Thursday, June 02, 2005 at 8:48:43 AM by Edward Knittel
Lancaster County in Pennsylvania is known for its booming dog industry. It's a top place for breeders and for people looking for that perfect dog.
But for folks visting Puppy Love, a kennel which is owned by Joyce and Raymond Stoltzfus, it's now apparent that their breeding business wasn't on the up-and-up. The Stoltzfuses agreed last month to pay $75,000 in fines and restitution to settle a lawsuit alleging that they sold sick or diseased dogs to 171 customers in seven states.
Joseph Patterson got stung when he bought a 71/2-week-old Chihuahua from Puppy Love for $600. It was a Valentine's gift to his girlfriend, but after being brought home, the dog developed pneumonia and had to stay in a veterinary hospital for two weeks.
The day after they brought a seemingly recovered Lito home, he died in Patterson's lap.
Lawrence Coppock's cockapoo took a turn for the worse after he bought it home early this year from Puppy Love, but he didn't want to return it for fear the puppy "would end up in the Susquehanna River."
The 8-week-old puppy spent a week at the vet's, recovering from pneumonia, costing $1,100.
As part of the settlement, the Stoltzfuses also agreed to have every dog tested and treated by a veterinarian, provide dog purchasers with proof that the puppy was examined by a vet at least 15 days before the sale, give customers 14 days to report sicknesses to seek a refund, and to refund up to twice the purchase price if a dog is diagnosed within six months with a genetic or hereditary defect.
Under the puppy lemon law, the consumer is entitled to a refund of the purchase price of a dog if an illness is reported to the seller within 10 days or a genetic defect is reported within 30 days.
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