HEAD: More puppy parvo deaths
SUBHEAD: SPCA urges puppy buyers to research before buying
By Jeanne Whitehead
There have been more parvo puppy deaths in Nova Scotia, and again the pups were bought from Digby County people.
Janet Robinson, who advertised the pups from sale on the internet, says she did not know they were sick.
“And I am not associated with Gail or Dana,” said Robinson.
Puppy brokers Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey of Roxville were in the news for several months this year when puppies sold by them succumbed to the deadly parvovirus. They are currently facing animal cruelty charges stemming from a 2007 seizure from their property.
Amanda Bowser of Dartmouth told the Courier that she responded to a Kijiji posting advertising German Shepherd mix puppies. She subsequently met two young women at Halifax Airport and purchased a puppy. A second was bought by her boyfriend’s brother.
Both pups were dead within days. “The vet told me it was parvovirus,” Bowser told the Courier.
Bowser said she was aware of the publicity this past summer surrounding Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey’s sale of puppies suffering from parvo, and although she understood the seller was from Digby County, she felt safe because she was assured the seller had no connection with the Benoit-Bailey duo.
Robinson replied to the Courier’s inquiry via email, stating, in part: “I was helping find these puppies homes for my 75 year-old sick grandmother and my 7 month pregnant cousin in-law …
“To those people who purchased a dog from my cousin who is a minor, I’m sorry but you will need to contact her or her parents to receive a refund … I put on the ad that I placed that the pups were NOT vet checked and did not have any sort of needles and were not registered.
“… If people are going to point fingers and blame me of intentionally selling sick puppies, I should point out that you knowingly bought puppies that were not checked by a vet and did not have needles. You must assume some responsibility.”
Mary Hill, a member of Nova Scotia SPCA’s board of directors says these recent parvo deaths underscore the fact that prospective pet owners should do research prior to buying a pup.
“And they should never buy an animal from a parking lot or the side of the road,” says Hill.
“Responsible breeders want you to come to them—and they will ask lots of questions about you, because they care about the future welfare of their pups.”
Hill suggests typing the seller’s name into the google search engine, and crosschecking names and addresses.
“A buyer should only purchase a pup that has recently been given a clean bill of health by a vet,” says Hill.
She notes that in Atlantic Canada there are many animals—young and old, including purebreds—that are in need of homes. “We encourage people to adopt from their local SPCA or animal rescue group,” says Hill.
“If you search ‘Maritime Animal Rescue’ on your computer, you’ll be taken to a site that provides links to shelters and rescue facilities in all four Atlantic provinces. Some rescue groups are even breed specific,” says Hill.