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Controversial “Wizard of Claws” dog seller back in business; target of federal lawsuit

By William Hladky, BrowardBulldog.org 

James Anderson’s Teacup Puppies Store at 4001 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

James Anderson’s Teacup Puppies Store at 4001 N Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale

“Wizard of Claws” dog seller James Anderson, who shut his business four years ago amid numerous allegations of wrongdoing and a lawsuit by Florida Attorney General’s Office, is back in business in Fort Lauderdale under a new name and again is involved in legal controversy.

Anderson’s new businesses, the Puppy Collection and the Teacup Puppies Store, are the target of a federal lawsuit alleging that he has engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices.

Also, a former customer of Anderson’s claimed in an interview that Anderson stocks sick dogs.

Competitor Eleonora Bonfini sued Anderson last month alleging he violated a permanent state injunction when he infringed on Bonfini’s federal trademarks, causing unfair competition.

In 2010, Anderson and his wife Gilda consented to a judgment and permanent Injunction after the late Broward Circuit Court Judge Cheryl Aleman found that they and Wizard of Claws had violated state law by misrepresenting to customers the source, pedigree and adult size of their dogs. Many had bought puppies believing that they would stay “teacup-size” into adulthood.

ALLEGATIONS OF MASS-PRODUCED DOGS

The Wizard of Claws case, highlighted by allegations that the pet store sold unhealthy dogs that were mass-produced at puppy mills, made headlines across South Florida.

The injunction was the end result of about 17 lawsuits filed against the Andersons, including suits brought by the Attorney General and the Humane Society of the United States.

The Humane Society’s suit was the first of its kind in its history.

A year before the injunction was finalized, the Andersons filed for bankruptcy and the national Humane Society removed more than 30 puppies from their store.

The injunction ordered the Andersons not to use the words “teacup puppies” and “puppy boutique,” or several variations of those names in any future businesses or web sites.

Bonfini’s business, TeaCups, Puppies and Boutique, is located at 9003 Taft Street, Pembroke Pines. Her website is www.TeaCupsPuppies.com. She has registered the store’s name and a picture of a puppy sitting in a teacup as trademarks.

Anderson’s Teacup Puppies Store is located at 4001 N Federal Highway. His many web sites include www.TeacupPuppiesBoutique.com, www.TeacupPuppiesStore.com, and www.PuppyBoutiqueStore.com. Anderson also shows photographs of puppies sitting in teacups on one of his web sites.

Anderson’s wife’ Gilda, is not connected with Anderson’s new business and is not being sued.

‘SOUR APPLES’ BY A COMPETITOR?

Roberto Stanziale, Anderson’s attorney, said in an interview that the words and picture that Bonfini claims are hers couldn’t be trademarked because they are generic.  The Fort Lauderdale attorney labeled the suit “sour apples” because Anderson “is very competitive in the market”

“Each one of those words is so pervasive in the industry that to say that they have exclusive use of those words is silly,” Stanziale said, adding that Anderson is in compliance with the injunction.

In addition to the trademark infringements, Anderson is misleading customers into believing that are dealing with Bonfini’s company when they order dogs from him, Bonfini’s attorney Miriam Richter said in an interview. Between 20 and 30 customers have complained recently to Bonfini about Anderson’s misrepresentation.

Richter said Bonfini noticed something was amiss during last Christmas’ shopping season when her business dropped by $50,000. Bonfini also heard reports about how Anderson was allegedly misrepresenting his store as her business.

Richter said several customers have given her client statements about the misrepresentation. Two women said they each deposited $2,000 with Anderson’s business to buy puppies after Anderson’s employees told them that were at Bonfini’s store. After they realized that they had been misled, one woman stopped payment through her credit card company and the other woman demanded a refund from Anderson, Richter said.

AN UNHAPPY CUSTOMER

Morgan Rohrhofer purchased a Boston Terrier puppy for more than $1,700 from Anderson’s store in May. Within days of the purchase the puppy got sick. A veterinarian diagnosed the puppy as having giardia, an intestinal parasite.  Dogs become infected by coming in contact with contaminated food, soil, or water.

