PETCO on Wednesday settled a $1.75 million lawsuit, which stemmed from allegations that the company overcharged consumers and improperly cared for animals, according to a statement by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

The investigation, filed by district attorneys in four California counties, alleged that PETCO had failed to remove expired price tags from store shelves, resulting in customer overcharges. Store employees had also allegedly received faulty instructions on weighing and charging for bulk sale items — instructions that investigators claim resulted in overcharges.

Inspections by Marin County's Humane Society also alleged that animal habitats were not sanitary and up to standards required by California's Pet Store Animal Care Act. In some instances, the Society alleged, sick animals were not properly identified and removed from habitats.

PETCO has agreed to initiate procedures so that customers are not overcharged, and to ensure proper care for animals, according to the D.A.'s statement.

The lawsuit comes after a similar settlement in 2004; the company ended up paying more than $850,000.

LA Weekly