An Inland Empire family was ordered to pay restitution and to stop selling dogs after a Los Angeles Superior Court judge found they allegedly sold sick puppies to the public.
Four members of the Kenney family were named as defendants in a lawsuit that alleges they sold sick and diseased puppies online The complaint claims the family “orchestrated a long-running scheme to defraud consumers in Southern California by misrepresenting the health, age, and breed of puppies they sell through Craigslist and other sites on the Internet.”
Emily Tangorra said she and her wife purchased a puppy from the defendants in 2019 after they saw a listing on Craigslist for Goldendoodles. After paying $1,100 for the pooch, Tangorra and her wife named their new pet Stella, who became severely ill within 24 hours of their purchase.
“The moment I realized something is not right. I picked her up and she was like a rag doll,” Tangorra recalled. “Her head was really droopy, she was overly tired. I’m like, “We got to go someplace now.”
Stella was diagnosed with canine parvovirus, a highly contagious and often fatal virus that affects dogs. Tangorra and her wife spent nearly $10,000 in medical treatment and thankfully, their puppy survived.
A few weeks after the health scare, however, Stella’s fur was turning white. It turns out the pup wasn’t a goldendoodle as advertised and her fur had been dyed brown.
According to Gary Praglin, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the case, several other families had fallen for the Kenney family’s scam.
“Several of the dogs died,” Praglin said. “Terrible stories, suffering by the animals, suffering by the families.
In April 2018, Humane Society investigators served a search warrant at the Kenney family’s San Bernardino County home. Rick Kenney, who referred to himself as a pastor, was arrested for being a felon in possession of firearms.
Back then, prosecutors didn’t criminally charge the family for the alleged puppy scam because of a lack of evidence. About two weeks ago, however, an LA Supreme Court judge heard the civil case and ruled the Kenneys had defrauded their customers.
Praglin said as a result, the defendants were given an injunction not to advertise or sell dogs again, and each family listed as a plaintiff in the lawsuit was awarded $10,000 for emotional distress damages.
“I hope that with this verdict in mind, everybody is going to feel a lot better knowing we are one step closer to making sure this doesn’t happen to other families,” Tangorra said.”
Source: NBC Los Angeles