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LAKELAND (CBSMiami/AP) — Forging pet health certificates to trick consumers is nothing new, but one Lakeland couple used their positions to dupe an unprecedented number of people. They are now facing several charges.

Dr. Christopher Carrier, owner of Care Animal Clinic in Lakeland, and his wife, Wendy Carrier, who owns Petland in Lakeland, have been charged with more than 50 counts of issuing forged vet inspections.

Authorities said people thought they were buying healthy pets and had no way of knowing that the dogs had not had proper vaccinations and could become ill.

State law requires all dogs sold in Florida to have an Official Certificate of Veterinarian Inspection. Investigators said they obtained 53 altered Official Certificates of Veterinarian Inspection that were issued by Dr. Carrier for animals sold at Petland.

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