Within 24hrs Of Adopting Our Bulldog Puppy From A Pet Store We Found Ourselves In The Veterinary Hospital Fighting To Save Her Life.Within 24hrs of adopting our bulldog, Lu Lu, from a Pet Store we found ourselves in the Veterinary Hospital fighting to save her life.
This is her story and we have also created a Facebook Page to help bring awareness and not be blinded as we were. Please read her story which is also on the discussion page on Lu Lu's Story Facebook page. We later find out there are more victims of this petstore and are attempting to also reach them. We are looking for support and suggestions. Search Lu Lu's Story or Lu Lu in the Facebook Search Tab. Once on her page please pass her page along to all your friends and hit the "like" button to add your support. We need your support to help show everyone who views her page how important awareness is on pet stores and puppy mills.
On 12-18-10 at approximately 3:30pm my husband, Walter T. Jr. “Tommy”, and I, Amanda Myrtle, stopped by the Puppy Cottage to look at the puppies for sale. The Puppy Cottage is located in Winchester Virginia and is a pet store that sells puppies and supplies. The establishment appeared clean and staff was friendly and seems to love the dogs. The dogs are in the middle of the store up on a platform at eye level in a crib like design with a see through material. Inside there was shredded paper and we saw one to three puppies inside each section. To the right side of the store there are a few “play” sections that you can take the dog in and sit, play and get to know him/her. Puppy Cottage claims the following, which is also listed on their website.
“All of our puppies are veterinarian approved and recommended. Bred by professional licensed breeders who take pride in providing the best possible care for their puppies. A lot of work and care goes into raising our puppies, and it shows. “
“Puppy Cottage continues the high level of care the puppies are used to, by giving them vet examinations twice a weekly. Puppies are played with and socialized so often that many are “pooped” by the end of the day. The puppies are fed a premium high quality natural food and vitamins. Most importantly, each one of our puppies are individually loved.”
We then saw a white English bulldog and asked to see her. After just spending a few minutes with her in the “play area”, we had fallen in love with her and would later name her Lu Lu. One of the employees starting telling us that she came from 69 blood lines and how important the blood line was. She stated that the more bloodlines in a bulldog the healthier they are. She also said that Lu Lu was examined by a local vet. The employee went on to say that the vet said she would not need any work done to her eye or have any trachea issues which can be found in Bulldogs. The Employee continued say that this was because Lu Lu came from such a good bloodline. We were then shown Certificate of Pedigree papers on Lu Lu’s father and mother side along with American Kennel Club registration certificate for both Lu Lu’s mother and father. So everything appeared to be on the up and up.
I then asked the same employee (can’t name her due to investigation) why she felt a “weezing” coming from Lu Lu. The employee stated that a local vet (can’t be named) examined her and said that she had a “cold”. The employee stated that she would send us home with the medication and she should be fine within a few days. The employee advised me to go into the bathroom and turn on a hot shower and let her sit in a steaming bathroom. She also informed us to give her honey to help with her coughing. We were given 10 pills thrown loosely in a white letter envelope. On the envelope was hand written “Clavaninox Tablet give 1 tablet 2x dai morning & evening”. There was no Veterinarian’s information on the envelope. We thought this was odd but I think we were just too excited about our new little puppy that we just don’t stop and think. The employee told us that she had spoken to the owner, Patrick Levy, and he would take off an additional 10% if we would buy her now but that if we came back later to buy her that he could not offer that discount.
When we arrived home with Lu Lu that evening (12/18/10) she was somewhat playful but was coughing. Lu Lu was able to eat that evening and was given her medication as instructed. By 11pm Lu Lu’s coughing started to increase and the honey did not seem to help. As Lu Lu lay in bed with us we watched her closely as she started not to be able to sleep due to the coughing. At 2am I took Lu Lu into a steamy bathroom as directed and sat with her as she started to cough “plym” up. Lu Lu was able to still drink and use the bathroom but was struggling with coughing.
That morning, Sunday the 19th, I called the Puppy Cottage at approx. 1:00pm and spoke with the same employee who had assisted us the day before when we purchased Lu Lu. I asked for additional information on Lu Lu’s condition and informed her that she was getting worse. When I asked how long she had been on the medication the employee stated that it was either Thursday (12/16/10) or Friday (12/17/10) but she threw the paper away so she could not say for sure. I did not say anything to her but this same employee had stated on Saturday that the vet had looked at her on Friday and prescribed the medication. This employee told me to keep doing what I was doing and keep them posted.
By Sunday (12/19/10) afternoon we had put a call into our Veterinarian who suggested us to take Lu Lu to be examined at the Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center located in Winchester. Within 24 hours of us adopting Lu Lu we found ourselves in a Veterinary Emergency Hospital and would soon find out that we would be fighting for her life.
As Tommy and I were heading out to go to the Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center in Winchester Virginia, I placed a call to Puppy Cottage and informed that same employee that our personal Veterinarian had advised us to take Lu Lu to the Veterinary Emergency Center in Winchester. That employee told me to keep them informed. Within a few minutes I received a call from this employee. She stated that she had spoken to the owner, Patrick Levy, and he said that we could bring her back to them and get our money back or they would treat her. I was so surprised of what I had just heard and could not believe that they would say they would give me my money back in exchange for her. Lu Lu was not a piece of furniture! This was a life that was very sick and needed treatment. I asked who would be treating her and she stated a vet. So then I asked who it was and if they were going to examine Lu Lu while we were there with her. The employee stated that Levy is a Vet Tech and has years of experience and he would treat her. I informed this employee that our personal Veterinarian informed us that her office would send Lu Lu to the Veterinary Emergency Center due to the fact that she would most likely need 24/7 care and be possibly placed on oxygen. The Puppy Cottage could not provide her with the care needed.
