State, pet dealer reach settlement over sick animal claims
TRENTON (AP) — A South Jersey pet dealer accused of selling sick animals that required expensive veterinary care has agreed to pay $6,443 in restitution.
Jessica Durkin, who does business as Prada Puppies in Salem, also agreed to adhere to new rules for future sales in the settlement announced Monday. One of those provisions bars her from selling cats or dogs in the state without a history and health certificate from where she bought them.
Five consumers will receive restitution for the purchase price and/or veterinary costs incurred for their pets.“We’re pleased that the affected consumers will be receiving restitution under this settlement,” Acting Attorney General John Hoffman said in a statement. “We can’t undo the heartache these consumers suffered when their newly-purchased puppies became sick or had to be euthanized, but this settlement includes business practice reforms to ensure that only healthy pets are offered for sale going forward.”
Acting New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Steve Lee reminded potential buyes of pets of the importance of the state Pet Purchase Protection Act. “Any consumer about to buy a pet should review their rights, as well as the seller’s responsibilities, under this law.” said Lee in a statement.
But the Attorney General's Office says $58,134 in civil penalties and investigative costs reimbursements will be suspended for 30 months and vacated if Durkin complies with the settlement.
Durkin admitted no wrongdoing in the settlement.
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