Rohrhofer sent Anderson an email to complain. “According to the vet he contracted the parasite from where he was picked up given the short amount of time between departure from Teacup Puppies and showing of symptoms,” she wrote.

Rohrhofer said in an interview that she spent nearly $400 in vet bills, but Anderson’s business reimbursed her more than $200. She said her now five-month-old pup, Blake, is still ill and on medication.  

Puppies at Anderson’s store were kept in cramped glass cages, about 1½ foot by two feet, with three to six dogs per cage, she said,” she said. She saw the puppies “crapping on each other,” she said. “That’s how (Blake) got giardia…I’m so glad that I got him out of that situation. It’s so terrible.”

Rohrhofer said her Boston Terrier came from RCW Kennels located in Elk City, Kan.

The Humane Society of the United States in a 2007 video report listed RCW Kennels as a puppy mill. The puppies lived in “worn out wire cages exposing dogs to sharp edges,” the report stated, adding that a Kansas state inspector in 2006 reported that “urine ammonia smell was so strong in an unventilated building that it burned her nose and eyes.”

The Florida injunction states that James and Gilda Anderson may not acquire animals from breeding facilities that they know “or has reason to know” that the animals were kept “in substandard conditions…”

Attorney Stanziale said his client does not buy puppies from suppliers who raise animals in substandard conditions.

“Mr. Anderson is under scrutiny every month about where he purchased the puppies,” he said. The injunction requires Anderson to report his business activities monthly to the state Attorney General’s Office.

Stanziale questioned the Humane Society’s objectivity in labeling RCW Kennels a puppy mill, claiming that the society “has its own interest.” He said the Humane Society wants to steer people to shelters and away from retail stores that sell “beautiful” dogs.

“There is no way in a million years you can sell thousands of puppies that one won’t be sick,” Stanziale argued. “Where would you want to buy a puppy? I would want to buy a puppy from a guy who is being monitored by the State of Florida.”

Molly McFarland, deputy press secretary for the Florida Attorney General, said in an email that her office is not investigating Anderson for any alleged injunction violations.

“Should consumers believe that this company and its owners are in violation of the injunction filed…under the previous administration, we encourage them to contact our office…,” she said.

 

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  • You get the best animals from a shelter. The animals know
    that you are saving their lives, are thankful to you and are
    your best friend for the rest of their lives. Go to the Broward
    County Animal Control at the Fort Lauderdale Airport to meet
    these wonderful cats and dogs. You will not be sorry. I love
    all my animals I have gotten there throughout the years.

  • Go to your local shelter and adopt! You will save a life, and not add to the profit of these types of substandard people who deal with puppy mills and mass producing of animals. Shelters, please go there!

  • I’m one of the Anderson’s old customers. We didn’t know any better at the time and bought a toy poodle for 400.00 back in 2004. I definately believe the stories of sick dogs being sold due to our own experience. We were shown a few puppies and I thought they were too costly then the lady came out with a toy poodle who when put on the floor to walk, moved like a cripple. He was shaking badly and seems like he was being abused. Other puppies were playing and acting the way baby animals should. I asked why he was so scared and shaky, she said he was just shy. I felt like she was bull shitting me and suggested to my daughter that we shouldn’t take him home. She thought that he just needed love and care and he would be alright. Anyway, after having him for ten years, he still has issues with food and water. Never stopped being anxious and unsure of himself and his surroundings. I believe he was abused but like I said, we didn’t know any better at the time. The andersons should have never been allowed to sell puppies or allowed to sell them now. What an injustice to the poor baby animals and the unsuspecting customers.

  • My mother bought 2 Papillons from them in 2004. One of them he sold to us for 400$ (he lowered her price) because she was sick. She had worms and ringworm, and something else im sure it was awful. On the way home she had diarrhea accident in the car on a blanket…we chucked the blanket out the window. She was so skinny barely had any fur. She was scared as crap and was stuck to my mom like glue. Looked completely different from the picture online. The other one he was ok he seemed happy to be rescued but scared and shy like yall said, but he was timid, he sort of broke out of that but they both didnt live very long. She only lived to be 7 years old ( in 2011 she died of pancreatitis) and he lived to be 9 years old(in 2013 he died of renal failure) My mother spend 1200 on him. I believe these animals were abused. One great thing about them both, they both showed us everyday how much they appreciated being rescued from that horrible place.

