An animal lover says she bought a puppy from a pet shop in Virginia and soon found herself with a sick animal and an $1,800 veterinarian's bill on her hands.
After Animal Control officers seized as many as 50 puppies on Monday from Dreamy Puppy in Chantilly, Virginia, past customers are coming forward to share stories of their bad experiences with the business.
Kay Trinidad said she bought a Yorkshire terrier more than a year ago from the store. Before long, the puppy she named Chewie grew lethargic and unresponsive.
"I went to touch him and he didn't move, so I picked him up and he was really floppy," Trinidad said. "His tongue was hanging out of the side of his mouth, so I rushed him to the vet."
The doctors told Trinidad they thought Chewie was younger than Dreamy Puppy had told her.
"They thought it was taken from its mother too soon," Trinidad said.
A representative of Animal Control Services in Fairfax County said Monday that officers seized 40 to 50 puppies to check the animals' health and determine whether they were old enough to be sold legally. Dogs sold in pet stores must be no younger than eight weeks old, the Animal Control representative said.
When the dog owner told Dreamy Puppy what had happened and showed the $1,800 veterinarian's bill, the workers rejected it, Trinidad said.
"They sent it back saying we don't accept a diagnosis from your vet," Trinidad said.
Dreamy Puppy did not respond to multiple requests for comment. No charges have been filed against the business.
Their website bills the dogs as the healthiest in the nation. Many of the dogs sell for more than $1,500.
Customer Eliana Drakopoulos picked out a Maltipoo puppy for her mother on Sunday. She headed to Dreamy Puppy on Sunday to pick up the pooch but found the doors closed and the lights off.
"It's very sad," she said. "The puppies did seem very small."
A Fairfax County worker placed a notice on the building on Tuesday declaring the structure unsafe.
Trinidad said she hoped the investigation would reveal whether Dreamy Puppy was selling unhealthy dogs.
"I went, "Oh my goodness, it's about time sometime did something about it,'" she said as she snuggled her dog.