Customers allege local vendor sold puppies infected with parvovirus
It’s a lesson in pet education as numerous puppies allegedly diagnosed with parvo, a potentially deadly virus and claims that they’re all from the same local seller.
It's an issue that's even caught the attention of the Ontario SPCA who received concerns about Cedar Lane Kennels, a puppy broker business in Norwich.
While Cedar Lane is being monitored by the OSPCA not to move or sell animals until it’s safe to do so, customers are speaking out, and warning others by sharing their experiences.
They’re cute, cuddly and the price will have you hooked.
Puppies selling for $300 to $600 a pop.
But is a steal really a good deal?
Dyan Gray, purchased a dog from Cedar Lane.
“If you get right down to hard numbers, I think we’re out anywhere between $6000 to $8000 dollars,"
Just a few weeks ago, Gray says he purchased Charlie, a 7-week old Yorkie from Cedar Lane puppy broker.
But shortly after bringing him home, Charlie got sick.
"Day three was pretty bad. There was a lot of vomitting, very violent vomitting, and when he wasn't vomiting he was sleeping," says Gray.
Dylan said Charlie tested positive for parvo, a possibly deadly virus in dogs. And while Charlie got treatment, Gray racked up thousands in vet bills.
But Gray says nothing was working and Charlie’s chances of survival were slim, so the pup was put down.
"I hope that I can be reimbursed financially, but that’s not the end game on this, this isn’t where it ends, this is such a bigger problem.”
Randy McCallum, another customer of Cedar Lane, says she too, fell victim, claiming she purchased the chocolate lab mix for $450.
“I had her in my arms and I was like, 'Okay we’re getting this dog, I can’t put her back down.'”
But soon after, Ellie was also diagnosed with parvo and needed $1500 in medical treatments.
McCallum says after repeatedly trying to seek compensation, she eventunally got her money back from Cedar Lane.
“Honestly, I will make sure I pick a breeder that I know, and that I’ve visited and I’ve seen their facility.”
An important point to note, as Cedar Lane claims its a broker, not a puppy breeder, getting their puppies from a number of different sources.
“We’re brokers, and we sell puppies for people. We’ve got suppliers right, like farmers, people from town have puppies, people who live in the county on the lot, right?” says Huite Bruinsma, Cedar Lane puppy broker.
When speaking to Cedar Lane, it said its facility was clean, spotless even, and disinfected.
It also went on to say that this problem isn’t a regular one for the business and aren’t sure where the virus came from as its pets are vet-checked.
“We’re not doing anything wrong, I mean, it’s just a disease right? I mean we don’t abuse the animals, right? They come in good health at the time when you sell them, they appear healthy. But there’s a disease floating around. I mean, how can we have it? I mean, you cannot smell it, you cannot see it, it just hangs around.” adds Bruinsma.
Judy Foster with the London Humane Society is recommending the public consider a few simple steps before purchasing a pet.
“There is a transfer of ownership, so whether that’s an adoption agreement or a bill of sale, a receipt, those things need to be in place, along with a very clear agreement about what happens to the animal if it becomes sick within a very short period of time,” says Foster.
But Cedar Lane says it's willing to reimburse customers.
“What we normally do in a case or if a puppy gets sick, or dies, we usually give the price of the puppy back,” adds Bruinsma.
“I tried the phone number that was left in the paper work, that didn’t get us anywhere, she was basically non-existent,” retorts Gray.
Gray eventually made contact but says he is still out money.
In the meantime, Gray hopes to raise awareness, and get his story out so others avoid the same losses he’s endured.
“If you can’t see that dog interacting with his family before you bought him, don’t buy him.’
No timeline was provided by Cedar Lane as to when customers would get their money back, but it plans on fixing the problem with affected customers.
The OSPCA is also encouraging the public if they have any concerns about an animal, to report that information as soon as possible to 310-SPCA.