A New York woman is suing state Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) for neglecting its duties, after the DAM refused to fine a pet store that sold her a dog under false pretenses. Elena Zakharova bought a Brussels Griffon puppy from a store called Raising Rover. She paid $1,650 for the toy dog. However, Umka soon began growing larger than she was supposed to, leading Zakharova to believe that the dog was not, in fact, the breed she was supposed to be. Then things got worse:
Umka wasn’t only much bigger than her so-called breed, but also began to have multiple health problems as time went on. Her hips grew wrong and the bones had to be shaved off by a veterinarian.
Zakharova tried to get information about the dog’s breeding from the owner of the store, but all her attempts went unanswered. That’s when she turned to DAM for assistance, but she got no help there, either, even though the department is tasked with regulating pet stores.
Umka most likely is the product of a puppy mill that passed her off as a purebred, expensive dog. Zakharova hopes that her lawsuit will force the state to do more to shut down illegal puppy mills and stop this fraudulent trade.
This is just one more case that highlights the problems with pet stores. We need to do more to educate the public about these issues.