At least 60 sick puppies purchased off Craigslist: Outbreak of distemper

Spread the love

It’s an epidemic in Las Vegas in “an outbreak of distemper” as more and more victims come forward with sick puppies purchased off of Craigslist. The owners of at least 60 sick puppy have come forward to tell their heart wrenching stories.  And what could hurt a heart move than to hear a six-year-old child describe the loss of her two-month-old puppy?

“It was something he couldn’t fight. It was a sickness. It was worms, it was seizures,” young Lucille McCall told News3LV, whose puppy Titan died this week despite the medical intervention trying to save him.

For the Nevada Voters for Animals, who have been helping families pay for the expensive treatment trying to help the sick puppies, the sad announcement about Titan rang through the organization’s Facebook page with the sad news of another lost puppy:

“RIP TITAN Sadly, Titan was suffering so badly from the effects of DISTEMPER that the only humane option was to euthanize him this afternoon. Our hearts go out to his family and all families suffering heartbreak with sick and dying puppies. We have been working non stop for the past 4 days to get justice for all the puppies who have suffered and died because of greedy Craigslist sellers who knowingly sell diseased and sick puppies.”

Many of the victims describe the same person who sold them their puppies from Craigslist; he allegedly pulls up in parking lots in the southwest part of town driving a gold BMW with no license plates. It is not known where this man is finding the puppies, but almost all of them have come down with distemper or parvovirus. According to veterinarian, Dr. Dennis Arn, four dogs presented with distemper in the last week just in his clinic – three of them have already died and only a collie-retriever puppy named Bella is still alive. Distemper vaccinations are so effective that it’s rare dogs even come down with the disease nowadays Dr. Arn explained.

Distemper and parvovirus distemper are highly contagious to dogs.

Symptoms of parvovirus:

  • Dogs that have contracted parvovirus will begin to become symptomatic within 3-7 days of exposure. The symptoms that accompany the condition usually include:
  • Listlessness and lethargy.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea, which may contain blood.
  • Dehydration.
  • Shock.
  • Toxaemia due to the destruction of the colon, and the associated toxins from this entering the bloodstream.
  • During the later stages of the condition, the entire body of dog will develop a very distinctive and foul smell.

Symptoms of distemper:

  • A high temperature and associated fever is generally the first symptom of canine distemper, although this may be overlooked in the earliest stages of the infection.
  • Listlessness and lethargy generally follow quickly.
  • Loss of appetite is common.
  • Symptoms such as a cough, sneezing and a runny nose also develop.
  • Vomiting and diarrhoea are also common.
  • Later, seizures and fitting may be present.
  • One of the core and most noticeable differences between parvovirus and canine distemper is that the pads of the dog’s paws usually become hardened and thickened in canine distemper infection, but not in parvovirus.

To read more about these diseases and treatment, click here.

Thinking about buying a pet from Craigslist? Consider the following before making a possible heartbreaking purchase. Puppy sellers from Craigslist come from private homes where their operations fly under the radar – they don’t need to use veterinarians or conform to local ordinances for preventative vaccinations or health certificates. These unscrupulous breeders often arrange to meet their clients at parking lots to avoid detection and any local laws. Often inbred, unhealthy, full of worms and sick, stories just like Titan’s or the other 60 sick puppies are not unusual. And just as concerning, these puppies can be the products of puppy mills where they are bred and re-bred until they are no longer useful when they are either killed or abandoned.

Read the previous article about other puppies purchased off of Craigslist.

Follow the National Pet Rescue on Facebook.



Spread the love


  1. This is so sad, I was hoping Titan would make it, I know how heartbreaking losing a puppy is. The police need to set up a sting and catch the POS selling these poor puppies. They most likely are running a puppy mill. I hope something can be done, people are most likely spending good money for these pups and are being ripped off both monetarily and emotionally as they watch their precious little pup get sick and die!

  2. There needs to be legislation passed and a petition stated to force Craig’s List to ban the sell of ALL ANIMALS on this site!! I know there have been attempts made in the past to ban the sell of animals on this site but the owners of this site are guided by their love of money than helping to stop the abuse,torture,neglect and killing of innocent animals that more often than not happens to the animals sold thru their site! They have NO MORALS, NO ETHICS AND NO DESIRE TO PROTECT ANIMALS FROM THE HORRIBLE FATE THAN MANY,IF NOT MOST WILL SUFFER BY ALLOWING THE SELL OF HELPLESS ANIMALS THRU THEIR SITE! I can only hope that one day soon the freaking site will crash and burn! I have NEVER bought ANYTHING off Craig’s List nor will I EVER!! And it’s because they refuse to stop selling animals that I will never have anything to do with this site!!

    • Craigslist is a HUGE danger to all animals – and no matter how many complaints they receive about the sale of animals they do NOTHING about it – there are posts from dogfighters, abusers, people called ‘flippers’ who take animals and resell them, people called ‘bunchers’ who take animals and sell them to laboratories to be used as research ‘tools’. Craigslist has proven its lack of concern for both humans and animals – too many scams, liars, cheats and thieves on this site. Craigslist should be taken down permanently.

  3. LV is my home and this sickens me. GD Craigs list and any subhuman who sells or buys animals from that site. We have numerous shelters AND rescue groups. But to those who run rescue sites – get a grip on the fees to adopt. Some of the fees are OBSCENE. Many people cannot afford $250 for a dog. Pick up a copy of Pet Scene magazine where many rescues are listed. The NSPCA and the Animal Foundation are two of the biggest shelters and pets are available. Damn people – why buy off “chits” list????? If someone is selling on that site and do not have a breeding license, that’s an offense and the buyer is also guilty. WhIle I feel bad for those with sick pups and hope they survive, those who purchased a pet from the site are partly responsible for the situation. After all a “backyard” breeder will continue to create havoc. To all buyers — REPORT THESE PEOPLE TO ANIMAL CONTROL NOW.

  4. ADOPT, don’t shop! I hope they find the one(s) who are selling these sick puppies and make them pay for each and every vet bill, refund the money to the people who bought the puppies, and be put in prison. Prayers for the puppies and the families who bought them.

  5. Is there any help out there?? I just pd $600. for a Shar-pei pup and after it shipped, she got parvo I had her 4 days. She spent 4 days in the vets with IVs but lost the battle. We are devastated. Our hearts are broken. I am left with a bill for $1037.00. You just never know.All she had was one worming and one Tractor Supply shot.Now my house and yard are contaminated and I have 3 dogs to worry sick about.I have sent info to attorney general but, they don’t give much hope! People are so cruel. They are living things with feelings. She also had an umbilical hernia that I was never told about.I want the breeder checked out but, don’t know where to turn.

  6. I have signed numerous petitions to STOP CRAIGSLIST from the selling of animals. They have just got to stop!!! Too many monsters out there use this source to get animals for things other than loving and caring for them!!! WALK UP CRAIGSLIST!!!! You are a shopping place for abusers, dog fighters, puppy mills, and other SICK things.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here