|N.Y. Pet Welfare Ass'n, Inc. v. City of N.Y.||850 F.3d 79 (2d Cir. 2017)||
In 2015, New York City enacted a group of laws aimed at dealing with problems associated with the companion animal business in the city by regulating the sale of dogs and cats in pet shops. On the day the laws were to go into effect, the New York Pet Welfare Association (NYPWA) filed suit challenging two of the laws. The first law, the “Sourcing Law,” required that pet shops sell only animals acquired from breeders holding a Class A license issued under the federal Animal Welfare Act (AWA). The second law law, the “Spay/Neuter Law,” required that pet shops sterilize each animal before releasing it to a consumer. NYPWA argued that the Sourcing Law violated the “dormant” Commerce Clause and is preempted by the AWA, and that the Spay/Neuter Law is preempted by New York law. The district court dismissed NYPWA’s complaint and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision. First, the 2nd Circuit determined that the Sourcing Law did not violate the Commerce Clause because it did not discriminate against interstate commerce. The 2nd Circuit found that the Sourcing Law may make it difficult for certain out of state breeders to sell to city shops, but so long as breeders from other states are allowed to sell in the city, then it is not considered to be discriminatory. Also, the 2nd Circuit found that NYPWA was unable to show that any incidental burden that the Sourcing Law placed on out of state breeders was excessive and therefore the law passed under the Pike Balancing test. Lastly, the 2nd Circuit determined that the Spay/Neuter Law was not preempted by New York Law because NYPWA failed to identify a single New York statute or case that suggests that the new law would be preempted in any way. As a result, the 2nd Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling.
|Nuijens v. Novy||144 Misc. 2d 453 (Just. Ct. 1989)||543 N.Y.S.2d 887 (Just. Ct. 1989)||Plaintiff brought this action in Small Claims Court for the recovery of $254.63 after purchasing a dog from the Defendant. At the time of purchase, the Defendant gave a five day guarantee to the Plaintiff that if a veterinarian found anything wrong with the dog, the dog could be returned and the Plaintiff would receive a refund. The Plaintiff took the dog to a vet within five days and although she was told that the dog had a urinary infection, the Plaintiff kept the dog. Within 14 days of the sale, the Plaintiff learned that the infection was serious, and she contacted the Defendant requesting a refund under article 35-B of the General Business Law. The Court stated that Plaintiff's cause of action under the General Business Law failed: because it did not give the Plaintiff the right to recover damages, since the statute only covered "pet dealers" or "breeders" who sold more than one litter of animals per year. There was no evidence to indicate that the Defendant sold more than one litter of puppies. Also, because the Plaintiff chose not to return the dog for a refund within five days after learning about the infection, she could not seek recovery for breach of an express warranty (UCC 2-313). Lastly, because the Defendant was not a “merchant" the Plaintiff could not recover for the breach of an implied warranty (UCC 2-314).||Case|
|O'Neill v. Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government||662 F.3d 723 (C.A.6 (Ky.), 2011)||2011 WL 5345409 (C.A.6 (Ky.))||
Dog owners sued city-county government and director of city animal-control agency under § 1983 for violations of Fourteenth Amendment after a warrantless search of home and seizure of their dogs. The Court of Appeals held that the owners did not need a breeder's license because their home was not a “Class A kennel.” It also held that the initial entry into owners' home by undercover animal-control officers was not a Fourth Amendment search because it did not infringe on owners' expectation of privacy. However, the consent-once-removed doctrine did not allow uniformed animal-control officers to enter home without a warrant.
|Park Pet Shop, Inc. v. City of Chicago||872 F.3d 495 (7th Cir. 2017)||2017 WL 4173707 (7th Cir. Sept. 21, 2017)||Local pet stores and breeders brought an action against the validity of a city ordinance limiting the sources from which they may obtain dogs, cats, and rabbits for resale. They stake their claim on the grounds that the ordinance goes beyond Chicago’s home-rule powers under the Illinois Constitution and violates the implied limits on the state power imposed by the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. Petitioners appeal the district court’s dismissal of case for failure to state a claim. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the Illinois Constitution allows Chicago to regulate animal control and welfare concurrently with the state so long as no state statute specifically limits the municipality. Further, the court reject the argument that the ordinance discriminates against interstate commerce. The court of appeals affirmed the district court's dismissal of the suit for failure to state a claim.||Case|
|PetConnect Rescue, Inc. v. Salinas||PetConnect Rescue, Inc., Lucky Pup Dog Rescue.com and Sarah Gonzalez (“Plaintiffs”) alleged that the Defendants fraudulently represented dogs that the Defendants sold as rescue animals in order to circumvent California law prohibiting the sale of non-rescue dogs in pet stores. On April 6, 2020, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint against the Defendants alleging trademark infringement and dilution under the Lanham Act, unfair business practices under California’s Unfair Competition Law (“UCL”) and violations of California’s Consumer Legal Remedies Act (“CLRA”), fraud, and accounting. Several Defendant filed motions to dismiss and to strike sections of the amended complaint. The United States District Court for the Southern District of California found that Plaintiff PetConnect alleged a cognizable injury in fact in that the Defendants’ use of an infringing mark harmed Plaintiff PetConnect Rescue’s reputation and caused consumer confusion. The Defendants’ Pet Connect Rescue, Inc. brokered the sale of dogs from puppy mills rather than rescue dogs which affected Plaintiff PetConnect’s reputation. The Court also found that Plaintiff PetConnect Rescue raised a claim within the Lanham Act’s zone of interests because the Lanham Act’s protections extended to non-profit