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A Los Angeles Superior Court Judge delivered justice, after a week-long trial in 2022, by finding members of the Kenney family guilty of animal neglect and fraud for selling fatally sick puppies to unsuspecting families through Craigslist. The court’s decision not only awarded damages but also sent a strong message that those engaging in such exploitative practices will be held accountable.
The ruling, which holds Trina, Rick, Elijah, and Jezriel Kenney responsible for years of neglect and fraud, imposed various damages on the family. The Kenneys were prohibited from selling dogs, and the court awarded a total of $100,000 in punitive damages, compensatory damages for veterinary expenses, and $10,000 in emotional distress damages for each puppy sold to the affected families.
The Court emphasized the heinous nature of the Kenneys’ scheme, highlighting the suffering of the puppies and the emotional toll on innocent families. Recognizing the special status of dogs as family members, the decision underscored the need for stringent measures against those who exploit and mistreat animals.
The court found substantial evidence indicating that the puppies were kept in unsanitary conditions and were already sick at the time of sale. Shockingly, the Kenneys knowingly sold puppies infected with deadly diseases such as Parvovirus and provided fabricated immunization records to the unsuspecting families. Tragically, three puppies involved in the lawsuit succumbed to these diseases, as did several others purchased by families not directly connected to the legal action.
The court’s decision was based, in part, on Corporations Code section 10404, a California law empowering SPCAs to sue in civil court to enjoin animal law violations. This landmark ruling sets a legal precedent, sending a clear message that sellers engaged in animal neglect and fraud will face severe consequences.
The lawsuit, filed on behalf of nine plaintiffs who purchased underage and sick puppies from the Kenneys between 2018 and 2020, includes heartbreaking stories. Newlyweds Brittany and Brandon Swigart, for instance, responded to a Craigslist ad for an 8-week-old mini-labradoodle puppy named Winnie. Despite paying $1,200 in cash and being assured of vaccinations, the Swigarts discovered that Winnie was only 4 weeks old, had been dyed brown, and had not received vaccinations. Tragically, Winnie succumbed to a disease she contracted due to the Kenneys’ negligence.
Sign this petition to end the Craigslist animal trade!
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