SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCBD) – Seven families wronged by Petland Summerville have filed a consumer protection and negligence lawsuit against the pet store and its franchiser, Petland Inc.

According to the complaint, “the lawsuit alleges a system that neglects dogs at every turn, from inhumane conditions at the breeding facilities to transport and distribution practices that elevate the risk of harm and disease for the young puppies, to in-store veterinary neglect and mistreatment that ignore the needs of puppies and consumers while focusing on Petland’s bottom line.”

Lead Attorney, Ted Corvey, described the allegations as “repugnant” and said that “these practices…have no place in our community.”

Though Petland allegedly told consumers that they only sold healthy puppies, sourced from humane breeders, all seven of the families “discovered their new pets were sick, many diagnosed with serious health conditions such as pneumonia, bordetella (kennel cough), canine influenza, parvovirus, and distemper.” Additionally, the lawsuit claims that “Petland routinely sources its puppies from inhumane, unsanitary puppy mills where animal care and welfare take a back seat to profit.”

One family, the Maddens, purchased a soft-coated Wheaton Terrier puppy, who soon required multiple days-long hospitalizations, eventually leading to diagnoses of kennel cough, mycoplasma, seizure disorders, and distemper. The dog, Chewie, survived, but the Maddens were left to pay thousands of dollars worth of hospital bills.

The Curry family faced a grimmer outcome. Their new puppy, Kody, quickly met similar diagnoses: pneumonia, adenovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, mycoplasma, and kennel cough. Despite the Currys spending thousands of dollars to treat Kody, he passed away less than two months after leaving Petland.

Kimberly Ockene, managing attorney for companion animals litigation in the Humane Society of the United States’ (HSUS) Animal Protection Law department, said “these families’ claims are consistent with the sad stories HSUS routinely hears from frustrated consumers across the country who were duped into purchasing sick puppies from Petland stores.”

Corvey agreed, saying”these stories of families connecting with their puppies only to suffer the expense and heartbreak of treating a sick pet or having to tragically say goodby too soon is something no family should have to endure. It is important that we…put a stop to these shameful business practices that value profits over animal welfare and customer’s financial and emotional well-being.”

The attorneys believe that the seven families represented in the lawsuit are just a small portion of the many people and pets that have been victimized by Petland. They are asking anyone that purchased a sick animal from Petland Summerville to contact Kidd Corvey and Simpson LLC at (843)-642-8792.

Petland Summerville released a statement to News 2 which reads:

“Petland Summerville is accustomed to these tactics from activists. Before we have even been served with information regarding the lawsuit – much less had time to review the information – activists were already spinning up a PR blitz, spreading misinformation and leaving out facts that don’t fit into their narrative. We stand by our industry-leading standards, and exceed state standards of care for all animals in our store and will continue to operate as a community partner and responsible corporate citizen.”