Lask files novel case for puppy's pain and suffering that pet store sold as a defective puppy who needed thousands of dollars in surgery bills for a congenital defect. The pet store refused to provide legal documents to the consumer regarding the puppy's source, most likely because the puppy is from a puppy mill. So you're not ripped off by a pet store, read the law and complaint here.
On February 5, 2011 Elena Zakharova visited New York's Upper East Side pet store called Raising Rover. It was her first time there. A female puppy Brussels Griffon, born December 5, 2010, caught Elena's attention. Elena signed a "Pet Purchase Contract" with store owner Jeffrey Silverstein, purchasing the puppy for $1,650.00 (the "Contract"). She named the puppy Umka (which means Polar Bear in Russian). The Contract included terms such as (a) Raising Rover warranted the puppy against congenital defects for one year and would exchange the pet in that period, it encompassed New York's Pet Lemon Law mandating the return of the pet and a refund if any defects are discovered within 14 days of the sale and (b)the pet store would provide Elena with Umka's breeder information if known, and if not known provide where Umka came from.
In about July, 2011 little Umka started limping, yelped in pain and could not run or sit properly. Umka was diagnosed with a medial patella subluxation disorder of both rear knees and her hip sockets did not develop correctly. That required extensive surgery where Umka's hind leg bone was shaved down and replaced in the socket. Umka went through one surgery requiring her to be medicated, in a cast and in pain pre and post surgery. She walks with a limp and still cannot run, walk or engage in usual puppy activities without pain . Her pain is exhibited when she whimpers when jumping from the sofa, she cannot walk for a length of time without stopping to sit and rest and she limps and sits in a strange position to keep the pressure off her hind legs. The surgery so far cost $2,079.50, plus she is on medication and supplements.
Despite calls and faxes to Raising Rover and its owner Jeffrey Silvertsein, he refused to respond to this issue. To date he has never provided information where Umka came from as mandated by the Contract.
On December 29, 2012, Elena, by her attorney Susan Chana Lask, filed a complaint as ELENA ZAKHAROVA for herself and as Representative of her dog, Umka, against Raising Rover in New York County Civil Court. The effect of naming Umka in the Complaint is to show Umka is a living being and the subject of this case. It is not about Elena-this is about Umka and any puppy created defective because of bad breeding and left to live in pain. The Complaint requests Umka be defined as a "living being", not "property" so Umka's pain and suffering is recognized as compensable damages. The Complaint also alleges, among other things, that if the Court will not recognize Umka as a living being then follow the present case law that pets are "property" and hold the pet store liable for all costs to fix the "unfit goods" it sold under the Uniform Commercial Code. On February ,2012, the Complaint was amended to add as defendants Raising Rover owner Jeffrey Silverstein personally and "John Does" being the puppy mill and wholesaler Umka most likely came from.
The Complaint is not far fetched, so to say, because case law supports the causes of action and every New York court holds in some way that pets are living souls that feel love, give love, and feel pain. Thus, Umka's love should be rewarded and her pain recognized and compensated for.
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Note a Complaint is a legal document filed in court alleging facts and other issues upon information and belief. It is not a final determination.