HOT SPRINGS, AR - A new puppy owner in Hot Springs wants answers after she says she was sold a sick dog from the animal shelter.
Only two days after she got the animal home, she discovered the dog had parvo, a highly contagious virus.
She says the dog was held in a kennel with other animals, and worries another new dog owner is taking on the costs of caring for a sick dog.
She was offered a refund, but knowing her new puppy would likely just get put down, she refused.
Pictures of Laura Friend's puppy, named "Lucky," don't quite show a dog excited to have a home.
Last weekend, Friend was looking to make an addition to her family.
"I have a 5-year-old son, so it was going to be his puppy," she says.
When she saw him in a booth at the Hot Springs Home Show, she knew.
"Somebody else was actually carrying him around, and I saw him and I really really liked that dog," Friend says. "I asked them if he had any problems, if he was sick, and they said, 'No, he's just a healthy puppy.'"
But when they got him home, he started vomiting and had diarrhea, so she called her vet, who later confirmed that he had parvo.
Friend worries the highly contagious virus has gone home with someone else and they may not know.
"The risk that people have from taking those possibly contaminated dogs home to their other animals is a high risk," she says.
But according to Dan Bugg at the Hot Springs Animal Shelter, that's a risk you have to take.
A sign on the front desk says the same.
"It's frustrating to me and I feel bad, and we wanted to take the dog back and refund her money," Bugg says.
While the shelter is not required to provide shots or even test for the virus, Bugg says they would never knowingly sell a dog like Lucky.
But now, with a disease that has a 91 percent mortality rate, Lucky will have to stay true to his name.
Lucky's veterinarian says the dog is doing well, but it's still too early to tell if he'll survive.
Signs of parvo can include severe vomiting, diarrhea and dark blood in the urine.
The cost to care for a dog diagnosed with parvo could run you anywhere from $300-400.
The Hot Springs Animal Shelter says if they tested or vaccinated for parvo on every dog, that would raise adoption prices about 15 bucks.