  • I purchased a Yorkshire Terrier from Anderson in 2004 and couldn’t be happier. He will be 10 this year and is the sweetest healthiest little boy. I can’t speak for other customers and it saddens me to hear about the problems some have experienced. I fortunately, did not and even returned to his store in 2005 or 2006 when I was considering buying another puppy. Let me add that at the time I purchased my dog in 2004 I flew from the Mid West to pick him up and flew back with him.
    Thank you for my sweet cuddly baby boy.

  • This guy deserves to be locked up. Him & his wife are scam artist. I bought a puppy from one of his 6 different websites, puppiesforsalesite, 4 years ago. I paid $4000 for a dog that I find out is completely deaf!! Not toe room all the illnesses she had also. I complained and he told me to return her, like a piece of clothing? A person selling dogs that treats them like an item shouldn’t have the rights to be in that position. I traced back her “breeder” paperwork and find out it’s some backyard breeder that is a puppy mill. I called the puppy mill, and they told me I can buy any dog for $300! Not to mention her paperwork was all forged. My dog was not AKC nor was the puppy mill she came from.This backyard breeder didn’t have any certification on his dogs being recognized by anything. The “breeder” had multiple violations against him as well. SCAM ARTIST WORK TOGETHER! The puppy mill offered 20
    different breeds of dogs, not a “TRUSTED NUMBER 1” breeder as this scum advertise on their different sites. James & Gilda Anderson should never have the right to sell any dogs ever again. If a person has 6 different websites under different names, they are obviously trying to hide something.

  • I disagree with the above article above Anderson’s wife not being involved. She is there every day and they have cameras and microphones set up they say to monitor employees. The puppies are sick, very sick. Put this creep and his wife out of business for good!!!

  • I followed stories on them starting i think it was 04 or 05. There was a page run by a lady in Florida[ can not remember her name] page was called Stop Wizard of Claws. I seem to remember they had locations in other states breeding under other names. That happens a lot in the puppy mill business. I researched net sites from 04 to about mid 08 after i bought and returned a puppy with parvo from a Texas Kennel.
    i just google Stop Wizard of Claws and information did come up. FYI sometimes when people in that business will have other people running kennels in other states so their names will not appear. There was a Houston Reporter who did a story once about puppy mills and selling sick pups to millers in La. Can not remember his name. The millers in La. were complaining about pups they bought in Texas to sell that were sick and had to be put down. Maybe around 2006

  • I bought a Maltese from them in 2001. I paid $1000 for him and they shipped him to me. They told me he was a teacup and he would be about 5 pounds. He, ended up being 9. When I got him, he had a respiratory infection. A few weeks after I got him I found out he had an umbilical hernia. The problems just kept going. He had stomache issues, severe allergies (food and skin) had to be on prescription food and injections. He had to have his anal glands removed. Had eye problems and had to have surgery to correct that. He had the issue with his patella, he had to have surgery on his back because of disc issues. These are just the big ones. I had this little guy for 13 years and it was a continual battle. In between illnesses, he was a happy little boy and was the love of my life. There is nothing I would not do for that little guy. I just had to put him down a few weeks ago due to pancreatitis and Lymphoma. He was spoiled beyond belief…he was with me almost 24/7. I took care of him with all these issues because he deserved it. Throughout the 13 years we estimated we spent around 20,000$. I would not trade it for anything, however, it is very sad that these people, and the puppy mill breeder/brokers treat animals this way. They should not be allowed to get away with this. It is horrible for any animal to have to go through any misery until they find a loving home. I am so grateful I was able to give my guy a good life and lots of love knowing what he must have gone through the first 8 weeks of his life. These people need to be locked up with the key thrown away! Such a shame!

