LOVELAND, Colo. -- Town and Country Pet Center on South Cleveland Avenue in Loveland is currently under investigation by the Colorado Agricultural Department for possible Pet Animal Care Facilities Act (PACFA) violations.
Unhappy customers have filed dozens of complaints online and with the FOX31 Problem Solvers.
“I’ve gone to this pet store since I was a kid," said Anna Hettinger, who bought a Siberian Husky at Town and Country and says the dog was sick when she bought him.
“We took him to the vet right away and they tested him for giardia and a bunch of other things. He actually had giardia," Hettinger said. She claims she easily spent $2,000 getting the dog well.
“I fell in love with him right away,” customer Hanna Jones said.
Jones claims she bought a sick golden retriever.
“I took him to the vet and they ran some tests on him and he said he wasn't dewormed," said Jones, adding that her vet bills totaled more than $700.
The store’s website currently advertises puppies for sale at $1,200 apiece.
Customer Leontien Ven said the cat she took home needed immediate care.
“He was really skinny and malnourished," Ven said.
Ven said she also saw fish living in was she described as “filthy conditions.”
FOX31 Problem Solvers reviewed Town and Country’s inspection records and found an inspector cited the store for four violations in February 2017.
The issues include:
- Multiple areas that were no longer clean
- No records on when hamsters were born
- Exposed, expanding and buckling shelves that hold fish tanks.
The pet center fixed the problems and has been in compliance since February 2017. The Colorado Agricultural Department declined to speak about its current investigation.
So, the Problem Solvers went into Town and Country with hidden cameras to see the condition for ourselves. We saw fish tanks with green and murky water. Our cameras also saw birds, reptiles and puppies with no other clear issues. FOX31 returned to the store the following day and found the fish tanks had been cleaned.
Owner Mark Aine invited us inside for a look around.
FOX31’s Shaul Turner asked, “Are the fish tanks kept up?"
Aine replied, “We do a 10-percent water change once a week." He also shared Town and Country’s August inspection, which the store passed.
“We are constantly monitoring the compatibility of the puppies together -- the health and all that -- and we get good puppies to begin with,” said Aine.
Town and Country Pet Center offers a guarantee policy allowing animals to be returned within three to five days if they fail a check up with a veterinarian and within six months if there are any hereditary or congenital problems.
“They can use any licensed vet and if the puppy has a problem, they can bright it right back," Aine said.
Jones and Hettinger told the Problem Solvers they were aware of the guarantee but did not return their animals for store credit. They wanted their pets to have a good home regardless of the problems they developed.
They say they want pet stores to be held to standards that safeguard the wellbeing of those you can’t speak for themselves.
However, if a customer buys a puppy and it becomes sick, they will not get a refund. A sign on the door reminds customers: “No cash or credit card refunds, exchanges for store credit only.”
Veterinarians suggest taking recently purchased pets to see a vet within 24 hours of taking animals home.