Woman warns of kennel cough dangers after new puppy nearly dies

Published: May. 25, 2017 at 10:34 PM CDT
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A Marion woman wants answers after she discovered the dog she just bought had kennel cough.

The respiratory disease is highly contagious and can be fatal in puppies. Dogs commonly contract it from places where there are a lot of dogs like kennels or dog parks.

Holly Williams recently purchased a dog from Petland in Iowa City. She says she started noticing signs of the disease after just a few days at home.

"It had gotten really bad to where we are really worried and one night he wasn't eating, wasn't drinking, was just really lethargic," Williams said.

She said she had just spent a couple thousand on the dog, and she didn't have much room left to pay for medical bills.

"They had said they thought it was kennel cough and pneumonia need have to do x-rays and brought out the sheet and said it was going to be $2100 to get him on the mend," Williams said.

The dog came from a pet store in Iowa City called Petland. There, dozens of animals are on display ready to be taken home. The owner of Petland says they follow strict procedures to prevent health issues.

"I'm looking for breeders are for one high-quality have really nice things all around on the veterinarian side they have to have a veterinarian," owner Ron Solsrud said, "That puppy has to be fully vaccinated according to its age, and then before it even leaves it has to be looked at by a veterinarian and that's just protocol just to make sure everything is healthy and that kind of a thing."

He says all of the dogs are checked out before they leave to make sure they aren't sick, and if they do get sick, the store offers warranties and refers people to pet insurance companies.

Williams says she tried to use one of the insurance companies called Trupanion, but was told they ended their partnership with Petland a year ago.

Trupanion told TV9: "We ended our partnership with Petland more than a year ago – November 2015. We constantly evaluate all of our marketing relationships and felt our relationship with Petland wasn’t beneficial from a business standpoint and had lost its effectiveness."

"If that's the case we have warranties that cover that. So they would then notify our warranty department, 'Hey we've got this issue.' They've got documentation and all that, and we would actually reimburse them money to pay them back for that situation," Solsrud said.

Petland says it takes every complaint seriously and works to ensure that it is selling healthy puppies.

Williams just wants people to be careful when buying pets and to take new pets to a vet right away to get them checked out.

Petland currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and offers a free vet visit with every pet it sells.