Dismissed suit against Petland to be amended, re-filed, lawyer says

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Phoenix -- The attorney for at least six pet owners who filed a class-action suit against Ohio-based Petland Inc. and the Hunte Corp., accusing them of selling unhealthy puppies from puppy mills to unsuspecting consumers, says he will amend and re-file the suit after the original was dismissed by a federal judge in Phoenix.

Phoenix

-- The attorney for at least six pet owners who filed a class-action suit against Ohio-based Petland Inc. and the Hunte Corp., accusing them of selling unhealthy puppies from puppy mills to unsuspecting consumers, says he will amend and re-file the suit after the original one was dismissed by a federal judge in Phoenix.

U.S. District Judge David Campbell gave the pet owners, who were joined in the suit by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), until Aug. 29 to revise their petition with more detailed charges.

The judge ruled Aug. 7 that the original suit filed on March 16 failed to set forth any legally viable claims or present any facts establishing a causal relationship between the injuries claimed and anything that Petland had done.

The court said the plaintiffs failed to show that Petland statements about where the puppies came from were a direct cause of injury, or that plaintiffs suffered any injury from Missouri-based Hunte Corp., which the HSUS describes as a broker operating as a middleman between puppy mills and Petland retail stores. HSUS describes Petland as the largest U.S. chain of pet stores that sells puppy-mill dogs.

Both Petland and Hunte denied plaintiff’s claims.

A statement from Petland says the HSUS touted the suit to further a fund-raising and media campaign seeking to end the sale of animals through pet stores. Petland denies doing anything unlawful, and says it believes that consumers have the right to purchase and keep pets. The chain says it is pleased with the suit╒s dismissal and supports industry practices aimed at ensuring healthy pets and quality animal breeding.

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