MESA, AZ — Waiting months with no answers, no puppy, and still no refund. In the last few weeks, the Let Joe Know team has told you about Cox Family Doodles in Mesa.
More than two dozen people have contacted the team saying they didn't get their dogs and are still trying to get back deposits averaging $500.
So, what protections are in place when you deal with any dog breeder?
How do you know what you're really getting? In most cases it seems, you're on your own.
"There are not specific regulations that target breeders," said Ruthie Jesus, an animal cruelty investigator and field operations supervisor with the Arizona Humane Society. "One of the biggest problems that we see really commonly are puppies or even adult dogs that are being bought and sold on Craigslist."
Like what happened to Nancy. She says she found a husky puppy on Craigslist, paid $380, and then another $4,000 in vet bills when she found out the pup had parvo.
The seller disappeared.
Priscilla spent $1,000 buying a Maltese puppy from a different online seller. She says the puppy got really sick the first day she had it and eventually had to be put to sleep because it had parvo and was so malnourished.
Both buyers had very little information about the seller.
"They have, you know, maybe an email address, maybe a phone number, but there's no address for us to be able to check on the residents and perform a welfare check," said Ruthie.
She says anyone owning an animal in Arizona is subject to Arizona Revised Statue 13-2910, which focuses on animal cruelty and neglect.
"That requires things like animals must be provided adequate access to medical treatment, they have to be provided water and food and shelter and you know, you can't abuse them or leave them in a hot car or fight them things like that," said Ruthie.
She adds that there are no regulations for the number of dogs a person owns, how they are bred, or even how they are sold.
She says if you are buying from a breeder or online, insist on seeing where the animal came from so you can report it if the animals aren't being treated properly.
Meanwhile, other states have enacted stricter laws. Like Ohio, where they have limited the number of times a female dog can be bred.
Also, instead of buying, consider a shelter or rescue where you can see the animal and its medical history.