
*Always request to see veterinary records for the animal you wish to adopt. Make sure the puppy is current on vaccinations and has been examined by a state-licensed veterinarian. Additionally, make sure the paperwork you are shown matches the animal you are adopting.
*Never buy a puppy who is advertised as “saved from another country.”
*Watch out for organizations that request extra donations that weren’t initially disclosed.
*Don’t buy or rescue a puppy younger than 8 weeks old.
*Consider adopting from a local animal shelter, such as the Irvine Animal Care Center, or a humane society. Such agencies are required to provide medical attention and veterinary care for their animals.
If you believe you have been a victim or have information on this case, please contact Animal Services Supervisor Kim Cherney at 949-724-7091 or firstname.lastname@example.org.