Lisette Tobon, 23, of Central Islip has been charged with false representation and scheming to defraud New York area animal shelters by adopting dogs and then selling the dogs on Craigslist for a profit reported Nassau County.
According to District Attorney Kathleen M. Rice,
“Animal shelters are a taxpayer-funded service established to safeguard the animals under their care, and not a free pet store for people to make a profit. These animals deserve to be adopted by people who will love and take care of them – not exploit them to make an easy buck.”
In November 2013, Tobon adopted an eight-year-old Pekinese dog named Willow from a city shelter in Port Washington. When she filled out the adoption form, Tobon gave an inaccurate address and a false telephone number. Within days, Tobon had placed an ad on Craigslist and soon sold the dog for $200.
Less than a month later, Tobon re-entered the shelter inquiring about a Husky named Knuckles, telling the staff she wanted a companion for Willow. When the staff at the shelter told Tobon they knew she had sold Willow on Craigslist, Tobon left.
On Feb. 14, 2014, Tobon entered the Town of Babylon Municipal Shelter, and again provided a false address and telephone number and attempted to adopt an animal; she was denied.
Her case was then referred to DA Rice’s office.
The investigation continues and Tobon has since been alleged to having sold dozens of dogs in the past.
The animal shelter contracts in Port Washington and Babylon include conditions adopters must agree to which prohibits owners from selling or giving away pets without the express permission of the shelters involved. The contracts also give the shelters permission to periodically check and do follow-ups on the adopted pets.
Tobon has been charged with two felony counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree and one count of Scheme to Defraud.
If found guilty, Tobon faces one to four years in prison.
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