On the way to Winchester, Tommy received a call from this same employee. She informed Tommy that Levy said that they would keep Lu Lu for 7 to 10 days and treat her so we did not have a medical bill. Tommy also informed her that they did not have the equipment needed to treat her. If our own vet referred us to Winchester then way did they think they could treat her? They are just a Pet Store! At this point Tommy and I were alarmed at the suggestions made by Puppy Cottage and questioned their motives. Did they care that she got the best treatment or were they hiding something? Was Lu Lu sicker than they had informed us and was it more than a “cold”?
Tommy and I had informed the attending physician at Valley Veterinary Emergency and Referral Center of the last 24hours. The physician informed us that the medication given by the Puppy Cottage was illegal. The Puppy Cottage can’t send home medication. The medication “Clavamax” was also NOT to be exposed to air but instead each pill is in an individual wrapper. We were shown how a Clavamax pill is sealed in a foil like pouch. The Clavamax that we were given by the Puppy Cottage was loose pill thrown in a white letter envelop. The physician informed them that when Clavamax is exposed to air it will start to deteriorate and will not long be good.
The Physician informed Tommy and I that they needed to keep Lu Lu and run some test to determine her condition and treatment. At that time she was not oxygen depended but they wanted to give her a little oxygen to help her relax. Lu Lu was showing signs of Kennel Cough which is dangerous in puppies and can be in adult dogs. Kennel Cough is very contagious to other dogs. Now we were also concerned with our other dogs since they had just been exposed to her.
Monday at 1:30am I called for an update on Lu Lu and was informed that Lu Lu was now oxygen dependent and was placed in an oxygen tank and was being treated with antibiotics. I was told that Lu Lu now had pneumonia that was most likely caused by kennel cough. The physician informed me that the next few hours would be touch and go.
Monday morning at approx. 7:45am, I received another update on Lu Lu. She had a rough night and was still oxygen dependent. I was also told that due to her oxygen levels dropping in the middle of the night that Lu Lu would have most likely passed away if she was not able to be put right on to oxygen and been treated by attending physician. I arrived that morning at the Emergency Center to see Lu Lu and check on her condition. There were no changes, she was still receiving antibiotics and still in the oxygen tank. Lu Lu would stay that way throughout the day as I would stop in and see her.
That same day I proceeded to look into what had happen to Lu Lu. I had gotten a copy of Lu Lu’s current medical treatment along with a letter from the physician stating her current condition and that if she had not be able to be placed on oxygen and received 24/7 care she would have passed away.
Tommy and I then went to the Puppy Cottage to speak to them about Lu Lu. As soon as we walked in an employee handed us the phone and informed us it was Levy. I then answered the phone and Levy asked me “just what is going on”. I stated that I knew he was aware of Lu Lu’s condition since his employee was communicating with him and relaying information but would inform him again. But I still went on to inform him from the beginning when we were told about her being examined by a vet and how she had a “cold”. I also informed him on how the medication was dispensed and that it was illegal for them to do that. Levy claimed that he had done nothing wrong and that Lu Lu was not only examined by a vet but that the vet had informed them to dispense the medication.
Levy then asked me why I did not bring Lu Lu to them. I told him of Lu Lu’s condition and stated that he did not have the means to give her the proper treatment and care. Levy stated that he has years of experience and for me not to question his ability. I asked if he had oxygen treatments, Levy would not answer the question but would say don’t question my ability. Levy then hung up on me.
We then left the Puppy Cottage and I headed over to the Veterinary’s office that Levy had claimed had treated her. I was informed by that Veterinary’s office that they would examine the new puppies as they came in and would treat any puppy that needed treatment. I then gave them Lu Lu’s code number that was used to identify her at the Puppy Cottage. Lu Lu’s file was pulled and Lu Lu was NEVER examined on 12/17/10 and was NEVER prescribed any medication including Clavamax. The only examination that had ever been done on Lu Lu was on 11/26/10. This examination was because she had just arrived to the Puppy Cottage. Her exam was normal and good. There were no signs of respiratory condition. I proceeded to show them the medication and how it was dispensed to us. The Veterinary’s office was shocked and stated that Levy could not dispense that medication and that it was not properly wrapped. So after speaking to them Tommy and I were even more concerned on the care that had been given to Lu Lu by the Puppy Cottage. We feel that the Veterinary’s Office is on the up and up and there are no concerns that they have done anything wrong. Additional information has been gathered on this matter but due to an open investigation by officials additional information on this can’t be given.
Now with the help of our family we are looking into other claims of sick puppy’s being sold and misleading information on other puppies sold from the Puppy Cottage. We are also looking into the breeders that Puppy Cottage claims to get their puppies from.
On Tuesday, 12/21/10, Lu Lu was taken out of the oxygen tank and instead received an oxygen line going into her nose. It seemed that Lu Lu had made some improvement but later that evening she started to go backwards in her recovery.
At approx. 7:30pm I spoke with the physician who informed me that Lu Lu had another x-ray and that her pneumonia had NOT gotten better but instead had intensified. They have also not been able to taper Lu Lu’s oxygen level back. She also stated that Lu Lu has a small trachea which is not helping the healing process.
Please read the remaining of her story on her facebook page under the discussion page and see how we are saving her life and seeking justices for her and the other puppies. Search Lu Lu's Story or Lu Lu in the search tab. Once on her page please pass on and click the like button. We would love comments and suggestions. Thank you for your support, Lu Lu and her family