Saturday, April 27, 2019

Five tips to avoid a puppy scam or puppy mill


Shopping for a puppy online?
Five tips to avoid a scam or puppy mill

1.  Avoid online sellers willing to ship pets. Never buy or “adopt” a puppy over the internet without meeting the seller, the puppy’s mother or seeing the kennel conditions. If the seller is offering to ship the puppy overnight or via ground transport, ask about the route the puppy will take. Often the puppies are picked up at the breeder’s facility by a trucking company, trucked to a puppy distribution center in Missouri, such as Pet Ex, where they are warehoused with little care. Shipping to the final destination, their new home, could be hours or even days.  Avoid online sellers asking for payment via a credit card or an online service such as Paypal or Western Union. Some puppy scammers promise free puppies as long as you pay the shipping, but never send the puppy. Other scammers pose as a rescue or shelter and may reach you via email asking for help. 
2.  Avoid local puppy flippers rushing the sale. Local online sellers often obtain their puppies from a broker which provide weekly shipments and cannot answer questions about the parents. Ask many questions about the parents before you arrive at the pick-up location.   Learn more about a local Oxford couple recently arrested for selling ill puppies. 
3.  Never meet the seller in a parking lot to exchange the puppy. Instead, ask the seller to meet at your veterinary clinic for a wellness check or for permission to speak with their veterinarian to confirm health history and proof of vaccinations. 
4.  Avoid sellers with multiple online ads featuring a variety of different breeds. Online retailers often have multiple phone numbers, ad profiles, use aliases and avoid providing their address until the day you plan to meet. 
5.  Beware of online puppy broker web sites. Sites such as Puppy Find, Next Day Pets, Oodle, Terrific Pets, Puppy Trader, Dogsnow, Animaroo, Purebred Breeders, Lancaster Puppies, and many more act as an agent for breeders, in most cases taking a fee to arrange the puppy transaction. 

Learn more on Stop Online Puppy Mills 


So how should I find a pet?

Families looking for a puppy or kitty can also go to their local animal shelter, animal rescue groups and Pet Finder.com - a comprehensive website with thousands of animals up for adoption. Some rescue groups are certified for best practices by the Michigan Pet Fund Alliance. Many of these groups offer a “foster to adopt “program that allows families to make sure the pet is right for them before adopting.


Friday, April 26, 2019

Predatory pet leasing schemes in Michigan

In 2017, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) issued consumer alerts through the Better Business Bureau and media outlets warning families about predatory financing practices, including “pet leasing” where the puppies are held as collateral. 

Financing options allow puppy stores to sell puppies to families who otherwise are not able to pay the full price. Depending on your credit history, you might end up "renting" your puppy.

Check the fine print!

When puppy buyers sign a lease agreement, the leasing company buys the puppy from the puppy store and retains ownership of the puppy until the customer makes all the monthly payments.

Puppy buyers can be easily misled by the financing language because the store employees do not understand the loan terms or simply desire to make the sale by glossing over them.  

The Family Puppy (Novi, MI) September 27, 2011
Photo Credit, Puppy Mill Awareness SE Michigan
Two Michigan pet stores offer pet leasing: The Barking Boutique (Grandville) and The Family Puppy (Flint, Troy, Novi), resulting in complaints filed with the BBB. 

Both stores advertised “My Pet Funding” last year as a financing option on their websites. 
The ad’s fine print read as follows: 

“AFTER MAKING YOUR REGULAR MONTHLY PAYMENTS AND A SEPARATE RESIDUAL PAYMENT AT THE END OF THE LEASE OWNERSHIP WILL TRANSFER TO THE BUYER”.

Now both The Barking Boutique and The Family Puppy stores advertise "Credova" on their websites. According to Credova's wesite, they are not actual lenders. The bottom of their website states:

"Credova provides a software platform for retailers to access third-party providers for lease-to-own financing and other lending products based on a consumer’s credit profile."

