Woman claims breeder sold her sick puppy

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NOBLE, Okla. - A Noble resident wants to warn others about a puppy problem that could happen to any animal lover; health problems that arise soon after buying a dog from a breeder.

Rachel Taylor always wanted a Yorkshire Terrier of her own because of the companionship they offer.

"This was my dream dog," she said.

She bought one earlier this month for $500 from Puppy Love Farms in Noble.

The contract she signed states it covers life-threatening problems that a vet may find soon after the purchase.

Within eight days of the purchase, Taylor said the puppy had to be euthanized.

She said her veterinarian diagnosed the dog with liver problems.

"Her liver was failing," Taylor said. "She only had a 25 percent chance of living with an I.V. drip."

She called the owner of Puppy Love Farms, Karen Cox, and told her the news.

She said she was disappointed to hear Cox say she would have to have the puppy checked out by her vet in Wewoka, 60 miles away.

"Which is an hour and a half away, which the puppy wouldn't have made it overnight," Taylor said.

Cox had a different story.

"I would pay for the vet inspection," she said. "Then if the dog was truly ill, I would have kept the dog and I would have given her back her money. She refused to do that, so it was out of my hands."

The Puppy Love Farms contract states Cox "reserves the right to have (the) puppy diagnosed by her vet at the owner's expense."

Cox said she offered to drive the puppy to Wewoka herself.

"...and (Taylor) said, 'You will break the dog's neck. You will kill the dog and destroy the evidence,'" Cox said. "So she would not give me the dog to have it looked at."

Puppy Love Farms is licensed by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture.

Cox said her vet gave the puppy a clean bill of health just days before it was sold.

Teena Gunter, General Counsel for the Department of Agriculture, said breeders who knowingly sell sick animals are violating state law.

But she said Cox was within her rights to demand her vet do an inspection.

"The law does require that if you do identify that there's an illness with the puppy, the breeder does have an opportunity to have their own vet check out the animal," Gunter said.

The Agriculture Department can fine a pet breeder up to $10,000 a day for violating the relatively new pet breeder laws.

Anyone can file a complaint with them if they feel a contract was not honored.

Taylor said that's what she plans to do.

Learn more on the statute and rules governing the commercial pet breeders program

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