Puppy Deaths Linked To Wisconsin Mall Pet Store

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Missy lost her life eight days after Monica Pekol brought her home.   Photo: WTMJ --------------------------------
Missy lost her life eight days after Monica Pekol brought her home. Photo: WTMJ

Four puppies dead. Three families heartbroken. Thousands of dollars. Another sad tale that supports the notion that dog lovers should adopt – not shop.

All of it happened within a two-month period. All four puppies came from the same store: Furry Babies in the Janesville Mall.

When a local news team at Milwaukee’s WTMJ-TV took a hidden camera into the store on a shopping excursion, staffers were happy to show them pups for sale, but wouldn’t share breeder information. That doesn’t happen until a customer purchases a dog – and it’s not illegal, either.

An investigation found that several of the Missouri breeders that supply Furry Babies were in violation; inspectors found dogs with health issues ranging from eye discharge to large masses. One had been fined for “failing to seek vet care.”

Any of the above might have been good information for the customers who endured losing their puppies.

Monica Pekol, an experienced dog owner, lost her miniature English Bulldog, Missy, just eight days after purchase. She told WTMJ reporters the dog went from excited and playful to lethargic and uninterested in eating or drinking quickly. The veterinarian’s diagnosis: roundworms. The store had given the pup a clean bill of health.

Kaitlyn Fischer’s Siberian Husky, Rane, was a Valentine’s Day gift.

“She started off with a slight cough,” Fischer told the NBC affiliate.

Three days later, the dog was dead. Autopsy results showed parvo and kennel cough as the culprits.

Heather Thompson’s husky pup, Neeko, was euthanized on Christmas Eve – undeniably sad. But when you take into account the dog was a gift to her children on the heels of the devastating two-fold loss of their father and great-grandparents. The pup meant to soothe this grief succumbed to complications stemming from a heart murmur.

Unable to leave her grieving children without a companion, she accepted Furry Babies’ offer of a free replacement puppy. Sasha is doing well, thankfully, but only after being treated for parasites.

Melissa Tedrowe, a rep from the Humane Society, spoke to WTMJ of the horrors of puppy mills. “…it’s not a great life just because the USDA has certified the animals,” she said, noting that law enforcement is limited to the minimum standards of the Animal Welfare Act.

“Just because a breeder has no USDA violations on record, again, doesn’t mean that the quality of care that the animals are getting at that facility is excellent or even okay.”

The owners in the piece reported that the store covered all veterinary bills in these cases; refunds were given for the puppies that died.

At press time, Furry Babies had been contacted for a statement but failed to reply. Its owner has similar stores in Illinois which WTMJ reported are facing a lawsuit alleging they sell sickly puppy mill puppies.

The take-away here? Adopt. Don’t shop.

6 thoughts on “Puppy Deaths Linked To Wisconsin Mall Pet Store”

  1. I made this mistakes 6 years ago and never again. Thank God my Olde English Bulldog is alive and well, but had tons of medical bills none paid for by the store. My second dog is a rescue. We’ve hardly have spent any money on his medical bills. I will always adopt, I will never buy again.

  2. Shut down these dumps!!!! Millions of dogs get KILLED in shelters every year, but breeders still reproduce for profit! Puppy mills, pet stores, and breeders need to be ILLEGAL NOW!!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!

  3. The only reason these people are getting replacement pups or refunds is due to the bad press!! Thousands of puppies die every month from puppy mills! Don’t be part of the problem, there are lots of lovely pets at your local rescue and humane society:-)

  4. Right. Because this could never happen to a dog that was ‘adopted’ (which is still shopping, btw. ). Love the bias here. You could also explain that an option is to buy from a responsible breeder. Then this wouldn’t happen.

  5. Good breeders breed for a purpose, and definitely don’t make much money at it! Rhet would be better off going to work at Wal Mart for the return on hours. Rescues are great, but many are front for puppy mills. If the rescue has too many puppies- watch out- its a red flag.
    Good, ethical breeders, breed for a purpose and and the advantages of a purebred is you know the size and the temperament so can pick one that will be a good fit for your lifestyle and needs.
    All dogs started from one kind and were bred for generations for specific traits. Want a drug dog? Get one from a breed with a great nose. The seeing eye and Helping hands both have their own breeding programs. Meet the parents, check the facilities, talk to the breeder.
    I breed for K9 and personal protection and have never had a puppy returned because of health issues or worms- no excuse for that whether from a pet shop or a shelter, and yes, I have had clients tell me horrendous stories about shelter dogs too. I train all breeds – and that is my main income.puu


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