MASSACHUSETTS -- The co-owner of a Tyngsboro kennel has been charged with animal cruelty, accused of failing to care for a puppy she was told was infected with the dangerous Parvo virus.
Susan Robson, 46, pleaded not guilty in Lowell District Court on Wednesday. She was released on personal recognizance and is scheduled for a pretrial conference on March 8.
Robson owns Just Pups at 28 Constantine Drive, Tyngsboro.
As part of her release, Robson was ordered to comply with any requirements by the state Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health, and is prohibited from accepting any new animals.
Robson could not be reached for comment by The Sun. Robson' attorney Lawrence Beane said in a statement, "It is our belief that once all the facts come out, she will be deemed innocent of the charge.''
Her attorney insisted that Robson is a "good and caring individual who has been in this business for almost 20 years. She is heartbroken about the tragic loss of the puppy in this matter that arose from an unfortunate medical condition. Mrs. Robson has an unbelievable passion and love for dogs and has in fact placed so many dogs in happy, caring homes throughout the years.''
According to court documents, state officials were contacted on July 28 about a 3-month-old, male Yorkie puppy named "Bubbie." A veterinarian at Wignall Animal Hospital in Dracut diagnosed Bubbie with Canine Parvovirus, commonly known as distemper, which must be reported to state officials.
Canine distemper can be prevented by a vaccination required by state law. It is a contagious, serious viral illness with no cure that affects a dog's respiratory, gastrointestinal, and central nervous system, according to the ASPCA. It is easily passed from dog to dog through sneezing, coughing and sharing of food and water bowls. The ASPCA says virus spreads rapidly and must be aggressively treated as soon as its discovered.
Sgt. Martha Parkhurst of the MSPCA and MDAR Animal Health Inspector Linda Harrod spoke to Robson, who denied having Parvo virus at her kennel.
Robson acknowledged receiving paperwork from Wignall showing Bubbie tested positive for the Parvo virus and that with aggressive treatment, including antibiotics and hospitalization, the puppy had a good prognosis and would likely survive, documents state.
Instead of providing the puppy with veterinary care, Robson kept the puppy at home and fed him sugar water and baby food, according to court documents.
Bubbie died at Just Pups and was brought by Robson to the Lowell Road Veterinary Hospital in Hudson, N.H., five days later to dispose of the body, according to court documents. George and Donna Tevepaugh, of Dracut, purchased Bubbie on July 25 from Just Pups, owned and operated by Susan and David Robson for about 20 years.
The Tevepaughs, who are experienced dog breeders, chose the Yorkie because it was bred by Willard Shrock, of Meadow Pond Kennel in Arthur, Ill. The Yorkie was one of 10 puppies for sale at Just Pups. The Tevepaughs told officials that the puppy appeared fine the first day, but the following day he had constant vomiting and diarrhea, and was very lethargic. The couple contacted Robson to tell her the puppy was sick and asked if other animals were ill, court documents state.
The puppy had a scheduled veterinary appointment for later in the day at Wignall, but Bubbie deteriorated so quickly the Tevepaughs rushed the puppy to the vet earlier, documents state. At Wignall, the puppy tested positive for distemper. The Tevepaughs immediately notified Robson, who seemed skeptical, but offered to take the puppy back, documents state.
The Tevepaughs returned the sick puppy to Robson, who was provided with Wignall's records and the diagnosis. Robson allegedly told the Tevepaughs she didn't believe the diagnosis and placed the sick puppy in the pen with another dog, documents state.
The Tevepaughs were given a refund. During this investigation, officials also discovered Robson had "serious paperwork violations," documents state.
(Lowell Sun - Jan 30, 2016)
Three YELP reviews:
I puchased a puppy in January 2014 from them. Within 2 weeks she became very sick. The vet said she had giardia and pneumonia. I almost lost her! I notified just pups incase they had any other pups from that breeder. The owner did not even sugest a little financial help with the vet bill and was not fourthcoming with any info on the breeder. Fortunatly my pup pulled thru and we love her but I would not go back there in the future.. unhappy in New Hampshire
Do not buy your dog from here. My dog was signed off by her vet on Friday and we got him on Saturday and he was sick. They think that the has some parasite and also he has pneumonia. I am very upset and dissatisfied with this place.
Yes, I too was foolish enough to purchase a dog here. Yes, she was positive for girardia, but according to vet, most puppies are so it wasn't a surprise. What I don't like about business is it's misleading. We were told puppy would be "easy to train" and come micro chipped. We've had the pup for 6+ months now and she is still not housebroken (small dogs are harder). Vet couldn't find a chip. No return on calls. No return if your home isn't the best place for the pup you pick out. Yes, the puppies do come from Amish puppy mills.