The Barking Boutique and Petland (Novi) puppy stores also offer high interest rate loans through Lending USA. 

According to a recent USA Today article “Pet leasing has been drawing scrutiny from lawmakers and animal welfare groups since media reports highlighted consumer complaints against Reno, Nevada-based Wags Lending, which pioneered the practice. Nevada and California have now outlawed pet leasing, and New York lawmakers are proposing legislation prohibiting lease contracts "where dogs or cats are used as collateral." 

In January, Florida joined the list of states with plans to ban predatory pet lending. The bill would require contracts to be voided if the pet could be used as collateral to ensure payments of the contract.

Even the American Kennel Club, a longtime supporter of the commercial dog breeding industry, opposes pet leasing:

“AKC supports a ban on predatory pet leasing schemes that victimize potential owners, undermine a lifetime commitment to a pet, and do not confer the rights and responsibilities associated with legal ownership of a pet.”

Bloomberg’s March 1, 2017 article “I am renting a dog” includes the most thorough coverage of this new tactic to help peddle puppies.


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Animal cruelty still a low priority in Oakland County


Only 15 tickets issued in a three-year period,
most not prosecuted 
 

A report issued by Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan to the Oakland County Public Services Department in 2017 outlined major shortcomings with Oakland County Animal Control (OCAC). The document, which compiled dispatch, ticketing, and courtroom data from 2013-2015, alleged that OCAC is not enforcing basic animal cruelty, pet shop, and dog kennel regulations. New cruelty and hoarding case studies suggest animal welfare is still a low priority in Oakland County.

Link to Animal Cruelty Study

Citing multiple case studies, the report detailed a systematic lack of initiative across the 43 municipalities within the department’s jurisdiction, particularly when dealing with retail and kennel facilities. Of the 429 animal cruelty complaints called into the OCAC dispatch office over the three-year period, only 15 resulted in any type of ticketing.




The report called for the department to develop policies and procedures for officers and dispatchers, write contracts that outline the departments scope of work, and begin to enforce existing anti-cruelty laws by ticketing and prosecuting animal abusers.

Since the report was issued to the department in October 2017, additional case studies of neglect have been escalated to senior management and eventually featured in the news, yet the department continues to avoid enforcing the basic cruelty laws.

March 15, 2018 Couple says Novi Petland sold them
sick dog that had to be put down
(Novi, 2018) Three lawsuits were filed against Petland (Novi) including twenty-five plaintiffs for multiple violations of the Consumer Protection Act. Puppies were sold with genetic defects, infections and some had highly contagious diseases, costing the plaintiffs thousands of dollars in veterinary care. One man was man hospitalized after purchasing a puppy infected with Campylobacter. No action taken by Oakland County Animal Control. Puppy buyers are referred to the Michigan Department of Agriculture which no longer regulates pet stores.


Photo provided to OCAC April 5, 2018


(Clarkston, April 2018) Concerned family members documented deplorable and unsafe living conditions at the home of their elderly parents, Ann and Richard Glenn. Over 60 photos and videos were provided to Oakland County Animal Control confirming the show dog breeder had spiraled out of control. Of the 42 small breed dogs, two dogs were at various stages of lethargy; other dogs had urine stains, matting, eye infections, skin rashes and gum disease. With regular oversight and enforcement, these animals could have avoided these conditions. The county avoided significant expenses for investigation, evidence gathering, animal care, and court proceedings, by claiming the complaint was unfounded. 

