HOUSTON (FOX 26) - One Houston couple says they got a new puppy from a local pet store to celebrate their engagement. But less than three days after taking their new fur baby home, their beloved puppy, Apollo, passed away unexpectedly. The couple is now issuing a warning to others.
Eric Davis and Noa Gadot had just returned from Japan where they got engaged. Their hope was to kick start this new chapter of their lives by getting a puppy.
While in the North Houston area last Saturday, the couple said they were found Pet City Houston, a family-owned business located on Bammel Westfield, after a quick Google search.
Gadot said the reviews seemed good, so they stopped by for a visit and fell in love with a 2-month old Morkie mix named Apollo.
The couple said they were convinced it was meant to be.
“It had 3.6 stars and it had most overwhelmingly, positive reviews,” Gadot said.
“He seemed very lethargic. And I was a little bit worried because I was like I really thought he would wake up by now. He had napped and then he started vomiting,” Gadot said.
Hours after taking him to his new home, the couple says Apollo wouldn't stop throwing up, so they rushed him to a nearby vet.
Initial test results indicated that Apollo tested negative for the often deadly and contagious virus, Parvo.
However, after extensive blood work and tests, and thousands of dollars spent on doctors’ visits, Davis and Gadot found out their little Apollo was terminally ill.
“The vet told us that our puppy is not going to make it. He said on a scale of 1-10, he's a 10. He has really terrible pre-existing health issues that any vet would’ve seen based off his behavior,” Gadot said.
From failing organs to a poor immune system-- the news couldn't seem to get worse. So they called Pet City asking for help. Instead, they were told no refunds could be issued as stated in the contract they signed, but were offered an exchange from the manager.
“Because we have hearts, we believe trading a dog for another dog is simply unethical, it's not like we're trading in a pair of shoes for another pair of shoes. It’s not an inanimate object,” Davis said.
That exchange fueled the couple to do some research, and launch a social media campaign to raise awareness.
Turns out, there's been roughly two dozen complaints made to the Better Business Bureau with similar stories. Pet City Houston also currently has an overwhelmingly large number of 1-star reviews on Yelp.
“The most disappointing thing was discovering that this was a pattern at Pet City Houston. Many consumers like us don’t know or are unaware of what’s going on in these pet stores. We were disgusted. We couldn’t believe this was a thing that actually happens,” Gadot said.
The couple said they were open to adopting and wished they had visited a shelter like BARC instead, where Gadot’s sister currently volunteers.
Pet City Houston declined an interview with FOX 26 but issued a statement in response.
"Pet City Houston has been in business for over 30 years and we have provided many companion animals into homes in the Houston area. This is an unfortunate situation. Mrs. Gadot brought in the puppy and we offered to have the animal treated by our veterinarians at our expense, however she declined our offer and the animal died in her possession."
A representative with the BBB said Pet City Houston is currently un-rated because the business has been in touch to resolve some complaints.