Pet shop puppies die soon after purchase

The owners of puppies that died within days of their purchase from a Charlottetown pet shop are calling for stricter regulations covering the sale of pets.

The owners of puppies that died within daysof theirpurchase from a Charlottetown pet shop are calling for stricter regulations covering the sale of pets.

Stacey Edgar doesn't believe anything she did led to the death of her puppy. ((CBC))

It is the second case this fall of animals purchased from Charlottetown pet stores dying shortly after being taken home. In November two kittens purchased at Critters Pet Shop died days after they were purchased.

Mike Boies and Stacey Edgar had a similar experience with a puppy they bought from Snookums in October. Just days after they brought home their dog, which they called Bailey, he got very sick.

"Things went downhill that night, with diarrhea and the vomiting, which was every 15 minutes," Edgar told CBC News.

Their vet said Bailey had parvovirus, an intestinal infection that affects puppies. The medicine they gave Bailey didn't work and he died the next morning. Edgar said they have heard from others who had a similar experience.

"This isn't just a fluke. It didn't just happen to one family," said Edgar.

"It happened to four since Oct. 2 that we know of."

All four puppies were purchased at Snookums in Charlottetown. ((CBC))

All four puppies were purchased from Snookums. One died the same day as Bailey, another a week later andthe fourth in late October. Post mortems on all four conducted at the Atlantic Veterinary College concluded they died from parvovirus.

Violet Hunter purchased the last dog that died, two weeks after the illness killed Bailey. Getting the dog was the fulfilment of a promise she made to her husband Ross, just before he died.

"My husband said, 'Well, you must promise me, when I'm no longer here, you will go out and get my Labrador and you must call it Heather. Every time you look at Heather remember I'll be watching too,'" said Hunter.

Hunter believes once Snookums got the first complaint, well before she got her dog, the store should have checked the other puppies for parvovirus and warned potential buyers about the illness.

CBC News contacted Snookums owner Bud Wheatley, but he said he wasn't available for an interview. He did say all the puppies he sells are healthy when they leave the store, adding that if they develop problems it's because the owners don't care for them properly.

None of the four pet owners involved is convinced of that. They want the province to adopt tougher legislation covering pet stores. One family has filed a small claims suit against Snookums for their expenses.