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Happiness Is Pets Puppy Mill Class Action Lawsuit Filed


Chicago, IL: A consumer fraud class action lawsuit has been filed by six puppy owners who allege the Happiness Is Pets chain store misrepresents its puppies as coming from small-scale breeders, when they actually come from "some of the most despicable and horrendous puppy mills in the Midwest. The lawsuit is seeking punitive damages against 18 Happiness Is Pets branches throughout the Chicagoland region.

The lawsuit states "Plaintiffs purchased sick puppies sold by Happiness which falsely represented that its puppies were healthy and came from private and reputable breeders. In fact, the puppies at Happiness are often sick and come from some of the most despicable and horrendous puppy mills in the Midwest."

The class action also alleges "On information and belief, many puppies, no more than 8 weeks old, arrive at Happiness in crowded vans, packed in crates covered with feces and urine, shaking and visibly stressed, many sick. Happiness employees are directed to bathe and groom the puppies and administer antibiotics and deworming treatments daily, in an effort to mask the unhealthy condition of the puppies to unsuspecting consumers and of which dangerously jeopardizes the puppy's immune system."

According to the lawsuit, "the breeders used by Happiness fit perfectly within the definition of 'puppy mill' as defined by Happiness. Many of Happiness' breeders are cited by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for violations including but not limited to failure to provide veterinary care, lack of exercise, and improper housing enclosures. For example, the USDA reported that 'Breeder A,' a main breeder used by Happiness, failed to provide veterinary care to a blind dog with crusty eye discharge and to another dog with no teeth."

The lawsuit further contends "the USDA reported an inventory count of another breeder used by Happiness, 'Breeder B,' of 890 dogs and 315 puppies. ..." And "'Breeder B' is not a private, small-scale breeder as Happiness falsely represents, and it is a mass producing dog facility. "An investigation by the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting companion animals, further revealed a burn pile of puppies at 'Breeder B.'"

The lawsuit cites the experience of plaintiff Bryan Phillips who purchased a puppy, called Dakota, from Happiness in December 2011 for about $809. "Shortly after Phillips' purchase, Dakota tested positive for distemper," the lawsuit states. "Dakota showed signs of illness immediately. He took Dakota to Happiness' recommended vet who dismissed her symptoms as a common cold and gave her a drug. Dakota's symptoms quickly worsened and Phillips took Dakota to his family vet, who noticed the signs of distemper instantly. A further X-ray showed Dakota had pneumonia as well. Dakota suffered from tremors, seizures, vomiting, severe diarrhea, coughing, eye and nose discharge, sneezing, respiratory problems, conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers."

Two other plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Lissett Dzieglo and Mark Jillich, state they bought their puppy, Gunner, from Happiness in January 2012, for $976. "Gunner showed signs of illness immediately, including a severe cough, difficulty breathing and congestion," the lawsuit states. "Gunner was taken to the vet approximately five times in a matter of weeks. The coughing quickly worsened and elevated to bronchitis, eye and nose discharge, increased breath, clumsiness, lack of energy, and yelping in pain."

The plaintiffs seek punitive damages for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, and breach of implied warranty, and want Happiness enjoined from continuing its allegedly deceptive practices. They also seek refunds of the price of the puppies, including all items associated with the purchases, and veterinary expenses.

Happiness is Pets Puppy Mill Class Action Legal Help

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Published on Feb-20-12


READER COMMENTS

Posted by

on
Being that Arlington Hts is supporting this business and opting out of Cook County's ban of puppy mills despite knowing where many of their puppies come from, it would appear that someone has a "personal interest" in this business. Possibly a friend, relative or council member? No doubt. My family will not support ANY business in Arlington Hts from this day forward as well as many of our friends.

I would think that the town of Arlington Hts, their council members and Happiness is Pets could all be sued. I would hope so, and force them to buy healthy puppies to offer to the consumer.

Posted by

on
My shih tzu had a congenital liver shunt and it cost me over $5000 for the surgery plus the costs of tests to diagnose the condition.

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