Man threatens to sue Dyersburg pet store over dog with distemper - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Man threatens to sue Dyersburg pet store over dog with distemper

By Justin Hanson - bio | email

DYERSBURG, TN (WMC-TV) - A customer is threatening to sue a local pet store after claiming the dog he adopted had a deadly disease. 

Former Dyersburg resident Cris Hayes wishes he could turn back time, and wants his veterinary bills paid and his money back.

Hayes bought a dog, Lilly, from the Pet Stop in Dyserburg on February 5.

Hayes claims Lilly was infected with distemper.

"The pet store told me they'd quarantine the dogs for a week to ensure health, even though they're adoptable during that time," Hayes said.

Lilly's health deteriorated when Hayes got back to his home near Atlanta.  He took her to a vet, where she was diagnosed with distemper.

Hayes finally had to put Lilly to sleep last Friday.

"I'm trying to get their attention by getting them to quarantine, and if that means sending the total of my vet bills, that's what I'll do," Hayes said.

Laura Hart, who owns Pet Stop, claims a vet examined Lilly after she was adopted.  Distemper did not show up in the exam.

"We're talking about a five to six week period from when the dog left until she was diagnosed with distemper," Hart said.

The disease has an incubation period of three to 20 days.

"We have not changed our policies," Hart said. "We have not had another dog become sick since he's adopted one."

But Hayes is determined to make sure something like this doesn't happen again.

"It perplexes me as to why they won't voluntarily quarantine the animals to ensure health," he said.

For her part, Hart said she just wants the best for her animals.

"A quarantine would be done if somebody came in and found there to be multiple sick animals, but that was not the case," she said.

Since Lilly was purchased, Hart said, Pet Stop received a clean inspection score by the Department of Agriculture.

Dyersburg's mayor, John Holden, had no comment on the matter.  Instead, he is waiting on advice from the city and district attorney.

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