A German Shepherd puppy advertised on Craigslist and bought by a Vancouver couple died of parvovirus a week after they brought it home.
Jauleen Tufton and her husband paid $500 to a couple she described as having Russian accents the night of Sunday, June 19. They met the couple at Toy R Us at the Tacoma Mall and were told the puppy was 8 weeks old. The vet who treated her said she was really only about 5 weeks old, far too young to have been taken away from her mother.
Ms. Tufton posted on the Washington Animal Rescue Resources Facebook page yesterday that the puppy, which they named Macy, “seemed perfectly healthy but on Wednesday morning 6/22 she took a turn for the worst so we took her to the vet and she tested positive for Parvo.”
Parvo incubates for 5-7 days before symptoms appear, the puppy had to been infected before they bought her.
This is not the first time I’ve heard about people with Russian accents selling sick puppies on Craigslist.
Last October a Lake Stevens couple paid $350 to Kelly Tanksley for an 8-1/2 week old Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever mix diagnosed with parvo a couple of days after they brought it home. She died a few days later.
Their story had several similarities with what the Tuftons experienced:
- the puppy was advertised on Craigslist
- the seller had a Russian accent
- they met the seller in a parking lot of a store in Tacoma
- the puppy showed signs of parvo soon after they brought it home
As I wrote in October, once this story hit social media the Lake Stevens couple got “dozens” of emails from other people about similar incidents they had with the same guy.(some bought their puppies from a woman)” I saw similar comments in the conversation thread about the Tufton’s experience. Here are a couple of them:
“We picked up a female puppy from the same ad, same people. We also met them in a parking lot in Tacoma. It was 2 guys & 1 girl, heavy Russian accent. Paid $400 for a female lab/golden retriever only to spend another $300 at the vet 2 days later because the pup was lethargic, not eating & drinking. Her parvo test was negative but vet started her on antibiotics & thankfully she is doing much better now. I wish I would have listened to my gut when they said they wanted to meet in a parking lot….I would have prefered to see where the puppy was coming from & meet the parents.”
“I was also a victim. .. we got a German sheperd husky mix. I spoke with ashley myself and learned it was the same group of people. Russians we unfortunately had to put our baby Cole down.”
You can find similar comments in this post in the Highline Times.
The best way to avoid getting scammed by these people and stuck with hundreds of dollars in vet bills (and possibly a dead puppy) is simple:
- DON’T BUY DOGS OFF CRAIGSLIST! While some of the ads may be legitimate, Craigslist is full of ads from scammers who steal dogs or get them on the cheap and then sell them for hundreds of dollars.
- DON’T BUY DOGS FROM PEOPLE THAT INSIST ON MEETING YOU IN A PUBLIC PLACE. Scammers don’t want you to know their location because they don’t want the police or animal control showing up at their door if you file a complaint about the sick and possibly stolen puppy you bought from them. And some of them don’t want you to see the filthy, unhealthy environment where they keep their dogs.
The woman who sold the dog to Ms. Tufton is Kelly Tanksley. She has also used her maiden name, Kelly Coughlin. Some people have said she sometimes uses the names Alex, Alexis, Ashley, or Jessica. I don’t think she’s Russian but several people have said she had an accent.
She’s usually with a man but sometimes shows up alone. The couple Ms. Tufton met drove a blue Volkswagen Passat with a Diesel engine.
If you’ve bought a sick puppy on Craigslist from Kelly Tanksley (or anyone else), please file a report with your local animal control facility or police department.
And remember, DON’T BUY DOGS OFF CRAIGSLIST!