Northville man alleges sick puppy bought at Novi pet store landed him in hospital

Petland store at Twelve Oaks Mall facing trio of lawsuits

By Jason Colthorp - Anchor/Reporter, Derick Hutchinson

NOVI, Mich. - A pet store chain is under fire again after allegations that a sick puppy sold to a Northville man landed him in the hospital.

In March, Local 4 reported a woman had gotten sick after buying a puppy from the Petland store at Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi.

Two lawsuits have previously been filed against the store, and a third was opened this week. The most recent lawsuit claims what made the Northville man sick is the same issue that impacted hundreds of others.

The lawsuit was filed in Oakland County and alleges the man was hospitalized for days after he was infected by the puppy he bought from Petland Novi.

His puppy, Thor, was diagnosed with Campylobacter, an infection the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has linked to Petland stores in 17 states. The CDC said 113 people have gotten sick and 23 of them landed in the hospital.

The symptoms of Campylobacter include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting.

Officials with Petland Novi, which is independently owned, sent Local 4 a statement citing another CDC report from September.

The report reads, "No single breeder, distributor or transporter was identified as the infection source." The statement goes on to say, "We are confident that this case will be resolved to reflect the facts."

"There's a lot of commercial breeders out there," said Pam Sordyl, founder of Puppy Mill Awareness of Southeast Michigan. "How come only Petland has this problem?"

Sordyl said she questions the veterinarian signing off on Petland Novi's adoptions.

"We need to protect families," Sordyl said. "We need to ban the sale of puppies that come from these bad breeders. The vets are signing off out-of-state and in-state, and the families are not protected. How many lawsuits do we have to have before Oakland County does something about this store?"

The Northville man's lawsuit is seeking damages of more than $25,000 for lost wages, medical and vet bills and pain and suffering.

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