AUSTIN (CN) – An Internet dog-seller is accused of running a puppy mill: selling more than 50 sickly bulldogs for $1,500 to $2,500 apiece, and falsely claiming to have bred and raised them, in a class action in Travis County Court.
Plaintiffs claim Kristy and Charles O’Neal of North Richmond Hills, Texas, do business through misrepresentations on their Web site, Epuppypro.com.
“(D)efendants have sold in excess of 50 bulldogs with serious and/or fatal medical issues for between $1,500 to $2,500 [sic] or more,” the complaint states.
Plaintiffs claim the O’Neals misrepresent their business by falsely claiming that “We breed English Bulldogs & French Bulldogs. … We know that we are the #1 Place for Top Quality Bulldog Puppies you can find, with excellent health. … We consider all the puppies we have part of our family & we love and care for them.”
But in fact, the plaintiffs say, “Defendants do not breed English or French bulldogs. Defendants admit, instead, that they are a bulldog ‘broker’ and run ‘an Internet-based marketing company for English and French bulldogs’ that distributes bulldogs. … The bulldogs defendants purportedly breed in Texas are, in fact, shipped en masse by ‘heads’ and ‘boxes’ from Russia and signed for at Houston airport by defendants. … The City of North Richland Hills Humane Division has been inundated with enough consumer complaints regarding the poor health of defendants’ bulldogs that said Humane Division launched an investigation into defendants’ activities … Defendants do not furnish purchasers with ‘Full Registration,’ or any registration whatsoever, for its bulldog puppies. Hence it is impossible to ascertain whether in fact these puppies are ‘Champion Sired’ or possess ‘Champion Bloodlines.'”
Plaintiffs demand punitive damages. They are represented by Robert Kleinman.