Livonia Animal Control Intake Photo September 11, 2018

(Oxford, January 2019) Livonia Animal Control seized ill puppies from an online retail seller, Kimberly Ann Kalec in September 2018. To avoid oversight while on probation, Kalec and her partner Stephen Andrew Kalec moved to Oxford and continued their puppy selling business. Oakland County Animal Control attempted to conduct an animal welfare check after a German Shepherd puppy was sold will medical issues. With no one home, the inspection was scheduled the next day with the puppy sellers. The OCAC report read “All puppies appeared to be very playful and a couple were vocal. The puppies all appeared clean, healthy, and active.” Case closed. The purchased puppy was diagnosed with Giardia, was anemic and had low proteins. It is unclear where the puppies were obtained and if they had proper importation records. The OCAC report did not indicate that the officer spoke with the retailer’s veterinarian or if all the puppies had 30-day health certificates signed by a veterinarian.
If you purchased a puppy from a pet store, online seller or breeder with illnesses, please contact Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan at 734-718-7100.


Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Parking lot puppy sellers on probation move to Oxford, MI

Kimberly Ann Kalec
September 27, 2018

Stephen Andrew Kalec
February 24, 2015


(OXFORD, MI) Within a few months of having her dogs and puppies seized, Kimberly Ann Kalec was scheduling a c-section for a pregnant English Bulldog, obtaining more puppies from her broker and selling more sick puppies.


Kalec has been involved in puppy retail sales in Livonia since 2013 with her ex-husband Stephen Andrew Kalec. Through online classified ads, they were easily finding puppy buyers to meet them in parking lots, both using aliases “Jenny” and “Jeff”. They were convicted of animal cruelty in 2015 and Kimberly again in 2018 after puppies were found with untreated illnesses. The couple recently moved from Livonia to Oxford seeking sanctuary in Oakland County which has a "zero-animal cruelty prosecution policy". Oakland County Animal Control dispatch refers puppy buyer complainants to the Michigan Department of Agriculture which dropped their Pet Shop Program in 2009, or conclude “it is a civil matter”, leaving families frustrated and sellers unregulated.

However, in Livonia, puppy retail sellers and brokers are not welcome.


Ollie For Sale Photo

Ollie died from parvo


According to an open records request obtained by Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan, Officer Brandon responded to a complaint regarding a seller named “Jenny” on September 10, 2018. The caller stated she contacted a listing for a Goldendoodle puppy and met the seller driving a white Jeep Wrangler in a McDonalds parking lot located in Livonia. The seller was accompanied by her 10-year-old daughter. Three days later, the puppy named “Ollie” started having medical problems including diarrhea and lethargy. He was diagnosed with parvo and passed away just a few days later. 

Officer Brandon’s Investigation


Brandon’s investigation found additional online ads indicating that there were several puppies for sale, including Labrador Retrievers, St. Bernards, Shih-tzus, Teddy Bears, Newfoundlands, Goldendoodles, and Dachshunds. Usernames included “englishcreamies” on Petloverz.com, “klcstphdx”, “whatcha”, “benyoies”, and “guesssweet” on Hobbly.com.  The phone numbers included 248-639-8248, 248-955-3413, 248-215-2365, and 248-595-7344.  The investigation led to an address on Floral Street in Livonia.

A search warrant was served on September 11, 2018. Officers noted an overwhelming smell of rotting food and feces. The house was cluttered with debris and feces. Four mixed breed puppies 6-8 weeks old were found in the kitchen. Health Certificates for recent puppy sales were found, but were not signed by a veterinarian. Throughout the home were documents related to veterinary care, purchases of puppies, shot records, AKC registrations and information regarding parvovirus and coccidia. Bottles of vaccines and syringes were also found in the home.

Two cream Golden Retrievers were found in the backyard. Some of the feces resembled diarrhea. 




(Livonia Animal Control Inspection Photos September 11, 2018)

All six dogs were removed from the home. Impound records indicate the puppies had fleas and respiratory issues.






(Livonia Animal Control Intake Photos September 11, 2018)

When confronted about their business of buying and selling numerous puppies and those that were ill, Kalec stated she was “rescuing” puppies. The four puppies were obtained from a “guy named Mike” and had no other information about him except a phone number which turned out to be invalid.

Health certificates obtained during the seizure indicated that Kalec was a high-volume seller. There were 13 health certificates dated between 09/01/18 and 09/09/18 for the sale of dogs. One was from August. 

