Collier County family upset after buying a sick puppy

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:

A family is hit with vet bill after vet bill after buying a dog from a large pet store chain. The family bought the dog from Petland in Naples last month.

Just one day after bringing their four-legged friend home, they were at the vet, but the dog’s health issues didn’t stop there.

The family is devastated. They brought home a new member of the family, a little friend for 9-year-old Emma, only to find out that the puppy may not survive.

While medical bills stack up, they said it’s not about the money; it’s about making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.

“He’s not like other dogs,” said Emma.

When Justin Roberts and his daughter Emma saw a picture of little Azul with his fluffy brown fur and his bright blue eyes, it was hard to resist snatching him up.

Petland puppy Azul. (Credit: Petland Facebook)

“I just couldn’t stop thinking about him,” said Roberts. “I kept thinking about him.”

On Feb. 26, the daddy-daughter duo drove to Petland on Immokalee road in Naples but quickly noticed something was off.

“He had like a cough, we kind of noticed it, and we said something to the staff there, and they said, ‘oh, he just has, you know, a puppy cold,'” said Roberts.

Still, they went ahead and bought him. The next day, “Choking, coughing. Every day, he would wake up just coughing, being exasperated, exasperated. So we decided to take him to the veterinarian, like two days later, and they said he or puppy kennel cough. And basically, I put them on antibiotics for 10 days.”

The problem has only got worse. “Took X-rays, they discovered an issue, and he had pneumonia in his left lung,” Roberts said.

Roberts said It’s been painful for his whole family. “I got really upset… They told me he may not live very long… I rushed to Petland all they said was we’ll write your name down. They’ve gotta stop doing this to people. I’ve got a 9-year-old daughter who loves this little guy. I’ve never gotten this emotional over a pet before.”

“When I found out that he said he might die when he gets older that that just didn’t feel right,” said Emma.

A Petland Naples spokesman sent WINK News a statement promising to pay Roberts’ vet bills. It also said the company is a small business whose animals are examined by certified vets a minimum of three times before they are sold and that an accusation that the dog had a damaged trachea was not supported by the records they were provided.

Petland invited WINK News into the store next week when the owners are back in town.

Copyright ©2024 Fort Myers Broadcasting. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without prior written consent.