April 16, 2008
Hermann, Mo. - Attorney General Jay Nixon on Tuesday (April 15) filed an amended petition against the owner of a kennel in Gasconade County who sold sick dogs to include allegations of violations of Missouri consumer protection laws. Nixon added the charges against Jodie Craft, who does business as Safe Haven Puppy Rescue and Rise-N-Shine Kennels, alleging that she took payment for dogs but failed to deliver the animals, provide healthy dogs as advertised or provide refunds to consumers. The first amended petition was filed today in Gasconade County Circuit Court and seeks consumer restitution and civil penalties.
Nixon obtained a temporary restraining order on March 28 against Craft, whose business is located at 1151 Highway Y in Bland, preventing the defendant from selling or shipping any more dogs. The Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Craft after inspectors from the Missouri Department of Agriculture determined that she had recently sold and shipped three dogs that were diagnosed with parvovirus, a highly contagious viral disease.
Today's amended petition adds the additional count of Merchandising Practices Act violations to the original lawsuit Nixon filed. The Attorney General is alleging that Craft violated the law by:
"It is clear that, not only did the owner's negligence put the health and welfare of the dogs in her possession and other dogs across the country at risk, she was also finding the time to rip off consumers at the same time," Nixon said. "We are seeing to it that this business remains closed, and that consumers who suffered financial loss in the process are made whole."
In addition to the temporary restraining order and permanent injunction, Nixon is asking that the court order the defendant to pay full restitution to all consumers who paid Craft for dogs and either did not receive them or received sick dogs. The lawsuit is also requesting that the court order the defendant to pay appropriate civil penalties and attorneys fees and costs.