Multiple puppy buyer complaints 

Four more puppy buyers came forward during the late summer investigation.

  1. An August buyer purchased a Toy Poodle from “Jeff” driving a white Jeep Wrangler in a Walgreens parking lot. Her sister-in-law also purchased a Cavapoo for $400 from “Jeff” which was coughing.
  2. Another August buyer purchased a Golden retriever named Ollie. He was diagnosed with parvo shortly after purchase and died a few days later.
  3. In late August another puppy was diagnosed with parvo and died. The buyer purchased the 9-week Golden Retriever named Mia from a woman named “Jenny”.
  4. Early September the third parvo puppy was reported. The buyer purchased a Maltese puppy named Frozen from “Jeff” 248-215-2365 driving a white Jeep in a Walgreens parking lot for $500. He told the buyer the puppy was his girlfriend’s. The puppy died from Parvo two weeks later and “Jeff” refused to refund the buyer. 

Frozen passed away from parvo
two weeks after purchase

Breeder names, missing licensing 


While Kalec maintains she is rescuing puppies, AKC Registration Forms indicate that the puppies are coming from breeders which normally do no need to be rescued and are fairly easy to sell. The following breeder names were found on the AKC Registration Forms provided to the puppy buyers:

Lynda Carroll (Howell, MI) no USDA license
Merlin Troyer (Millersburg, OH) no USDA license
Linda Wright (Location TBD) no USDA license
Allan Graber (Location TBD) no USDA license
Lavern S. Schwartz (Location TBD) no USDA license

Probation Terms 


Kimberly Kalec was issued three tickets on September 13, 2018. Two tickets were for cruelty and unsanitary conditions, and another for not having a kennel license, or dog licenses and operating a business without a license.

This clearly was not a deterrent for these busy puppy peddlers. Within two weeks Kalec called Wilson’s Veterinary Clinic to a schedule c-section for a two-year-old Olde English Bulldog.

Probation terms include: two dogs signed over to MHS, restitution for housing costs, can not breed, or sell any animals except if licensed by state or municipality in compliance with all regulations for two years starting October 2018. 

Puppy sales continue during probation term 


By December, the couple were posting more classified ads for a variety of puppies.

Puppy - Utica Classified Ads - Claz.org

https://utica-mi.claz.org/classifieds?q=puppy
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack. French Bulldog Puppies for ...

Puppies - For Sale Classified Ads in Goodrich, Michigan - Claz.org

https://atlas-mi.claz.org › Goodrich Classifieds › For Sale
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack. Australian Shepard puppies !

Puppies - Romeo Classified Ads - Claz.org

romeo.claz.org/classifieds?q=Puppies 
9-Dec-2018 Oxford, MI For Sale 248-639-8248. call or text 248 639 8248 ready for now comes with everything puppy pack ...

Prior Animal Cruelty Charges – A long history of complaints 


While living on Stanmoor in Livonia, complaints were filed with Livonia Animal Control going back to 2013. One complainant stated “Possibly dog selling, lots of dogs being “handed” off to a lot of different people”. In 2015 another call arrived concerning the animals “breeder has poor conditions, and puppies have parvo, bought a puppy from them, took him to the vet and they puppy has parvo, breeder Stephen Kalec 248-924-4727.”

Stephen Kalec was instructed to take the last two puppies to the veterinarian within 24 hours. The owner was informed not to keep or sell dogs from the parents that were not on the premises.

On February, 24, 2015 Kimberly and Stephan Kalec were arrested and charged with cruelty to animals, neglect and operating without a kennel license, after finding more puppies at the residence.

Buyers Beware in Oxford 


Their puppy retail business is now home-based in Oxford. They continue to post online puppy ads and meet puppy buyers in parking lots. She is now driving a Black F150 Ford truck. The couple is still using Hoobly.com to advertise under Stephen’s phone number 248-247-4708. They also are breeding Olde English Bulldogs and advertising on their “Olde English Guardians” website. 

