PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Bowser the Boxer is healthy now, but Joe Diullis said that wasn't the case when he bought the dog back in July from Petland in Robinson Township.
"We found out he had worms. He was never dewormed. He had an ear infection, he had kennel cough that turned into pneumonia," Diullis said.
Diullis took Bowser to a vet, but within days he was at death's door. They rushed him to an animal hospital, where he was put on a respirator.
After a month and $3,500 in care, Bowser finally recovered. However, Diullis filed a complaint at the magistrate's office against Petland Robinson's owner Jeff Koury.
"How can this man go to church every Sunday and kneel down and pray to God, knowing that he's selling sick dogs," Diullis said.
KDKA-TV's Andy Sheehan went to Petland to speak with Koury who refused to be interviewed on camera. However, he said off camera that he's sold more than 5,000 puppies in the past eight years and fewer than one percent of buyers have asked for refunds.
Of seven complaints filed at the Magistrate's Office since 2005, Koury has won five cases. He testified that the buyers had not fulfilled their obligations under the state's puppy lemon law.
Koury claimed in court Diullis changed the dog's medication and then failed to notify him of the dog's illness, thus forfeiting their right to any compensation.
Sheehan: Jeff, anything you want to talk about?
Koury: No comment.
But in his ruling, District Justice Gary Zyra sided with Diullis, fining Koury and Petland $1,499 - the purchase price of Bowser - and the maximum allowed by the law.
"The message that I want to send out is that people that own Petland or any pet store make sure they do what they're supposed to do. Make sure they're medically fit before they sell them so this doesn't happen," Diullis said.
Under the law, you have the right to a complete medical history and certification of the animal's health.
Click here to read the law as explained by the Pa. Attorney General: http://www.attorneygeneral.gov/consumers.aspx?id=163
for more features.