The Pet Zone stores forced to pay $200,000 for selling sick pets

The New York Attorney General's Office says Bell Pet Company, which runs The Pet Zone, misled customers about the health of the pets they sold.

News 12 Staff

Jan 9, 2023, 6:05 PM

Updated 503 days ago

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A company that runs pet stores around the state, including one in Poughkeepsie, will be forced to pay over $200,000 for selling sick pets.
The New York Attorney General's Office says Bell Pet Company, which runs The Pet Zone, misled customers about the health of the pets they sold.
Attorney General Letitia James' office says Bell Pet Company has to create a restitution fund of $200,000 to reimburse families for medical costs and to pay fees to the state.
News 12 is told the stores provided deceptive medical records that did not include a full list of medication provided to the pet in order to hide previous illnesses.
Customers who purchased pets since January 2014 and within 14 days of purchase received a certification from a vet that their pet was sick and should have been unfit for sale will be eligible for reimbursement.
Lorriana Rutherford, of Beacon, says she purchased a dog from the pet store, and that her new German shepherd, Mila, is more than she bargained for.
She reached out to News 12 after our report on the story."I just feel that I was just bamboozled," she says. Rutherford says she bought the puppy for $3,500 from The Pet Zone in Poughkeepsie this past May, and medical bills could total even more. 
"I just want my dog to get her just due, and I want them to pay for whatever I'm paying for, or I want my money back," she says. 
A few weeks after she was bought, Mila had kennel cough and bladder problems that vets said were from an abnormal condition involving the dog's reproductive system. Surgery seems to be the only option to fix this health problem, which could cost Rutherford upward of $3,000.
Two Pet Zone locations hung up on News 12 when asked to comment, while another location said they were not able to comment.
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