AUBURN, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A Kennebunk family who bought a puppy online from Steven and Leala Evans of Auburn last week tells NEWS CENTER their dog died Thursday.
Dixie, who was diagnosed with Parvovirus, was just nine months old.
Fifteen dogs are under quarantine after police searched a home Monday that was operating as an illegal pet store.
The Kennebunk family was among those who purchased the dog from the couple. Now, they are cooperating with police to investigate the couple.
Charges are now possible.
"Should any of those animals die in the near future, then we are looking at animal cruelty charges as well,” said Auburn Deputy Chief Jason Moen.
“Puking, had severe diarrhea” – Scott Gagnon describes the symptoms his family’s new dog Dixie experienced in the first two days at her new home.
Dixie was diagnosed with Parvovirus – a seriously infectious virus found in puppies.
Scott Gagnon and his family immediately tried to contact the people in Auburn who sold them the dog.
“She would not answer,” he said. “Didn't answer phone calls or text messages anything like that. And she ended up deleting the website that she had up.”
The next step was to contact police – who had already been contacted by other families who had bought from the Evanses.
Police searched the home at 129 Lake Street in Auburn, and found 15 dogs, three of which showed symptoms of Parvovirus.
Those dogs are now under quarantine.
No charges have been filed against the Evanses.
Police say the initial investigation shows that they have violated an Auburn ordinance that required them to register as a pet store.
But potential future charges could be worse. “
Scott Gagnon's family is now heartbroken. He says that Leala Evans had given him vaccination records for Dixie.
“We were lied to,” he said. “I got records that were falsified.”
But that he hopes this situation can provide a warning for others. “We bought it from a breeder, and everything was good, you know? This makes you wonder how many of these things are going on too, and the sick people that decided that this is a good idea.”
Police say that the Evanses are not cooperating and refuse to tell officials which other customers they've sold dogs to. That's why the police are asking for anyone who may have bought a dog from this couple in the last month to contact them and also get it tested for Parvovirus.
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