Wizard of Claws
If you have purchased a dog from Wizard of Claws in Florida, the following press release may be helpful to you
MI K. KIM, ESQ. MARCY I. LAHART, ESQ
Feldman & Getz, LLP Marcy I. LaHart, PA.
155 NW 167th Street 711 Talladega Street
Penthouse West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(305) 770-0003 (561) 655-9537
[email protected] [email protected]
December 12, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PUPPY STORE SUED FOR MISLEADING CUSTOMERS, SELLING SICK PUPPIES
(Pembroke Pines, FL) Two South Florida attorneys have filed a lawsuit on behalf of customers that bought puppies from Wizard of Claws Inc., alleging that the Pembroke Pines pet store defrauds customers by intentionally misrepresenting the origin of the puppies sold, and by selling puppies that suffer from a wide array of health problems, including contagious diseases and genetic disorders.
Although Wizard of Claws has told customers that their puppies were imported from "reputable" breeders in South America, according to the complaint filed yesterday Broward County Circuit Court, in reality the puppies were obtained from large scale commercial breeding facilities in Missouri, commonly known as a "puppy mills", where animal welfare concerns are wholly secondary to profits.
Plaintiff Shannah Diaz of Miami purchased a Maltese puppy, “Prince,” from Wizard of Claws on September 6, 2002 for $950.00. Prince suffered from a congenital bleeding disorder, and died from internal hemorrhaging when he was less than a year old. After Prince died, Diaz began to suspect that Prince had come from a puppy mill, and asked a Wizard of Claws. "They assured me that my puppy had come from a reputable private breeder " Diaz .said, "but I later discovered that my puppy had been shipped to Florida from a commercial breeder in Missouri. " Wizard of Claws refused to reimburse any of Diaz's vet bills.
According to the Humane Society of the United States, the documented problems of puppy mills include overbreeding, inbreeding, minimal veterinary care, poor quality of food and shelter, lack of socialization with humans, overcrowded cages, and the killing of unwanted animals. To the unsuspecting consumer, this often means buying a puppy facing an array of immediate veterinary problems or harboring genetically borne diseases that may not be detected until much later.
Wizard of Claws, which claims to specialize in "tiny, tea-cup size puppies" sells puppies from its Pembroke Pines store and over the Internet. Plaintiff Mary Ibarra of San Antonio, Texas ordered an English Bulldog from Wizard of Claws, and knew that something was very wrong with her new puppy moments after "Gracie" arrived from at the San Antonio International Airport. Gracie, who had received a clean bill of health from Wizard of Claws veterinarian of choice Dr. Jan Bellows, walked on her wrists and she kept falling down on her back legs. Gracie was soon diagnosed as suffering from severe hip dysplasia with early onset arthritis. Gracie’s hip sockets are so bad that they do not have a cup to hold the ball of the joint, and she needs at least two surgeries. If the surgeries are not successful Gracie will have to be euthanized. Wizard of Claws refuses to assist with the costs of the surgeries, or to even reimburse the $1200.00 Ibarra paid for the pup.
The lawsuit, which alleges fraud, breach of warranty and multiple counts of violating the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, asks that the plaintiffs be reimbursed for the purchase price of their puppies as well as the veterinary expenses incurred as a result of the purchase an unhealthy pup.
NOTE: Some of the victims of Wizard of Claws and other animal lovers will be demonstrating outside the store at 9101Taft Street, Pembroke Pines tommorow, Saturday, December 13th starting at 11:00 am. Attorneys Mi Kim and Marcy LaHart will be present to answer any questions concerning the case.