  • Sick owners=sick puppies.
    I had the unfortunate opportunity to take photos of these sad and sick puppies as they huddle in their own feces with lifeless eyes. Non respondent to any human approaching as they lay on their wire floors behind thick glass walls.
    Their lifeless bodies just laying there.
    As I looked up the website I see these abused puppies being sold for a whopping 10,000.00 dollars. That’s correct, TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.
    How? Because no one cares enough to help them.

  • I bought a bulldog from wizard of claws, after thinking I did plenty of research, and when website had all kinds of “anti puppy mill” jargon and literature. My bulldog was sick from the get, my vet said she was days from death. (Paying 25oo$ for said sick dog). Wizard of claws immediately reimbursed me, and weeks later saw their legal troubles on TV. The bulldog continued to have health problems that were genetic flaws throughout her short 7 year life. R.I.P Princess Fiona.

  • I purchased a male chihuahua in 2005 for 1500.00. He was sick from the start and I took him to the recommended vet. The puppy died 4 days later. It was heartbreaking. The immediatly gave me another dog. She lived for 10 years. These people should be locked up treating these animals the way they do.

  • I just adipted a maltese. I couldn’t be more thrilled. He is healthy, cleaver. Fun. Loving. I’m soooo happy.

  • My husband and I “rescued” a male cockapoo from this company. The picture shown on the website did not correctly show his true size. We had him shipped to California and was expecting a small dog, instead we got a medium sized dog. He has some medical issues but nothing that we couldn’t handle. When I called the company to complain, I was told to return him and they would give me a full refund. When I asked what they were going to do with him, the man bluntly said “we’ll just put him down and get a refund from the breeder”.

    He is now 11 years old and going strong. If and when I decide to get another dog, I’ll go to our local shelter.

    These people, along with all the other puppy mill breeders, need to be put out of business but there are too many to regulate.

    My heart goes out to everyone who has lost their fur baby from this or any other backyard breeder.

  • After having to put down my beloved black CockaPoo, in December of 2014 my daughter surprised me with a little Shiz-tzo/Maltese puppy from this store.
    “Roo Roo” was, and is still the joy of my life! not only was she not traumatized from the flight to Tampa, she basically just “romped” out of her crate with her little toy in her mouth, looking for someone to play with! She is healthy, happy, and has the BEST disposition of ANY dog I have ever known!
    “Roo Roo” is an amazing little dog!!!

  • We have purchased a Labradoodle from the Wizard of Claws in 2005. We had a great experience and our puppy is an awesome pet , he has never been sick unless he eat something that he’s not suppose to. He is 10 years old and old age is getting to him but he still thinks he is two years old. We love our 100+ pound baby . Thanks for a great pet.

  • I know for a fact that Gilda Anderson is there everyday! True, they have micorphones and cameras set up to monitor employees. Employees don’t even have a lunch room and are encouraged to eat lunch outside or in their cars. Yes, the puppies come from puppy mills and are mostly driven in by cargo van. These people, the Andersons, need to be stopped! Please shut them down and allowed to NEVER be in the pet business again! All employees are traiend to lie like politicians! The Andersons are driving Hummers, Rolls Royces and Jaguars and are living in a sprawling mansion at these poor animals expense! Even the vet they deal with in house, who comes once a week is paid to lie!

  • And the wizard of claws veterinarian who “certified” these puppies as healthy for sale skips off into wonderland with no culpability at all?
    You really mean to tell me he didn’t know ANY of these dogs exhibited ANY symptoms of congenital disease? And WOC sold how many dogs?
    Figure it out.

  • I bought a longhair Chihuahua and name her Bella. She helped me get through my Mother’s death from Multiple Myeloma Cancer on 8/3/16. Bella was sick from the day I bought her. She had skin problems, stomach problems, coughing problems and on 11/5/16 she died at the ER Vet. She died from Pancreatitis and Diabetes. I am devastated. I loved her and to lose her after losing my Mother is unbearable. I suffer every day. I wanted to let you know not to purchase puppies from this store. If it saves people from having their heart’s broken, my beloved Bella didn’t die in vain.

  • Typos: I bought a longhaired Chihuahua and named her Bella.

