• Report: #360511

Complaint Review: Petland Of Sterling Heights

  • Submitted: Thu, August 07, 2008
  • Updated: Wed, April 15, 2009

  • Reported By:Utica Michigan
Petland Of Sterling Heights
44705 Mound Road Sterling Heights, Michigan U.S.A.

Petland Of Sterling Heights sold ill, Puppy Mill Dog Sterling Heights Michigan

*Consumer Comment: Class Action Claims Petland Supports "Puppy Mills"

*Consumer Comment: petland was good for us

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Petland of Sterling Heights is owned by Tony and Kim DeLibero. They not only had all of the information regarding the various illnesses our Puppy had upon purchase from their store, but also had the expertise of their own VCA Animal Hospital of Clinton Township that was able to provide the same information once we had a "2nd opinion" at another veterinarian.

The puppy we purchased from Petland, ended up having Coccidia, a Sinus Infection, Calcium Oxylate Crystals in her urine, and Entropian (a hereditary disorder of the eye) in both eyes before 1 year old. When we purchased her, she had the coccidia parasite and the sinus infection. We went several times to the VCA Animal Hospital that Petland advised we had to go to in order to diagnose her eye concerns, as well as her bladder concerns. VCA advised she just had a "cold" in her eyes, and provided several creams, gels, and antibiotics for her. None of these treatments would ever be necessary, nor successful in treating her ACTUAL disorder, which is Entropian (in short, where the eye lids of the eye turn in toward the eye, causing abrasions of the cornea). Any veterinarian should have been able to diagnose this upon spending any sort of time examining the dog. Once we changed veterinarians and proved this to Petland, they refused to reimburse for the condition, even though VCA admitted to misdiagnosing her, and said it was our own responsibility because we did not see a VCA veterinarian. Each time that we went to VCA for her urinary concerns, we were advised she had "another urinary tract infection", which again, no one at VCA took the time to see that there was something else wrong in her urine. She had this condition at the time of purchase as well, and our veterinarian was able to diagnose her concern on the FIRST VISIT. The DeLibero's refused to reimburse for this expense as well, with VCA admitting to misdiagnosing our dog, stating we did not use a VCA vet. (With this many MISDIAGNOSES within 1 MONTH, would you continue to subject your pet to this non-sense?! What if it were your child?) Our dog may have to have eye surgery to correct the Entropian, which I'm sure Petland will argue with as well because we did not go through VCA in her "3-year warranty". Though, her warranty CLEARLY states, "For those puppies not under the care of VCA Animal Hospital after purchase, it is the customers' responsibility to document that the condition existed at the time of purchase and that the puppy was under the continual care of a veterinarian for the condition in question."

I am not the only person with concerns with the pet they purchased from this store. I have business cards as well as other contact information from other pet owners that have experienced the same treatment in regards to the concerns they had with their pets as well. Yet in 2007 The Petland Corporation gave the DeLibero's an "Award for Excellence in first year ownership". This has to be a joke, because they apparently have not spoken to half of the pet owners themselves. There are several websites out there protesting Petland completely because of the conditions where the dogs are kept, the "quality breeders" they supposedly purchase their dogs from (aka read "PUPPY MILLS"), amongst other concerns.

I originally went into the store the day before we actually purchased our puppy. I wish I had actually purchased her the day before, because she was on sale illegally. She was not yet 8 weeks of age at the time she was being shown. I purchased her on 05.26.07, she was born on 03.26.07...exactly 8 WEEKS PRIOR. The days before we purchased her (all dogs they receive go out on the floor for sale on Thursdays) she was being shown illegally.

Definitely do your research before purchasing a dog from this store. Talk to other pet owners, go to parks, stores such as PetSmart, Petco, etc. and talk to other dog owners. You will find quite a number of people that have had horrible experiences with this store.

Utica, Michigan

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/07/2008 04:46 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Petland-Of-Sterling-Heights/Sterling-Heights-Michigan-48314/Petland-Of-Sterling-Heights-sold-ill-Puppy-Mill-Dog-Sterling-Heights-Michigan-360511. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Class Action Claims Petland Supports "Puppy Mills"

AUTHOR: Laurie - (U.S.A.)

Class Action Claims Petland Supports "Puppy Mills"
Pet store chain accused of deceiving owners as to origin of puppies

This was announced on March 25th 2009.

A class action lawsuit filed by pet owners claims Petland Inc., the country's largest pet store chain, and a Missouri company that brokers dogs conspired to sell unhealthy puppy mill puppies to unsuspecting consumers.

The suit alleges Petland and the Hunte Corporation deceived thousands of pet owners nationwide by falsely claiming their puppies came from reputable breeders when most were from commercial breeding operations called puppy mills.

Six pet owners including two members of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) filed the lawsuit in Arizona federal court.

Petland has approximately 140 stores in 31 states and is the country's largest retail chain that sells puppies. The Hunte Corporation calls itself the "world's leading licensed distributor of pure-bred puppies" to select pet stores.

The action alleges Petland and the Hunte Corporation violated federal law and various state consumer protection laws by misrepresenting that the puppies sold in Petland stores are "the finest available" and come from reputable breeders, when the puppies actually come from puppy mills, and are bred and raised in unsafe and unsanitary conditions.

Puppy mills are commercial breeding operations that experts say churn out two to four million puppies each year.

