Lawsuit against nation's largest online dog seller likely to be refiled

Appellate judge overturns decision to dismiss case

The Broward County dog selling company, Purebred Breeders Inc., may have another lawsuit to battle.  On Thursday, an appellate judge from the Third District Court of Appeal in Miami-Dade County, reversed a decision that had dismissed the original complaint against the largest online dog seller in the U.S. two years ago.

In a May 2012 complaint filed by Ted Leopold, of Leopold Law in Palm Beach Gardens, in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States, more than 60 plaintiffs accused Purebred Breeders Inc with operating nearly 800 Web domains designed to mislead customers into thinking they were dealing with breeders in their home states when they were shopping online for a puppy.  Many of the plaintiffs alleged that shortly after receiving the dogs, the animals became sick, some even died.

Purebred Breeders filed a motion to dismiss the case claiming that the claims could not be justified.  By October, a judge agreed with the company and dismissed the case.

Purebred Breeders has denied the accusations from the start. In a statement provided to the Contact 5 Investigators in 2012, the company said, in part, "Purebred Breeders has placed puppies with thousands of families over many years. The company was created by a group of dog lovers who saw an avenue to match the best dog breeders in the US with families across the country. Purebred Breeders has the most stringent standards in the industry that far exceed any local, state or federal regulations. We are committed to animal welfare and are concerned about any substandard facilities where the well being and health of any animal is not forefront."

In October, 2012, The Humane Society of the United States released the results of their own investigation into Purebred Breeders. The 3 month undercover investigation captured video at 6 of the company's breeders where investigators found dogs stacked in wire cages and, often, in dirty conditions. 

As a result of this latest appeal, the case is reinstated and attorney Ted Leopold will be exploring options for future litigation.