Lawsuits claim Petland sold sick puppies; company denies allegations

MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) – A Medina County law firm has filed several lawsuits Thursday against a pet store chain alleging the store sold sick puppies.

“My firm filed three lawsuits on behalf of four plaintiffs alleging deceptive sales practices by Petland and its franchises,” said DanaMarie Pannella. “One of our plaintiffs unfortunately had to euthanize her puppy. It is very trying. Another plaintiff whose puppy has survived, incurred thousands and thousands of medical bills. She actually had to move from their house to accommodate the needs of that dog.”

‘Get them inside’: Local veterinarian offers reminder to bring in pets during cold snap

Pannella added that another woman purchased a dog and found out the next day the puppy was ill. The woman was elderly and reached out to her neighbor for help, Pannella said.

“After Petland refused to call them back or help in anyway, her neighbor drove two hours to return the puppy,” Pannella said.

She said the elderly woman still had to pay for the puppy.

The lawsuits were filed in Franklin, Ross, and Delaware Counties.

A spokesperson for Petland released the following statement.

“For 57 years, Petland has been successfully connecting families and pets. We are a trusted source for providing the quality pets that people want. Our number one concern – always – is the health and well-being of the pets we make available to our customers.

Because we are talking about living beings, Petland has a stringent and thorough care protocol for our pets. Each store has a consulting state-licensed veterinarian that establishes all care protocols while in our care. We also have complete and fair health warranties for the rare instances when a pet needs certain types of medical care after they go home with their forever family.

Detectives: Credit card skimmers found on registers at local Walmart stores

Petland has not been served with information regarding these alleged lawsuits, but in learning where they originate, we are not surprised. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) has a long pattern of using donor dollars to file frivolous lawsuits across the country, especially during state legislative sessions in states where they are trying to implement a pet sale ban; and especially during their fundraising season.

In reviewing the HSUS narrative related to this alleged lawsuit, posted to its website and written by their highly-compensated CEO Kitty Block. The claims made by Block today are filled with false allegations. In at least one of the cases, Petland has documentation that contradicts the health claims made by the pet owners. This documentation includes medical records from veterinarians at The Ohio State University, which contradicts what is being alleged.

In another case, the pet owner was fully compensated for the cost of the puppy and all medical care required.

It is truly unfortunate that an organization like HSUS will use any tactic to prey on people with kind hearts to solicit donations that primarily go to supporting hefty executive salaries to keep the fundraising machine going.

As in other such cases, Petland is confident that when facts are taken into consideration, the truth will prevail.”

Maria Smith, Petland, Director of Communications

Pannella and Mark Finneran, of the Humane Society of the United States, says the lawsuits were filed to help make protect consumers and the dogs. Attorneys with the Humane Society of United States Animal Protection Law Department are assisting with the cases.

“When you read these lawsuits the allegations made in there are very serious,” Finneran said. “These families are facing emotional heartbreak and financial devastation.”

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to Fox 8 Cleveland WJW.