COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX) - A local couple is heartbroken and outraged after having to put down a dog they only owned for six weeks. They claim they were sold a sick dog.
"It was a really hard decision because we only had her for a month and a half,” said Riley Peterson of College Station.
Riley Peterson and her boyfriend Wesley are trying to make sense of losing the newest member of their family.
In April, the College Station couple purchased 10 week old Kona, a Lab St. Bernard mix, from the Puppy Station inside Post Oak Mall. They said shortly after taking her home they noticed she was having problems.
"She was throwing up and there was some fecal matter that wasn't the healthiest," said Peterson.
Within a month, Peterson says Kona was having tremors on her back legs for hours at a time.
"She was crying uncontrollably for hours and hours and would not stop,” she said.
A vet diagnosed Kona with distemper, a virus that's spread through the air and bodily fluids. It's often deadly for young pups.
The couple later learned their puppy wasn't the only one.
The store's owner, Thomas Lindsey, says some dogs they received from a new breeder were sick and infected others.
"After we found out, we heavily cleaned the store down, bleached everything down and cleaned all of the cages,” said Lindsey. “But the thing is, the damage is already dealt because the puppies that left a month before are infected."
Lindsey says this is the first time since they opened in 2013 there's been an outbreak like this. He says he only wishes he was notified by the new owners sooner.
"When this distemper outbreak happened it was just devastating for us,” said Lindsey. “The thing is, all the dogs are vaccinated. Some of the dogs who suffer from distemper already had three vaccines for distemper."
Customers at the store sign contracts that allow them to return the dog within a certain amount of time if there are any health complications.
Lindsey claims most of the customers, in this case, went to their vets first. He's offering a full refund to any of the customers affected by this.