  • I sent them an email and I received a phone call. They are going to rectify the situation and either send me a healthy replacement puppy or refund my money.

  • I just bought a yorkie from them on 11/19/2016. She just gwas flownto Tennessee from Fort Lauderdale. When we picked her up, she was nothing like her pictures. She was matted, and looked like she had been neglected. Over the weekend, she refused to eat, had diarrhea, and I ended up at the emergency animal hospital and she had a horrible cough and upper respiratory infection. The following Monday, I followed up with my vet and they tested her stool. It was positive for coccidia parasite. She was treated with a medication for that, and is still currently on an antibiotic for her upper respiratory infection. Well today, she became more lethargic even with the prescription diet feedings and water, and should have been getting better. Her diarrhea was worse over the last few daysand she could barely walk….and grunting in pain. I broke down in tears for her all day, and to watch this poor baby is heartbreaking. Over the last week, our family has fell in love with this poor unfortunate girl. I took her back to the animal hospital where they found yet another parasite in her stool called hookworm. She is currently on a medication for that, and Flagyl to help with her diarrhea. At first, I was not angry at the teacuppuppiesstore.com because I thought she came down with the upper respiratory infection from the flight, but now I realize after seeing other people’s stories, she was not probably deformed and kept in terrible conditions. I mean come on….two parasitic infections upon arrival, and she is not out of the woods yet. These poor babies!!! This place needs to be shut down again. This has been very traumatic on her and our family to watch her so sick. I paid $2300 for her, and now I am up to $750 in vet bills. The animal hospital vet told me she looked like a “puppy mill” puppy. If you buy from this store right now, you will get a sick puppy, and if you do, it’s going to be an expensive rescue.

  • I bought my yorkie from them in 2005 and Thank god m, I must have Lucked out! She is the most beauriful little yorkie I’ve ever laid eyes on! She belongs in books of her beeed! She will be 12 this month! She weighed 4 1/2 lbs when she reached full size (she is 1 lb overweight now that she is older) but from everything I read these people are sick, sick people!! I’m just thankful that we got lucky! She definitely cost me a pretty penny but never for one minute did t
    I regret one cent! The only reason I looked them up was because I was thinking of purchasing another dog…even though I couldn’t have asked for a better dog and she turned out to be exactly what I wanted, I would never purchase a dog from these people again after reading everything that I have read. Please someone take their license from them! Do not allow these people to raise animals

  • Follow up regarding replacement puppy for my longhaired Chihuahua named Bella. I was in a grief state of mind because, my 14 year old dog passed away, then my Mother passed away, then my friend from Canada passed away and then my longhaired Chihuahua puppy named Bella passed away. I wasn’t sure if they were going to send me another puppy and I should have waited until I was sure before I wrote the review. I’m happy to say that I have a happy and 100% healthy Imperial Shih Tzu puppy. She is small as advertised and she has a very sweet personality. I am very pleased with the outcome. They were kind, compassionate and wanted to rectify the situation immediately and they did. Their word is good.

  • Bought a tea cup Pug from these people, had nothing but problems with health issues, then the dog kept growing, found out later our dog came from a Missouri puppy mill, there are many there, and the dogs are not prechecked by a vet, Anderson’s vet was just sign documents and accept a paycheck ! Our pug grew to 28 pounds and was a full size, she couldn’t fly with us and put a cramp on our lifestyle…gave a lot of info to the attorney general, never got any return calls or info for what we did and went through even the government doesn’t care !!!

  • I drop a comment whenever I like a post on a
    site or I have something to valuable to contribute to the discussion. It’s caused by the sincerness displayed in the post I browsed.
    And on this article Controversial "Wizard
    of Claws" dog seller back in business; target of federal lawsuit – Florida
    Bulldog | Florida Bulldog. I was excited enough to write
    a thought 🙂 I do have some questions for you if you tend
    not to mind. Could it be simply me or does it seem like a
    few of the comments appear like they are coming from brain dead visitors?
    😛 And, if you are writing at other online sites, I’d like to follow everything new you have to post.
    Would you make a list the complete urls of all your public sites
    like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  • This guy and all the ones like him need to be in Jail !!!

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