Newly Adopted Dogs Die of Parvo

By: Stephen McLamb
By: Stephen McLamb

Loudon, Loudon County (WVLT) - A Loudon County man is upset tonight after two puppies he purchased for his children at the local animal shelter died less than a week later from Parvo.

Dwayne Trent says he wanted to do the right thing and give an unwanted pet a home and his kids some happiness. But instead, Trent says all his family got was heartbreak and a loss of $160 to the shelter.

For Nicholas and Brandon Trent, getting two dogs from the Loudon animal shelter was a happy day to have a pet and give them a name.

"We would lay on the ground and then the pups would come and lick us and chew on our hair and stuff," says Nicholas.

"It had three names, Cutie Pie Trent," Brandon says.

But not a week passed before Cutie Pie and Tippy were found to be infected with Parvo, a highly contagious disease among young dogs.

"Did confirm they were sick and they had to be euthanized," says Interim Shelter Director Gordon Harless.

"Watched them take it into the room," says Nicholas.

"And how did you feel?" Stephen McLamb asks.

"Awful," he replies.

Their veterinarian, Dr. Heather O'Brien, says the virus usually takes up to two weeks to show itself.

Dwayne Trent says he went to get his $160 back from the shelter but was told no.

"As it states on our adoption contract, there is no guarantee to their health," Harless says.

So were the remaining population of dogs checked for the virus at the shelter? Harless says no. "We don't have a veterinarian on staff nor could we afford to parvo test every single animal that entered the facility."

That has Trent concerned. "It's not responsible or even ethical."

Harless said he offered the Trent's two other dogs from the shelter but was told no.

"Don't want two more dogs that more than probably have that virus and bring them home and break the kids hearts again," Trent says.

Harless says he is making a request to the county commission workshop meeting for them to consider giving Trent his money back.

Trent says he hopes the shelter will take on new policies to insure healthy dogs are sold so other children's hearts won't be broken like his children's were.


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  • by Stephanie Location: Corryton on May 3, 2007 at 01:34 PM
    Parvo is a bad thing yes but if you warn people that it is going through the shelter and its possible the puppy they are adopting will have it then that makes it right. Not telling people and saying "Oh Well" when they come and say my puppy has Parvo is not the right thing to do. Granted shelters have limited resources but they still have a responsiblity to the public to be ethical.
  • by Dustin Location: Knoxville on May 2, 2007 at 07:34 PM
    I got to puppies from that shelter and one of them came down with Parvo are vet bill is now nearing 700 buck on top of the 150 when I called to tell them that the dog was infected with Parvo and that they needed to check the other dogs that acted like they didn't even care.
  • by RH Location: TN on May 2, 2007 at 06:55 AM
    I feel for the man and his children but Parvo is a bad thing and it does happen in most shelters. The test is expencive and as stated is not detectable alot of times until that first puppy shot is given. They did offer to replace the pups but were turned down. I do understand the fathers caution. Please dont blame the shelter they are doing the best they can with what they have.

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