NS woman says against buying pets online after puppy dies from parvovirus

NS woman says against buying pets online after puppy dies from parvovirus

Mother of eight, Liz Burton, and her family were ecstatic to add a new furry addition to their family.

Burton said she saw an ad posted on Kijiji selling golden retriever puppies and shortly after, she was on her way to Aylesford, NS, to purchase a puppy.

She alleges that she purchased the dog from Trudy Steiner, who had told her the “puppies had just got into a whole bunch of cat food, so they may have upset tummies.”

“When we got home, the puppy was relatively normal but he slept a lot than I thought but I just questions transition and stuff like that. And because of what we were told,” Burton said.

She said her puppy, Tucker, was vomiting and had diarrhea on the way home. Over the next four days, the dog’s condition did not improve and was taken to a veterinary clinic to be assessed.

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Burton said she ended up having to put Tucker down because the dog had parvovirus.

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Parvovirus is a highly-contagious disease that commonly causes severe gastrointestinal illnesses in puppies.

According to Nova Scotia SPCA’s chief provincial inspector, Jo-Anne Landsburg, parvovirus vaccinations tend to be “very helpful in preventing the disease.”

However, Burton claims she was not issued a certificate of health that would have proved her animal was healthy upon purchase. It is illegal in the province of Nova Scotia to not receive a certificate of health.

Burton filed a complaint to the Nova Scotia SPCA, which launched an investigation in May.

This week, the SPCA announced that Gertruda (Trudy) Steiner had been charged under the animal protection act with selling dogs without a certificate of health and providing false or misleading information.

The SPCA searched a residence in Aylesford and seized three dogs: two puppies and a pregnant female.

Burton said she hopes she can help spread awareness by telling her story.

She said Steiner reimbursed her the $1,500 she paid for the dog.

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Steiner is scheduled to appear in Kentville Provincial Court on July 9.

Another person charged by SPCA

Steiner is the second person charged this month for selling animals without a valid health certificate laid by the SPCA.

Lisa Benoit of Halifax was charged after the SPCA evaluated the importation of dogs from Texas allegedly without medical inspections or certificates.

Benoit is scheduled to appear in court on July 22.

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According to a GoFundMe page set up by Benoit to help with her legal costs, she has been volunteering with Furever Homes Dog Rescue of SETX (Southeast Texas) since September 2020.

“I have built a team of volunteers in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and NFLD who help with the paperwork and adoption process. We facilitate adoptions of dogs in the Texas rescue. This is a not for profit rescue — meaning we do not make money. We operate in the red constantly.” she says on her GoFundMe page.

The SPCA is encouraging potential buyers to do their due diligence before purchasing an animal.

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“The SPCA does support the safe transport of animals. We realize there are many families out there that are looking for dogs or cats but the issue is, once they arrive here in Nova Scotia, they have to be seen by a veterinarian here and they will get a certificate of health and the families will know what they are receiving.” says Landsburg

Since 2014, it is illegal to sell a cat or dog in Nova Scotia without a certificate of health from a veterinarian.

Benoit insists on her GoFundMe page the animals are adopted and vet checked in Texas before arriving in Canada.

“We follow all CBSA and CIFA rules as they apply to unaccompanied pets entering Canada.”

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