One buyer filed a complaint with Livonia Animal Control after purchasing a German Shepherd puppy from Kimberly Kalec in the Meijer Gas Station in Oxford. The buyer was given vaccination papers, but they were not “signed” by a veterinarian. The puppy smelled like feces, was very lethargic, had diarrhea, anemic, low proteins and was diagnosed with giardia. The AKC Registration Form listed Lavern S. Schwartz as the breeder, however Schwartz appears to be an unlicensed breeder, according to the USDA.


On February 21, 2019 Oakland County Animal Control attempted to conduct an animal welfare check after the German Shepherd puppy was sold will medical issues. With no one home, the inspection was scheduled the next day with the puppy sellers. The OCAC report read “All puppies appeared to be very playful and a couple were vocal. The puppies all appeared clean, healthy, and active.” Case closed.

It is unclear where the puppies were obtained and if they had proper importation records. The OCAC report did not indicate that the officer spoke with the retailer’s veterinarian or if all the puppies had 30-day health certificates signed by a veterinarian.


OCAC Scheduled Inspection February 21, 2019

Puppy sales continue, business as usual 


Despite continued complaints, inspections and court hearings, the couple continue to post ads for puppy sales.

Mar 20, 2019 - Both are playful, love children up to date on vaccines and dewormings. Vet records. Vet health certificate. Call or text 248. 639. 8248 ...

Stephen Kalec
 to olde english bulldogge
March 24 at 1:38 PM · 
Old English bulldog platinum Merle great with kids pet rights 2800 or full if requested . Yes we do ship . U pay shipping . 7 months never been bred or had the chance loves to cuddle and kiss your face off .. is crate trained. 

Did you purchase a sick animal? 

If you purchased a sick dog or puppy from Kimberly or Stephen Kalec, please contact Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan at 734-718-7100.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Petland Novi is court ordered to provide a list of their breeders



Petland Novi is court ordered to provide a list of its breeders, brokers and employees for the past five years.

Today, attorney Jenifer Measel prevailed during the second hearing in the Rose vs Petland Novi case. Judge Phyllis McMillen ended the “discovery battle” by offering time for the attorneys to hammer out a list of questions not fully answered. During that time, Petland’s attorney was ordered to provide additional information, as well as, deposition dates.

According to court documents, a Northville family purchased a sick puppy that passed an antibiotic resistant Campylobacter infection on to the owner requiring time off of work and medical treatment.

Petland Novi has stonewalled the buyers since the lawsuit was filed in November by refusing to provide complete answers to questions regarding the store’s business practices and not providing deposition dates. Instead, Petland Novi is attempting to dismiss the case suggesting it is “over pleaded” with eight counts, 118 witnesses, including Bob Gatt, the Mayor of Novi and that the couple may have contracted campylobacter while dinning out.

Measel reminded the court this is a Toxic Tort case and everyone in the chain will be sued. She noted that the CDC investigated the campylobacter outbreak across the country in 2016-17 tracing the source to Petland stores. She will need to start by deposing, not only the pet store owner, Randy Horowitz, but two sales managers (Alayna Markle and Melissa Norvakowski) both of whom testified before the House Agriculture Committee in Lansing in support of legislation that would protect pet retail sales.

According to court documents, the Plaintiffs have asked for such items as…..

  • A list of breeders, brokers or other entities Petland has acquired animals from along with all acquisition records

  • A list of employees, including bookkeepers, payroll, human resources, record keeping, inventory employees and those responsible for purchasing puppies.

  • List of records regarding animals with parvo, intestinal parasites, diseases or genetic abnormalities.

  • A list of veterinarians and technicians.

  • All vaccination and medical treatments.

  • A list of dogs euthanized.

  • A list of dogs presently housed at the store and veterinary clinic. 

Petland Novi was court ordered to provide a list of its breeders, brokers and employees for the past five years.

