On Monday, November 23, Fairfax County Police and Animal Control officers raided Dreamy Puppy, a puppy store in Chantilly. Several dozen puppies were seized and taken to a local veterinarian after a series of complaints to Animal Control about sick and underage puppies being sold to unsuspecting buyers.
The puppies were examined by licensed veterinarians for illness, and to estimate age. By law, a puppy must be 8 weeks old to be offered for sale, but allegations have been made by Dreamy Puppy buyers, as well as visitors to the store, that some of the dogs were much younger.
NBC4 Washington covered the raid. Following the raid, NBC4 was contacted by several former customers with details of their Dreamy Puppy horror stories. Kay Trinidad, who bought a Yorkshire Terrier from Dreamy Puppy over a year ago, recounted her experience to a reporter.
Soon after getting her puppy, Chewie, home, Trinidad said, he became very lethargic, and then unresponsive. She rushed Chewie to her veterinarian, who told her that the puppy appeared to be several weeks younger than what Trinidad had been told by the store. Chewie was diagnosed with several problems, and it was the vetâ€™s opinion that Chewie was younger than 8 weeks, and had been taken from his mother too early.
Dreamy Puppy advertises its dogs online as â€œthe healthiest puppies in the nation,â€ and says, â€œhealth is our number 1 priority.â€ The puppies, which sell for an average of $1500 each, come with a one year â€œhealth guarantee,â€ but when Trinidad presented her veterinarianâ€™s bill for $1800 to Dreamy Puppy, they refused to pay it, saying that they donâ€™t accept diagnoses from a customerâ€™s veterinarian, Trinidad said. Trinidad told NBC4 that she hopes that the current investigation will reveal whether Dreamy Puppy is knowingly selling unhealthy dogs.
On Tuesday, someone from the Fairfax County Code Compliance Office also paid a visit to Dreamy Puppy, slapping a sign on the door which states that the business has several electrical code safety violations, and declaring Dreamy Puppy an â€œUnsafe Structure.â€
Also on Tuesday, there was a Warrant in Debt motion filed in Fairfax County General District Court against Dreamy Puppy LLC, owned by Erick R. Aleman of Manassas. Court records indicate that there have been two other Warrant in Debt cases filed against them in the past year, including one by the County of Fairfax.
One group of local people was delighted at the news of the confiscated puppies. A private Facebook group called Puppy Store on Peaceful Protests in NOVA has more than 100 members, and is comprised of shelter and animal rescue volunteers as well as other compassionate people who abhor the selling of puppies in stores. The members of the group spend their weekends quietly protesting outside Dreamy Puppy as well as My Next Puppy, also in Chantilly. They had planned a protest at Dreamy Puppy for Black Friday, but said they will now focus their attention on My Next Puppy, a new puppy store without a long list of complainants so far.
UPDATE 12/1/15: The adjudication hearing for the case against Dreamy Puppy is scheduled for next Wednesday, 12/09/15 @ 10:45 AM in Fairfax County General District Court, courtroom 2J. The Dreamy Puppy dogs remain in the custody of the Fairfax County Police Department.