Rosemarie Haddad had recently lost her husband of many years when her beloved dog became terminally ill. The best thing she could do for her longtime companion was humane euthanasia. In a moment of grief and loneliness, she called the Petland at Carriage Place in Columbus, Ohio, to inquire about a Rottweiler puppy.

At 70 years old, Ms. Haddad suffers from pulmonary disease and degenerative disc disease. At the time, she also had a broken foot and could not walk independently. She was on a fixed income with little to no disposable income. According to a lawsuit filed today, upon hearing of Haddad’s disability and financial limitations, the Petland employee with whom Haddad spoke offered to deliver the puppy to her home, complete the purchase and help her finance the puppy even on her limited budget. Later that evening, she says, another Petland employee showed up at Haddad’s home with the puppy. Despite the clear physical and financial impediments Haddad faced, the Petland employee allegedly urged her to complete the purchase, with the promise of large discounts and a healthy dog. Soon she was signing an agreement that, according to the lawsuit, was not explained to her and that she did not understand, which she later learned committed her to paying $7,500 for the puppy plus interest. 

It’s no surprise that Haddad felt pressured to complete the sale. Many Petland customers have come to our teams at the Humane Society of the United States about the high-pressure, misleading sales tactics Petland staff employ when trying to make a sale. (See our Puppy Buyer Complaint Form.) Petland is the only national pet store chain in the U.S. that still sells puppies; it is also the largest retailer of puppy mill dogs. Petland promises healthy, top-of-the-line puppies while encouraging moderate- or low-income customers to sign up for financing plans with exorbitant interest rates. Employees appear to have a prepared response to every customer concern.