NEWARK, N.J. (Legal Newsline) - New Jersey Acting Attorney General John Hoffman announced a lawsuit on Thursday against a Salem County puppy dealer who allegedly sold sick pets to consumers.
Jessica Durkin, doing business as Prada Puppies, allegedly failed to provide consumers with required veterinary examinations prior to sale, failed to provide consumers with the cost of veterinary treatment or refunds, and failed to provide required animal history and health records.
Durkin charged between $300 and $450 for the pets and allegedly refused to provide refunds when veterinarians determined within 14 days of purchase that the animals had been unfit for sale. In such cases, animal sellers are required by law to honor the customer's choice to either return the pet for a full refund or keep the pet and receive reimbursement for veterinary costs.
Hoffman alleged Durkin violated New Jersey's Consumer Fraud Act and Pet Regulations.
“Families who bring a new puppy into their home will bond with that pet very quickly,” Hoffman said. “Those who purchased sick puppies from this defendant – including the family that had to have their new pet euthanized – suffered on behalf of their animals and because of the defendant’s alleged failure to disclose health information or provide reimbursement for purchase and veterinary costs. We are pursuing full restitution for those consumers.”
Hoffman's lawsuit seeks full consumer restitution, as well as the payment of civil penalties and reimbursement of attorney fees.