Dog sale controversy leaves family riddled with vet bills

Reporter: Morgan Rynor
Puppy purchased from Craigslist by the Lehigh Acres family. (Credit: WINK News)
Puppy purchased from Craigslist by the Lehigh Acres family. (Credit: WINK News)

A family’s warning tonight – watch who you buy your dogs from. They bought this husky puppy from a Lehigh Acres breeder – and say it was extremely sick. Even after several vet visits the dog didn’t make it. Now, they want the breeder to pay up.

A family riddled with vet bills.

“I mean, the lady shouldn’t have even sold that pup,” Mike Bellottie said.

After Mike and Francis Bellottie purchased a puppy from a Lehigh family on Craigslist.

“This pup was going to be here not only for emotional pup,” Mike said, “but to help me get out there and to walk.”

But right when they brought the puppy home, they say their neighbors noticed she was sick.

“I mean you didn’t have to be a brain surgeon to know that this poor animal was dying,” a neighbor said.

So they brought the puppy to the vet.

“Can’t support it’s own weight,” “sold at 4 weeks old,” vet notes state.

And infested with hookworm. A photo shows you just one speck of the puppies blood.

“So then, I called the breeder lady and told her what was going on,” took the pup back to her Thursday evening, Mike said.

We went to the breeders house to ask them what happened.

“They brought it back,” Raymond Claiborne said. “I said well I can take it to my vet and have it evaluated. And if you want me to I’ll keep it for seven days. If it dies within that seven days we’ll refund you the money.”

But Bellottie says he picked the dog back up to make sure the dog was taken care of.

“They said you know, you got a slim chance that this pup will make it through the weekend
even after a blood transfusion,” Mike said.

“The pup died,” Mike said.

Lee County Animal Services went to check out the house. But the report says there were no puppies in the house. Only the older dogs.

“Animal control came out and found nothing wrong with any of our dogs,” Raymond said. “Apparently, the dog got sick at their house.”

When animal services asked the breeders for the vaccination proof and paper work they did not know “where the paperwork is.”

When we asked them ourselves.

“If you say you have proof,” said Morgan Rynor, WINK News reporter.

“I don’t want anything, me or my house on camera, how about that,” Raymond said. “Ya’ll put it on camera. I’m gonna call Morgan and Morgan and sue your ass.”

Animal services issued the breeders a warning.

If the Bellotties file a sworn statement saying they purchased the puppy without a health certificate, the breeders can be issued a citation. But the Bellotties say that is not enough, and the family says they plan to sue.

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