organizations’ use of marks, even when those marks do not accompany a sale. The Court refused to dismiss Plaintiffs claims regarding trademark infringement. The Court also refused to dismiss the Plaintiff’s claims under the Lanham Act because the matter of whether Plaintiff’s mark was distinct and had acquired a secondary meaning was a matter more appropriate when the evidentiary record becomes further developed. As for the Unfair Competition claim, the Court found that the Plaintiffs had alleged sufficient facts to state a UCL violation. The Court subsequently rejected the Defendants’ motions to strike thirty-four lines or phrases from the amended complaint because Plaintiff’s use of the terms “puppy mill,” and the allegations that Defendants operate “fake” entities that “induce” purchases, reflected Plaintiff’s allegations of fraud and misrepresentation. The Court found that the Plaintiffs’ references were pertinent to the Plaintiff’s allegations. The Court ultimately denied each of the Defendant’s motions to dismiss and strike.||Case|
|Rotunda v. Haynes||33 Misc.3d 68 (App. Term 2011)||933 N.Y.S.2d 803, 75 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 808, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op. 21360||The plaintiff in this case filed suit against the defendant, a dog breeder, to recover medical fees after receiving a dog that had a “severe genetic heart defect.” The dog was purchased by a third party and given to plaintiff as a gift. The court in this case held that the plaintiff was not entitled to damages under the General Business Law or the Uniform Commercial Code. The court held that the plaintiff was not entitled to damages under the General Business Law because the dog was not actually purchased by plaintiff. In addition, the plaintiff was not entitled to recover under the Uniform Commercial Code because plaintiff was unable to establish “privity with the defendant or personal injuries arising from the alleged defect,” which are required in order to recover damages. The judgment was affirmed.||Case|
|Salazar v. Kubic||370 P.3d 342 (Col. Ct. App. Div. VI, 2015)||2015 WL 5895438 (Col. Ct. App. Div. VI); 2015 COA 148||At her facility, Defendant raised and housed more than 200 mice and rats to be sold as feed for snakes and other carnivores. Until March 2013, Defendant had a valid license issued under Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act (PACFA), but it expired. Upon the expiration Defendant kept operating her facility despite a cease and desist order from the Colorado Commissioner of Agriculture. The trial court granted the Commissioner's request for a permanent injunction to prevent Defendant from operating without the required PACFA license and from violating the cease and desist order. On appeal, the court rejected Defendant’s argument that her rodents were outside PACFA’s “pet animal” definition, despite the fact the mice and rats she sold were used as food, not household pets. Additionally, the court found rats and mice did not fit within the statutory exemptions for livestock or “any other animal designated by the Commissioner.” The court was also unpersuaded that Defendants rodents were “working animals” because there was no indication that she used them to perform any function that could be considered “work.” The district court’s decision was affirmed.||Case|
|SAMUEL ZIMMERMAN v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE||57 Agric. Dec. 869 (1998)||1998 WL 1806372 (U.S.D.A.)||Agency's choice of sanction is not to be overturned unless it is unwarranted by law, unjustified by facts, or represents abuse of discretion; sanction is not rendered invalid in particular case because it is more severe than sanctions imposed in other cases.||Case|
|Saxton v. Pets Warehouse||180 Misc.2d 377 (N.Y. 1999)||691 N.Y.S.2d 872, 41 UCC Rep.Serv.2d 781, 1999 N.Y. Slip Op. 99282||
In this small claims action, the plaintiff purchased an unhealthy dog from defendant that died soon after purchase. The court held that the plaintiff is not limited to the remedies provided by General Business Law § 753 (1), which sets forth a consumer's right to a refund and/or reimbursement for certain expenses incurred in connection with the purchase of an unhealthy dog or cat, as plaintiff's dog came within the definition of "goods" as set forth in UCC 2-105 and defendant was a "merchant" within the meaning of UCC 2- 104 (1). Accordingly, plaintiff could recover damages pursuant to UCC 2-714 on the theory that defendant breached the implied warranty of merchantability. The case was remanded for a new trial to solely on the issue of damages limited to any sales tax paid by plaintiff that was not reimbursed by the insurance policy and the reasonable cost of veterinary expenses incurred.
|Schmidt, d/b/a Top of the Ozark Auction||65 Agric. Dec. 60 (U.S.D.A. Feb. 10, 2006)||The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), United States Department of Agriculture instituted a disciplinary proceeding alleging that Jerome Schmidt, a veterinarian, willfully violated the regulations and standards promulgated under the Animal Welfare Act. The alleged violations were based upon ten inspections conducted by a USDA inspector of Schmidt’s Top of the Ozark Auction facility where he conducted dog auctions. The 36 alleged violations centered on housing standards, structural soundness, soundness and security of the enclosures, house keeping and sanitation, trash on the premises, sufficiency of the lighting, the adequacy of the Schmidt’s insect and rodent control program, and interference and refusal of access to a USDA inspector. The Court found that the frequent inspections of Schmidt’s auction facility were inconsistent with and not based upon an objective risk-based assessment. None of the inspections, with the potential exception of one, conformed to the requirements of established Agency guidelines or policy. The inspector’s findings were exaggerated, biased, and unsupported by sufficient credible objective evidence of non-compliance. The egregious behavior of the inspector tainted the inspection results and, therefore, were precluded from being used for the purposes of an enforcement action. The Court ultimately dismissed the complaint against Schmidt and directed the Administrator of APHIS to take appropriate action to insure that the published polices and procedures of the Department are followed by APHIS personnel in future inspections.||Case|