It’s been less than a month since consumers filed a lawsuit against a Chicago pet store chain for selling puppy mill dogs. Now, a woman has gotten the bad news that the Puggle puppy (Pug/Beagle mix) she just purchased from Furry Babies Fox Valley location on Friday has the parvovirus is now in the care of a veterinarian.
Paige Russell had been shopping for a Puggle for several months when she walked into Furry Babies on Friday. When she called to tell me her story, she said she went into the pet store “just to look” and quickly fell in love with a dog she’s named Allie.
“They gave me this puppy to hold and I just fell for her,” said Russell during an interview. “The people at Furry Babies were so nice to me and told me they hand picked their puppies and that all the dogs were healthy. I talked to my landlord and boyfriend to get the approval and then drove back to the mall to buy the puppy.”
She said she was very confident of her purchase, even though the $1,500 price she was initially quoted jumped to over $1,700. She left with the dog and headed back to her apartment 45 minutes away. The first day all was well with a very fun-loving puppy in the house.
A case of Parvo
“The next day she was on my chest and I was petting her and she puked,” said Russell. “I thought she was nervous or excited and ate to fast. Her dog then had diarrhea and continued to through up. She called the vet and they said to bring her in right away. It’s then we found out she had parvovirus.”
Russell says that the papers claim that the puppy was vaccinated for parvovirus. She went home and hit the Internet and found out about the consumer fraud suit that was recently filed.
“I called Furry Babies and told them what happened and that I knew about the lawsuit,” she said. “They immediately refunded my money and they are paying the vet bills. I’m at their vet now but will move Allie to another vet when this scare is over. It's hard to believe that she was vaccinated if she was that sick.”
Allie has started to recover and Russell has visited her the vet to see how she's doing. She may be coming home as soon as Wednesday.
Russell says she’s keeping her new puppy and finding out more about what she may be facing for the long term. She says her family has had Rottweilers her whole life and that they always went through breeders and did a thorough investigation - something she says she’ll do next time around.
Since news of the lawsuit broke, more people are coming forward with their stories of sick puppies purchased from Furry Babies. So far, 10 people have reached out to The Puppy Mill Project and others have reached out to me through my blog.
“We’ve heard from so many people since the lawsuit was filed and most of them thought that they were alone,” says Cari Meyers, founder of the organization. Her group had done the initial investigating into the allegations against Furry Babies. “They all tell us the same story about how their puppies were handpicked from the best breeders and they ended up with dogs with lots of health problems. These people were heartbroken.”
A family's concern
Jacqueline Amelio and her daughter reached out to me through my blog. They both had purchased dogs from Furry Babies that had a lot of health problems. Amelio says her Yorkie has floppy ears, is built like a bulldog in the chest and is bow-legged. The dog she named Nina is now four years old.
“She has a heart murmur and pants heavily if she runs too much or plays to hard and heat gets to her quickly,” says Amelio. “She always has ear infections and is frequently on antibiotics and cleaner and her eyes are always caked with mucousy. Nina is on special diet right now to see if she is allergic to foods. She is built like a bulldog or boxer and weighs about 12 pounds and is solid as a rock. I don’t know any Yorkie like that. My other girl is 7lbs thin and trim.”
Her daughter purchased a Shih Tzu at the same time and her dog has also had a variety health problems. Amelio says her daughter has spent thousands on emergency room visits with her Shih Tzu.
If you have purchased a dog from Furry Babies and would like to learn more, contact The Puppy Mill Project at firstname.lastname@example.org
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