RELATED LINKS

Doug Rose vs Petland Novi complaint (Click here)

CDC investigation (Click here)

Notorious Ohio Puppy Broker Abe Miller Named as defendant (Click here)

Local 4 - Northville man alleges sick puppy bought at Novi pet store landed him in hospital (Click here)

Feb 20, 2019 Hearing Media Advisory (Click here)


Monday, February 18, 2019

Petland Novi due in court


Pet store stonewalls buyers by refusing to provide complete 
answers to questions regarding its business practices

MEDIA ADVISORY: February 18, 2019

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100, pamsordyl@gmail.com

NOVI, MICHIGAN – The third Petland Novi civil case is headed for hearings on Wednesday, February 20, 2019 at 8:30 am at the Oakland County Circuit Courthouse (located at 1200 Telegraph Rd, Pontiac, MI) in the Honorable Judge Phyllis McMillen’s courtroom located on the third floor, room 3C.

According to court documents, a Northville family purchased a sick puppy that passed an antibiotic resistant Campylobacter infection on to the owner requiring time off of work and medical treatment. Link to press release.

The complaint (Doug Rose v Northlake Pets Inc, dba Petland Novi, Case No 2018-170078-NO) claims fraud, negligence and breach of contract as the dog was represented as healthy and fit for sale as a companion animal.

On Wednesday, the court will be hearing motions regarding Petland’s failure to provide answers to basic questions and repeated failure to provide deposition testimony.  These motions to compel were filed by the Haas & Goldstein law firm representing Plaintiffs Doug and Dawn Rose. The motion states “the Plaintiffs have been requesting dates for the depositions of Randy Horowitz who is the owner …, as well as, Alayna Markle and Melissa Norvakowski, …sales managers” and that the counsel for the defendants “refused to provide dates”.

The motion also states that the counsel for the defendants “refused to provide complete discovery responses...” and that “the Plaintiffs need such documents and information to adequately prepare for cross examinations of witnesses, case evaluations and trial”.

“It is clear the counsel for the defendants (Petland Novi), is engaging in a discovery shell game and purposely attempting to thwart Plaintiffs right to discovery. “
  
Members of Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan will be attending the hearings. Link to Facebook event

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.

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Families file lawsuit against Grandville puppy store, state investigates



Lawsuit claims The Barking Boutique knowingly sold puppies with illnesses violating the Consumer Protection Act

PRESS RELEASE: February 18, 2019 
CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100, pamsordyl@gmail.com

GRANDVILLE, MICHIGAN – Four families who purchased companion animals from The Barking Boutique (2939 Wilson Ave SW Suite 104, Grandville, MI), have filed a lawsuit seeking monetary damages for fraud, breach of contract and multiple violations of the Consumer Protection Act after purchasing puppies. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has been investigating since November.

The lawsuit was filed on February 06, 2019 at the Kent County Circuit Court and assigned to Honorable Judge Paul J. Denenfeld. (Case Number 2019-01106-CZ)

The puppies that were purchased between May and October 2018 suffered from a range of issues, including giardia, kennel cough, pneumonia, and hypoglycemia - costing the plaintiffs thousands of dollars in veterinary care. The complaint also claims that DNA tests indicate that two of the puppies were not purebreds, as advertised, and one was not a “toy” poodle.

In one particularly heart-breaking case, a Grandville family purchased a Yorkshire Terrier puppy diagnosed with pneumonia, a virus, and hypoglycemia within two days of purchase, requiring 24 hours emergency care for four days. Link to the Mead’s experience.

The Plaintiffs are represented by attorney Eugenie B. Eardley of Eardley Law, a Rockford based law firm.

The named defendants in the lawsuit are The Barking Boutique LLC and owner/operator David Boelkes.

The law firm is asking the court for an injunction forbidding the defendants from selling animals during the pendency of the lawsuit.

State Investigations

The Barking Boutique is currently under a third investigation by the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development according to a recent records request response letter obtained by Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan.  

