Woman says Manchester pet store sold her a sick puppy - WFSB 3 Connecticut

I-Team Investigation

Woman says Manchester pet store sold her a sick puppy

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A Manchester woman said a local pet shop known as The Dog House sold her a sick puppy, and won’t pay her back for the veterinarian bills. (WFSB) A Manchester woman said a local pet shop known as The Dog House sold her a sick puppy, and won’t pay her back for the veterinarian bills. (WFSB)
Marley the dog (WFSB) Marley the dog (WFSB)
MANCHESTER, CT (WFSB) -

A Manchester woman said a local pet shop known as The Dog House sold her a sick puppy, and won’t pay her back for the veterinarian bills.

The business says the accusation is bogus, but this isn’t The Dog House’s first issue with customers.

Over the years, Channel 3 has received dozens of complaints about The Dog House, and has aired several investigations about the shop.

Now, Stephanie Kelley said she is the latest victim of the businesses old tricks.

Her puppy Marley is more than just a pet.

"She's like my baby...she definitely is,” Kelley said.

But right after she bought her chocolate lab in February from The Dog House in Manchester, a veterinarian told her Marley had a parasite issue called Giardia.

She said she called the pet store and an employee told her not to worry. She said the business told her they would pay her back any money needed to pay for Marley’s Giardia treatment.

"I’m like ok...they're going to reimburse me so it's not like I’m really going to incur the cost anyway. So they're going to take care of it. I’ll be all set,” Kelley said.

But she said that’s not what happened.

A Dog House employee told her to mail the receipts to a PO Box and the company would process the payments. Kelley said she sent three bills, totaling nearly $400, back in March but she hasn’t received a dime.

"I'm upset. I'm definitely upset because it's not like I had the money to throw away,” Kelley said.

The Dog House claims Kelley is barking up the wrong tree.

In a written statement The Dog House owners claim they never received Kelley’s receipt. Dick and Chris Carty said "We can’t fix a problem if we aren't aware of it….In this particular case we never received any vet bills. All the customer has to do is contact us and she will be reimbursed for any additional care that her pet needed.”

This is not the first time The Dog House has been accused of this kind of thing.

Channel 3 began investigating the business in 2005, after receiving dozens of complaints about the business.

Back then, the I-Team found that the state had received seven complaints that The Dog House sold dogs that were sick or became sick soon after being purchased.

Three of those dogs didn’t survive, and in 2008 Bob and Joanna Wheeler claimed the pet shop didn’t refund them for $4,000 worth of vet bills after their dog Sasha developed neurological issues weeks after they purchased her.

“Her head is too small for her body and her tongue hangs out to the side of her mouth. She can't keep it in her mouth because it’s too big--afraid she'll choke on it,” Joanna Wheeler told Eyewitness News.

Despite The Dog House’s promises, Kelley said she is skeptical she’ll ever get her money back.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts also once suspended the license of a Carty-owned pet store in West Springfield for multiple reasons, including disease control issues.

The Dog House owners declined to comment on camera but said they have a 95 percent customer satisfaction rating.

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