Action 9

‘It was a mess’: Consumer claims sick puppy wasn’t full breed she paid for

OCOEE, Fla. — A local woman contacted Action 9 claiming she paid thousands of dollars for a sick puppy that isn’t even the full breed she expected.

Getting a new puppy was something Donna Wood saved up for and thought about for more than a year after her furry companion of 11 years passed away.

“So I started searching and we found Chews A Puppy,” Wood said.

The store in Ocoee called her back after finding what she believed was a purebred Yorkshire terrier.

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Wood said it was love at first sight. “I held him for the first time, and I looked at him and I said, ‘Are you my little prince?’ and I got a kiss that was all it took.”

After the initial asking price of $5,200 was negotiated to $3,000, Lil’ Prince had a new home.

She said it wasn’t long before Lil’ Prince’s health became a big problem. The puppy had fleas, tapeworm and even ringworm that had spread to another dog and to her.

“I had it on my chest. I had it on my face. I had it on my arms. It was a mess,” Wood explained.

Chews A Puppy paid for some of the vet bills, but not all.

Wood also paid for a DNA test that found Lil’ Prince is only 75% Yorkie.

Chews A Puppy has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. The BBB has an alert about a pattern of complaints from consumers who were sold sick puppies. The business hasn’t answered the BBB’s request to address the complaints.

“It was horrible.” Two years ago, Melissa Lemasters told us she racked up $2,000 in vet bills only to have her new puppy die three weeks later.

Consistent with Florida pet law, she was reimbursed for the dog, but not the vet bills.

Reporter Jeff Deal went to Chews A Puppy for answers. The manager told him they didn’t want to talk about the complaints.

After Action 9 contacted Chews A Puppy, Wood said the company reached out to her and offered to cover the vet bills for Lil’ Prince and her other dog and give her $500 back of the purchase price, as she’s not returning the dog.

Wood is thankful Lil Prince is part of her family, but she believes Chews A Puppy should refund more than $500 of the $3,000 she paid for him.

“I mean he’s a great little dog, but he’s got Clydesdale feet, Schnauzer face, the only thing that’s Yorkie is the color,” Wood said.

Florida’s pet law offers protection if you can document your puppy was too sick to sell. It gives you the choice of a refund, replacement or payment of your vet bills. If you have disputes, contact Florida’s Division of Consumer Services.

Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.