Caveat Emptor - Sick puppies dog some online purchasers - May 11, 2006:

PEMBROKE PINES, Florida (CNN) -- Actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, singer Jon Secada and the Osbournes, known for their hit MTV show, all have one thing in common: They bought dogs from the same place. But a CNN investigation finds the company that sold them their pets has many unhappy customers.

The Wizard of Claws, also know as Celebrity Kennels, is based in Pembroke Pines, Florida. The company is run by husband and wife team Jim and Gilda Anderson.

They've been in business about five years and offer what they describe as top-of-the-line teacup- and toy-size dogs on the Internet, for as much as $5,000 each.
And it goes on...

CNN has learned Celebrity Kennel's Anderson is a convicted drug felon, and in 2003, his facility was slapped with six violations under the Animal Welfare Act. The violations included failing to provided proper vet care and selling animals less than 8 weeks of age, against Florida law.

The Florida attorney general has an open investigation and several dissatisfied customers have filed lawsuits against the company. A Web site started by a dissatisfied customer is called "stop-wizard-of-claws." Anderson is suing that customer for $4.4 million and wants the site shut down.

As for the celebrity customers, a spokesperson for Jennifer Love Hewitt told CNN the dog she received from Celebrity Kennels had several health issues that required costly vet care. The Osbournes, however, told CNN they had no problems with their dogs.

Singer Jon Secada and his wife Mari bought their first family dog, a Maltese named Sunshine, from Celebrity Kennels last August. The Secadas trusted they were in good hands because of the company's other famous customers.

But their $1,000 dog ended up having kennel cough for more than a month and a tooth problem that cost another $1,000 to fix. The Secadas were also told their dog came from a specialized breeder.

But CNN discovered that Celebrity Kennels actually bought their dog on an online auction. The Secadas say they'd never buy a dog from the company again.


Get your dog only from reputable breeders, and only after having met the breeder, the puppies, and the puppies' parents. Better yet, go to the animal shelter and rescue one. Thousands are put to sleep everyday because they have nobody to care for them.