A Dartmouth woman is warning people about purchasing pets from the website Kijiji after a puppy she brought home to her family as a Christmas present died a few days later.
Donna Mombourquette bought an eight-week-old golden retriever-yellow labrador puppy for $100 on Christmas Eve from a woman in Lockeport.
But on Wednesday, Buddy — as Mombourquette named him — became violently ill and died.
The veterinarian told Mombourquette that Buddy could have had parvovirus, a disease that destroys the animal's gastrointestinal system.
Mombourquette said she didn't have a good feeling at the seller's home.
"The place was a mess. There was feces on the floor, it wasn't cleaned up and we still, you know, once we saw him and he looked healthy and happy, we brought him back home."
Mombourquette put an ad up on Kijiji Thursday looking for other people who may have bought a dog from the same person. She hopes her story will spare others from the grief her family is feeling now.
"He brought so much love and laughter," said Momborquette.
"I mean, my kids are 18 and 23. They do their own thing, and it was the first time in a long time that we were all together as a family, belly laughing and you know, it just brought everybody together in such a nice positive way and just to have this happen is absolutely devastating."
Veterinarian Dr. Don Slauenwhite recommended that if you are going to buy a puppy from a website like Kijiji that you ask the seller if you can see the other puppies too.
If the dog is coughing or has poor bowel movements, it could be an indication of more serious health problems.
Kijiji has a pets code of conduct for buyers and sellers on its website.