Ginger Turk from onceuponateapup.com
FOLSOM, CA - Folsom police are recommending forgery charges be filed against a local broker who sold exotic puppies for thousands of dollars with phony paperwork.
Ginger Turk, 41, is suspected of forging a Folsom veterinarian's signature on at least four government certificates required to legally import miniature "teacup" puppies from South Korea.
Turk operates the web-based brokerage onceuponateapup.com from her home in El Dorado Hills, and sells the miniature puppies for as much as $6,000.
Dr. Lee Kaplow of Lakeside Pet Hospital became aware that someone was signing his name on the puppy certificates when a woman from New Jersey contacted him with a question about a Yorkshire terrier named Sophie she bought in July.
"This dog's never been in my building," Kaplow insisted. Kaplow learned of the additional forgeries when problems surfaced involving other puppies sold by Turk.
Kaplow said he began conducting routine examinations for Turk in February and saw several puppies each week. He severed his relationship with her in July when he learned of the phony paperwork.
Turk spoke briefly to News10 when reached by phone.
"I have nothing to say regarding this. This is something that's already being handled," she said before hanging up. Turk's husband, Alan, later called to explain the couple had been told by their attorney not to comment on the case.
Kaplow said an exam and health certificate together cost just $70 for a puppy worth thousands of dollars, leading him to speculate the puppies with phony certificates were either sick or too young to be legally sold.
Federal regulations require dogs imported for resale must be at least six months old. The forged certificate for Sophie, the Yorkshire terrier, lists her age as 16 weeks.
Folsom police spokesman Jason Browning said his department had submitted a warrant request to the Sacramento County District Attorney seeking four charged violations of Penal Code section 470(b), which may be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony.
Kaplow was offended that people spent thousands of dollars for puppies they believed were healthy only because his name was improperly attached to the document.
"I can't describe how much it upsets me," he said.
by George Warren, GWarren@news10.net