"To operate this puppy production line, female dogs are bred at every opportunity without sufficient recovery time between litters," the lawsuit states. "Once these breeding females are physically depleted to the point they lose the ability to reproduce, they are generally destroyed using inhumane methods."

"While alive and forced to reproduce, the breeding female and her puppies are confined to a wire cage barely large enough to turn around in, sometimes exposed to the elements, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and three hundred sixty-five days a year," the lawsuit alleges. "[T]hese cages in which the breeding female spends her entire life, and the puppies' first several weeks of life, are floored with wire mesh to facilitate waste removal and cleanup without regard for the health and wellbeing of either the puppies or their mother."

Puppy mill puppies often have health problems, genetic defects, and behavioral issues, according the lawsuit.

The class action lawsuit describes several cases in which Petland sold sick and dying puppies many of which came from puppy mills to consumers nationwide, including the six plaintiffs in the case.

Petland also requires each of its stores which are either owned by the corporation or operated as a franchise to buy their puppies from suppliers the company has approved. "And nearly every one is either a puppy mill or a puppy mill broker," the lawsuit claims.

Companies: Allegations are "false and baseless"
Petland and the Hunte Corporation denied what they called the "false and baseless" allegations in the class action lawsuit.

"Petland Inc. is outraged and disappointed at the latest false accusations propagated by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), a radical animal rights group that has no affiliation with local humane societies," the company said in a written statement. "This new attack from HSUS is in the form of a class action lawsuit based upon vague and undefined legal arguments. This is a continuing public relations campaign to smear the good name of Petland and to increase HSUS donations by utilizing sensationalized media and legal attacks."

Petland said at least two veterinarians certify that all its puppies are healthy, and that the company stores meet or exceed all state and federal requirements related to the health of each of the puppies it sells.

"Petland only supports breeders that abide by the 'Humane Care Guidelines' developed by Petland in conjunction with the U.S. government," the company said. "It has been Petland's policy for more than 40 years to stand against substandard breeders."

"I've read every word of the lawsuit and I can only see one puppy that even came through the Hunte Puppy Care program," said Hunte Corporation company president Steve Rook. "The other (puppies) don't have anything to do with us."

"This lawsuit (was filed) to help the Humane Society of the United States reach its goal to receive publicity and increase its donations," he added.

Rook said that puppies come into their only after it receives a complete health evaluation, and that most pet stores also have their own veterinarians examine the puppies upon arrival.

"A puppy must have two to four veterinary examinations before it's sold," he said. "How does that make us a business model for conspiring to sell unhealthy puppies?"

Meanwhile, Petland downplayed the complaints received from consumers, saying puppies, like babies, sometimes get sick.

"It's no different than a child being more conducive to colds or earaches," said Petland spokeswoman Lacey Clever. "And, all Petland puppies are screened and examined by at least two and often three or more licensed certified veterinarians. The veterinarians certify these puppies' health."

Petland's warranty also protects puppies against congenital and hereditary disorders for up to a year after purchase, Clever said. "In other words, if a pet develops an issue at some point in their lives, this does not in any way indicate that the puppy came from a substandard breeder."

Consumers who have complaints about their puppy's health should immediately contact their local Petland store, Clever said. She did not, however, say what consumers should do if the Petland store where they purchased their puppy goes out of business or if the corporate office does not respond to inquiries.

The HSUS claims that it contacted the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) over Petland's claim of adherence to the "Humane Care Guidelines" developed in conjunction with the agency. The HSUS filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the USDA to verify that such guidelines existed, but the agency could not locate any records sufficient to answer their request.

"Needs to be shut down"
The class action lawsuit comes on the heels of an eight-month investigation by the HSUS , which revealed most of Petland's puppies came from puppy mills.

Since news of the class action lawsuit has spread, the HSUS said it has received hundreds of calls from heartbroken pet owners.

ConsumerAffairs.com has also received scores of complaints about Petland selling sick puppies or dogs with behavior issues.
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#2 Consumer Comment

petland was good for us

AUTHOR: Petownerst.hts. - (U.S.A.)

I was dissappointed to see that our sterling heights petland store has been closed. my family bought 2 dogs from them, one 2 years ago and one 1and a half years ago. my only problem was they were so expensive. both our dogs were on "clearance special" as they had been there for months and not bought so they dropped the price. that was the only way we could afford them. these are the dearest, sweetest dogs, very healthy, no problems. the employees were kind and caring. helpful and informative. we have a cockatiel that we used to take to them and get his wings clipped for free. we have reptiles and bought crickets from petland. they had the cutest puppies ever.

we had heard rumors of petland buying from puppy mills, but they had a sign in their store saying they didn't, so that was good enough for me. with our first dog, a westie-poo, we got her neutered for free from petland's vet, and my main problem with that vet is they tried to hard sell us hundreds of dollars of extras that we would have to pay for that wasn't covered in our vet plan. we resisted, and just got our free vet services. for the next dog,a cockapoo, we didn't buy petland's vet package, and just took him to our own vet to get neutered and it was a better experience.

i am sorry other people got sick dogs from petland, but i had good experiences with them, and i am sure thousands of other people have also, so i felt i had to put in a good word.

by the way, we tried going to the humane societies and animal shelters, but they only had big dogs, and we wanted small ones. also, we had to get dogs mixed with poodle or other non-allergy dogs because we are allergic, and the shelters didn't have that either. petland had exactly what we needed.
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