PORTLAND — A Maine man who says he developed a serious disease after getting bit by a rat he bought at Petco has sued the pet supply retailer.

Dominic Profenno Jr. said in his complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Portland on Wednesday that he was bitten March 12 by a rat purchased at Petco’s South Portland store Feb. 22.

The 51-year-old Profenno said the disease — known as rat bite fever — caused “multiple spinal abscesses, painful inflammation of his joints, extreme debilitation and pain and suffering.” He says he spent 35 days in the hospital and his medical bills have surpassed $170,000.

The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.

A spokesman for San Diego-based Petco said he could not comment on pending litigation.


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