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Kokomo man defends pet store against allegations of sick puppies

Posted at 12:34 AM, May 04, 2019

KOKOMO — A man is defending his pet store after viewers reached out to RTV6 saying they were sold sick puppies.

The store, Pet's Choice, has been on the Kokomo Humane Society's radar after numerous complaints about unhealthy conditions.

Linda Brenner and her daughter, Tiffany, went to Pet's Choice in December 2017. They bought a puppy for $800 and took him to a vet where they got bad news.

"She spotted this cute, little boxer puppy," Linda Brenner said. "She said, 'I think he's sick.' She could tell something was wrong with him. The vet hold them he had so many things wrong with him, the only thing they could do was put him down."

They were told the puppy had genetic deformities.

"They had to euthenize him," Brenner said. "Of course, that ruined Christmas for everybody."

We stopped by Pet's Choice Friday. The door was locked and customers were being turned away, until Miles Handy, who said his wife owns the store, eventually came out.

He said he does not know of the store selling dogs that have genetic deficiencies and could not tell if the Brenners' puppy looked all right when we tried to show him a video.

Handy said he refunded the Brenners' money and paid their vet bill.

"Well, if I felt there was something wrong with the dog and it ended up getting sick and I made good on $800, sure," Handy said.

We talked to a former employee who asked to not be identified who said she once went to buy dogs on Handy's direction.

"I went into a barn and the puppies were in there," the former employee said. "They were all covered in poop and dirt and mud and just filthy."

She handed over about $500 for the dogs. She said the store sold the female yellow labs for about $1,500 each.

Hardy insisted the dogs he sells are healthy and receive vaccines for parvo.

"Some of them have one, some of them have two, some have three," he said.

We talked to a veterinarian this week who dogs younger than four months old must have four shots to have full immunity. Handy leaves it up to his customers to make sure that's done.

"The pups that leave here usually have two after eight weeks," he said. "That's why it's very important to have the aftercare."

The Kokomo Humane Society said Pet's Choice is not breaking any Indiana laws, despite the unhealthy conditions that have been observed. A local vet clinic said they've treated many puppies bought at the store for parvo.