WCTV Looks Into Claims of Diseased Puppies

Are puppies with a deadly disease being sold in Tallahassee?

An e-mail making its way around the Tallahassee area says that's exactly what's going on, and names the pet store where the animals were being sold.

Looking into what was said in this e-mail, turns out there's not much truth to be found in it and the store did not sell a diseased puppy.

Parvo is a viral disease that causes diarrhea and vomiting in dogs. If unchecked, veterinarians say the disease can kill a puppy or dog due to excessive dehydration.

An e-mail circulating the Tallahassee area says there were five puppies sold from Petland in Tallahassee Mall that have the disease.

"Petland received a shipment about three weeks ago and one of their puppies was noticed by one of the technicians to have diarrhea. We tested that puppy and he tested positive for the Parvo virus," says Dr. Mike Rudegeair, Senior Veterinarian, Oakwood Animal Hospital.

The city of Tallahassee Animal Control was notified of the puppy with Parvo, investigated the shipment in question, as well as previous ones.

"Apparently though there were four puppies from previous shipments that did have Parvo that did die," says Lt. Vickey Steier, City of Tallahassee Animal Control.

"So all together, you've received five puppies that have been infected with Parvo?" asks WCTV Reporter.

"As far as I know that is correct. There was one that we knew to have it out of the last shipment,” says Petland store owner Bob Bazell.

"And four more with in the last year or so?" asks WCTV Reporter.

"There was some more, I don't recall how many,” responds Bazell.

So the e-mail claim that dogs with Parvo were in our area appears to be true but all involved say Petland did everything by the book and is not at fault.

“The rest of the puppies they got in I believe were returned to the breeders where they came from,” adds Dr. Rudegeair.

Animal Control believes these puppies may have come from a puppy mill in Missouri and have contacted the USDA to investigate, but Petland says they came from legitimate breeders and will give the contact information for the breeders to anyone who purchases a new pet.

Animal Control doesn't have a lot of hope for success in that, they tell us it's very difficult to find these puppy mills.