Petland has been hit with a proposed class action that alleges it misrepresents where it sources its animals and consequently sold unhealthy pets to unsuspecting customers, some of whom contracted diseases from sick dogs.
Petland allegedly touts that it sells “the finest available” animals from professional breeders while actually sourcing its dogs from puppy mills. The case explains that puppy mills “operate like an assembly line” in which animals are churned out in large numbers and confined in overcrowded and unsanitary environments, making them prone to diseases and infections. Nevertheless, Petland purchases the animals from mills for cheap, portrays them as humanely sourced and sells them to customers at expensive prices, the suit says.
According to a CDC investigation, the lawsuit says, a recent 17-state outbreak of Campylobacter—an infection that usually causes bloody diarrhea and flu-like symptoms—was traced back to puppies sold by Petland. One such infected individual is the plaintiff, a former employee for co-defendant Petland Mall of Georgia LLC. The plaintiff says that on an average workday, 10 puppies would be quarantined at the store due to illness, and that she contracted Campylobacter while cleaning up after the dogs.
Echoing claims of a previous lawsuit, the case charges that Petland covers its tracks by providing customers with bogus certifications of health issued by veterinarians whom the company pays off for exam results. Further, Petland supposedly directs customers to contact its subsidiary, co-defendant PAWSitive Solutions, if an animal becomes ill. PAWSitive Solutions, however, works to protect the company rather than pets, and even dissuades customers from taking their animals to veterinarians outside of the company’s “preferred” network of providers, the case claims.
The lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who purchased a puppy with Campylobacter since January 1, 2014, anyone who contracted the infection from a purchased puppy, and all employees who became infected since January 1, 2016.