Puppy scammer returning to face charges

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Charges were brought against Monica Binkley after several people reported they’d paid deposits of $200 to $400 on each puppy, most of which were meant to be Christmas gifts. The 35-year old suspect allegedly sold the puppies from a home in the 900 block of Murphy’s Mill Road and then disappeared with the pups and the cash.

When Arnold was apprehended near Amarillo, Texas, she still had numerous puppies with her, according to Suffolk Police Lieutenant Debbie J. George.

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Arnold has signed papers releasing the puppies from her custody so that prospective owners could retrieve the pets by paying the balance owed on them. Those funds will be given to two rescue groups working with Texas authorities to get the pups home. There are several Hampton Roads residents who will also assist with bringing them back to Suffolk, where they will all be adopted.

At least seven local families were involved in Arnold’s scheme, said George.

&uot;This woman caused a lot of disappointment when she didn’t deliver on the puppies,&uot; said George. &uot;She placed ads in local newspapers selling spaniels, labs, and English lab puppies. Then, when people responded to the ads, they were invited to come to 909 Murphy’s Mill Road, to pick out their puppy. They also paid deposits for the puppies.&uot;

The latest incident isn’t Arnold’s first brush with the law. In June 2001, she was charged with larceny when a Poquoson woman left a cocker spaniel and three puppies in Arnold’s care while on vacation. She returned to be told the mother dog had killed the pups, but when a friend of the victim visited Arnold later, she spotted the three puppies.

A couple months later, Arnold told police that someone had shot two of her dogs inside their fence. One of the Labrador retrievers died, the other was seriously injured.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has also received numerous complaints on Arnold’s treatment of animals.

Police Detective E.C. Harris continues his investigation into Arnold’s activities, and asks that anyone who was a victim call him at 923-2193.