Dog owners complain after puppies from same Okotoks-area broker arrive with health problems
CALGARY -- A Langdon family bought a French bulldog puppy from a seller on Kijiji for $2,000 but, almost immediately after bringing Jersey home, it was clear the puppy wasn’t well.
"I noticed right away she had a large amount of blood in her stool," said Danica Howe, who brought Jersey home Nov. 23. "Every, probably, half an hour after that, the blood increased, increased and it was a lot of blood coming out of her back end."
After an initial visit to the veterinarian, Jersey began to have trouble breathing. The family brought her to Fish Creek Veterinary Hospital where she was held until Dec. 4 and treated for giardia, bordetella, mycoplasma, pneumovirus and pneumonia.
The vet bills totaled roughly $2,900. The seller, Tanya Arkell, refunded the $2,000 purchase price this week.
Howe is one of five people reached by CTV News who reported similar ailments in their French bulldog puppies purchased from the same Okotoks-based seller. The earliest case dates back to June 2018. The combined veterinary bills total approximately $17,000.
Another woman who bought her puppy in June of this year said there were live worms visible in her dog’s bloody diarrhea.
"I said 'Oh my god, she’s eaten a piece of spaghetti' the first time I saw one," said Janelle Vachon. "And then I realized it was moving."
There were other irregularities. Vachon’s veterinarian said her dog Tennessee was about three months older than the puppy’s documentation said, and severely underweight. The microchip implanted in the dog did not match the number in the booklet.
Of the people CTV spoke with, one had no documents of any kind and all had foreign microchips – four appeared to be Ukrainian and another from the United States. Two microchips matched the documents.
"I have no idea where our Jersey is actually from,” said Howe. "I have no idea if she’s actually had any vet checks or any vaccinations for that matter because all the paperwork we have is for a different dog."
The broker, Tanya Arkell, says the discrepancies are the result of a broken chip reader. She says the dogs are checked by her vet and that she changed suppliers in March over concern for the animals she was getting. She insists the dogs are well cared for.
CTV also spoke by phone with two people who say they have bought healthy dogs from Arkell.
"If something does happen to a dog that I’m aware of, I take care of it before they go home to their new home," said Arkell. "I’m not going to intentionally sell someone a dog that’s not well."
Arkell says she’s learning more about the symptoms of some infections and she plans to have more tests done on every dog that passes through her care.
With the exception of Jersey who is still recovering, all of the dogs belonging to the owners CTV spoke with are now healthy.