(STL.News) – Attorney General Ashley Moody today filed a complaint against Hoof’s Pets, Inc., d/b/a Petland Orlando East and Petland Waterford Lakes, and its owners and directors Geoffrey M. Hoofnagle and Ben W. Hoofnagle. The defendants allegedly misrepresent to consumers that the puppies are healthy, high-quality animals, and fit for sale, when in fact, in some instances, puppies have died soon after being purchased or suffered from congenital or other hereditary disorders.
Attorney General Ashley Moody said, “The sale of sick and dying puppies is both immoral and illegal. Planning for a new puppy requires a great deal of time and money—and certainly there is an emotional investment. Families deserve the assurance that they will in fact receive the high-quality puppy they were promised. It is reprehensible that the defendants would exploit the trust of new pet owners to make a profit while risking the health and safety of these puppies.”
According to the complaint, the defendants falsely claim the puppies for sale are already, or could be, registered with the American Kennel Club and make misrepresentations that puppies come from USDA breeders. The defendants allegedly purchase puppies from breeders for $225 or more per puppy and then sell the puppies from anywhere between $1,500 to more than $9,000. These hefty charges include hundreds of dollars in unwanted additional items through the defendants’ required Puppy for a Lifetime Kit and Puppy Training Kit. In many instances, upon consumers discovering the puppies were sick or had died, the defendants allegedly failed to honor warranties related to the puppies and failed to provide appropriate refunds to consumers.
The Attorney General’s complaint seeks to enjoin defendants from further violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and Section 828.92, Florida Statutes. The filing also seeks an order requiring the defendants to provide restitution and reimbursements to consumers.