A Tampa pet store owner and one of the store's employees were arrested Thursday and charged with selling puppies without required health permits, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture.

  • Michael Robert Lamprea, 35, owner of "Puppies Tampa"
  • Agency received complaints, information about possible violations
  • Employee refused to cooperate with investigators, supply health certificates

According to an official release, officers with the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement arrested Michael Robert Lamprea, 35, the owner of "Puppies Tampa," and one of Lamprea's employees, Maurice Barrett, 25.

Investigators began looking into Puppies Tampa after the department received multiple complaints about the store and information about possible violations. When officers and a state veterinarian went to Puppies Tampa and asked to see health certificates for each dog on sale at the shop, Barrett reportedly refused to comply. He also ordered other employees not to cooperate with officers, and removed documents previously supplied to the department, according to the release.

Lamprea and Barrett were both charged with offering canines for sale without a Florida Official Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, a first-degree misdemeanor. Barrett was also charged with obstructing a department employee, a second-degree misdemeanor. They were both booked into the Hillsborough County Jail.