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Class Claims Petland Sells Dogs|From Nationwide Puppy Mills

PHOENIX (CN) - A RICO class action accuses Petland of selling dogs from abusive "puppy mills" at its 140 franchises across the United States. "Petland has used its distribution capabilities to create a demand for puppy mill puppies where there would otherwise be none given their well-documented health and socialization issues," the complaint states. "Petland requires its retail locations use specifically approved puppy mills or puppy mill brokers to purchase puppies for resale to the public."

The class claims Petland "orchestrated and executed a scheme to defraud consumers by manufacturing a fictitious market for puppy mill puppies."

The complaint continues: "This scheme is carried out by Petland who requires its approximately 140 retail locations across the country to sell these puppies to unsuspecting consumers while misrepresenting them as 'the finest available' puppies from 'professional and hobby breeders who have years of experience in raising quality family pets,' which are 'USDA approved. ...

"This scheme to conceal the origin of these puppy mill puppies from consumers has left thousands of families in its wake suffering from emotional turmoil and significant monetary losses as they grapple with diseased and dying puppies purchased at Petland stores throughout the United States. Plaintiffs seek to expose defendants' fraudulent practices for what they are, violations of the Racketeer Influenced

Corrupt Organizations Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1962, and state consumer protection statutes."

Plaintiffs are represented in Federal Court by Robert Carey with Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

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