A local pet store chain is facing serious allegations.
The Attorney General's office filed a lawsuit against the owners of Pet Zone. That lawsuit comes from acting AG Barbara Underwood against Pet Zone, with stores located in Crossgates Mall, Queensbury and Poughkeepsie. The company is owned by Theodore and Sheila Bell.
The suit claims Pet Zone sold dozens -- if not hundreds -- of puppies without first having them examined by a veterinarian, as required by law. When puppies showed signs of illness while in the store's care, employees routinely gave them controlled antibiotics without consulting a veterinarian.
Other allegations include failing to notify buyers when the puppy they purchased received necessary pre-sale treatment. They're also accused of violating the Pet Lemon Law by failing to provide timely reimbursement for medical expenses incurred by buyers after purchasing a sick dog. The lawsuit alleges that Pet Zone falsified or destroyed documents that showed when a puppy was sold without a proper exam.
There are several more allegations in that lawsuit targeting the business' deceptive practices, involving hidden, undisclosed fees for consumers.
A judge has barred the company from obtaining any new dogs for sale while the lawsuit is pending, and the Attorney General is seeking penalties and consumer restitution, and to permanently bar the company from selling live animals in New York.
The Pet Zone denied the claims in a statement Wednesday night, calling the lawsuit's claims "frivolous." They went on to say they plan to continue selling puppies and believe a court will dismiss the case.