WESTMINSTER (CBSLA) — A Westminster pet store accused of selling people sick dogs — some so sick they ended up dying — appears to have closed its doors.
While in remission from stage four breast cancer, Delight Honan decided to rescue a puppy from CA Puppy in Westminster Mall.
"I saw that puppy and fell madly in love with him," Honan said about a purebred chihuahua. "The next day he was in the emergency hospital."
Honan said she paid $1,000 for the puppy, named Taquito Pepe, and the store's veterinarian gave him a clean bill of health.
For the next six weeks after adopting the puppy, Honan said she took him to countless veterinary offices and emergency vet clinics.
"He wasn't eating, he wasn't peeing. He wasn't doing anything. We just every day taking him back to the doctor," said Honan. "I did not think this puppy was gonna make it."
Taquito Pepe was diagnosed with giardia, pneumonia, distemper, kennel cough, among other ailments.
"They told me, 'Where did you get this dog?' I said 'CA Puppy.' And they said 'Oh no, another one.'"
After spending $15,000, Honan wasn't sure how much more she could afford to keep him alive.
"I just couldn't put him down," Honan said. "I don't have cash, but I've got credit cards."
Taquito Pepe lived, but other puppies sold from the same store were not so lucky.
A heart-wrenching review of the pet store on Yelp, the owner of a purebred Dachshund named Churro wrote in part, "I NEED you to know: our dog died from complications due to MANY preventable diseases."
Dr. Amaris Franco, who treated both sick puppies, said she has no idea where CA Puppy got their dogs but that both Taquito Pepe and Churro had the same symptoms.
"When they say, 'Oh, this dog is coming in it has distemper, and a bunch of other stuff,' I think we all kind of guessed where it was coming from," she said.
The pet store has since closed down leaving no contact information.
In 2018, California became the first state to ban the sale of animals from puppy mills.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law requiring pet stores to work with animal shelters or rescue operations if they want to sell dogs, cats or rabbits.
Beginning in 2019, stores could face $500 fines for each animal sold that isn't from a shelter or rescue group.
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