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TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Naples police say three people were arrested Sunday while attempting to sell puppies to beachgoers from a cart.

Police were called to the beach after Ernest Augustin of Immokalee, Mariel Palominoca Campos and Yuniesky Campos Hartman, both of Cape Coral, were seen pulling a cart with puppies hidden under a blanket, Naples police wrote in a social media post.


The six puppies were deprived of fresh air, police said, and overheated due to the sweltering temperatures. A heat warning was in effect at the time of the incident and the heat index was estimated at 43 degrees.

“Two dogs were observed to have shallow breathing and were unresponsive, appearing to be in distress due to heat-related symptoms,” police said.

After about 20 minutes in an air-conditioned car with water, the puppies began to recover. Collier County Domesticated Animal Services examined them to make sure they were healthy.

“During the investigation, it became clear that the suspects were cruelly depriving the dogs of necessary food or shelter without need,” police said. “All of the suspects could have stopped and offered the dogs water or a shady shelter, but none did so voluntarily.”

All three suspects were charged with animal cruelty.