“The investigation records you describe were compiled as part of a law enforcement investigation and disclosure of these records, while the matter is under investigation, would result in a chilling effect on the Department’s ability to undertake an unhindered and thorough investigation.”

This is the third investigation by the state of the store’s operations. The 2017 canine importation investigations resulted in an official warning letter being sent to The Barking Boutique. The department found that the store had failed to acquire veterinary certificates certifying that the puppies were properly vaccinated.

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.


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Monday, January 28, 2019

PRESS RELEASE: Notorious Ohio puppy broker named as defendant in Michigan lawsuit



 
A Michigan man is suing Petland Novi, their breeder and broker after being hospitalized with a multi-drug resistant Campylobacter infection. The BBB investigates.

 

PRESS RELEASE: January 28, 2019

CONTACT: Pam Sordyl, 734-718-7100 pamsordyl@gmail.com

FRESNO, OHIO - The third lawsuit filed against Petland’s Novi Michigan location now lists defendants Holmes for Canines and/or Twin Creek Kennels, as the “John Doe Broker” and Amos J. Yoder as the “John Doe Breeder” according to court documents filed by the attorney for Petland.

Broker Abe N. Miller

Holmes for Canines, formerly named Twin Creek Kennels, is owned and operated by Abe N. Miller - one of Ohio’s notorious puppy brokers. Miller’s thirteen-year history in the pet trade is riddled with misconduct documented in detailed inspection reports, a federal audit, multiple lawsuits and cruelty cases.  

Learn more about Miller’s chronic troubles with the law on Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan’s blog

The civil complaint claims both the broker and breeder may be wholly or partially at fault after a Northville man was hospitalized shortly after purchasing a sick puppy from the independently owned Petland Novi store located in Oakland County.

The law firm representing the plaintiffs is asking the court for an injunction forbidding the defendants from engaging in breeding, transporting, and/or selling animals during the pendency of the lawsuit.

The first hearing is scheduled for February 13, 2019 at the Oakland County Circuit Court.

The Better Business Bureau of Eastern Michigan is currently investigating the complaint.

Neither the Oakland County Health Department nor Animal Control had been contacted about the case in November when the lawsuit was filed. It is unclear if Rose’s case has been reported to any public health protection agency in Michigan or Ohio, or if the Petland Novi store is following protocols for detection and prevention.

Breeder Amos J. Yoder

According to Petland, the Rose’s puppy named Thor- a Beagle/Pug mix, was bred by Amos J. Yoder. Yoder’s kennel is commercially licensed by the USDA in Baltic Ohio.

Thor was treated for Campylobacter and Coccidia shortly after purchase and has fully recovered. Coccidia is an intestinal parasite spread through fecal matter, and is most commonly found in puppies that have contracted the parasite from an adult dogs' feces, according to petMD.

The Plaintiffs in the Novi case are represented by attorney Jenifer Measel of Haas & Goldstein, P.C., a Farmington Hills based law firm. Measel stated she continues to be contacted by families who have purchased sick puppies from Petland.  

Link to DougRose vs Petland Novi complaint.

Campylobacter Investigation - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In 2017, the CDC completed a multi-state investigation of a Campylobacter outbreak including 118 cases across 18 states reporting 26 hospitalizations. The vast majority of those individuals sickened reported they had contact with a puppy from a Petland store.  

The CDC advisories focus on hand washing, separating human eating areas from animal areas, and using personal protective equipment correctly, such as wearing gloves when cleaning cages in pet stores. 

Petland is headquartered in Chillicothe Ohio with over 80 retail outlets across the country.

The only Petland outlet in Michigan is located at 27200 Novi Rd, Novi, MI 48377 inside the Twelve Oaks Mall.

Puppy Mill Awareness of SE Michigan recommends families adopt their next pet from their local shelter or Michigan Certified foster-based animal rescue organization - many of whom specialize in specific breeds.

Learn more about Puppy Mill Awareness.

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