HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Fox 26 News’ exclusive about a man accused of selling sick puppies brought out more people who said they bought from the same seller.
Now, these buyers are demanding that law enforcement do something about this seller -- who posts on Craigslist, Green Sheet and puppy sites.
“I believe that he's breeding them in deplorable conditions,” said Erika Landers with the Pug Hearts Rescue Group.
Her organization said they have had more than a dozen cases of sick puppies brought to them from buyers purchased from the same man. They reported that most of those puppies have died.
“We don’t get paid to do this, and we're here to clean up after these backyard peddlers, these death peddlers who don’t care about these animals, who only care about lining their pockets with the lives of these dogs,” said Landers.
One buyer took a picture of the man she bought the puppy from. His identity was confirmed by driver's license records as Jesus Rene Balderas.
“He is knowingly selling parvo-positive puppies, and he's been doing this for years. His name is Jesus Balderas. He goes by Jesse, Joe. He's gone by Rene, several different names. The phone numbers change every 2-3 weeks,” said Landers.
We showed the buyers who agreed to be interviewed the picture, and each one confirmed the man in the picture is the same person who they bought from.
Buyers say Balderas would only meet them in parking lots -- never where he stores the puppies – and that after he took their money, he stopped picking up calls.
Case after case of dead puppies piled up.
“Nine days after I got him, he ended up dying,” said Erin Meier, another buyer.
“[We] took the puppy home and she died 4 days later,” said Kelli Ludlow, a buyer.
“You don’t really know what to do when there’s just a dead puppy laying in your lap,” said Meier.
Perhaps the most agonizing obstacle has been the lack of answers.
Reports to Houston Humane Society and Houston SPCA and even certain police agencies have not kept Balderas from selling.
“I didn’t know anything about puppy mills…before this but after they told me the vet records I got were fake...I called and tried to file a police report and basically what they told me was ‘If you don’t know where these puppies are located, if you don’t know the address, there’s nothing I can do,” Jennifer McDonald, another buyer whose puppy died.
“I want to go to each one of these houses that he has around Houston and collect these mamas and these babies that are going to die. That's what makes me so mad, that I legally can’t because I'm not a cop,” said Kelly Schrock, another buyer whose puppy also died.
“What is right about this whole situation? I don’t even understand why it's legal. Why are there no rules in the first place? It doesn’t make sense to me that you can have a backyard breeder puppy mill and have this many cases against it – [we] have so much information and nothing can be done,” said Meier.
Fox 26 reached out to Houston SPCA who told us, the matter had been turned over to the Houston Humane Society.
But all that Monica Schmidt, a spokesperson for the Houston Humane Society, could tell Fox 26 News through an email was: "Unfortunately, this is not an animal cruelty situation but a civil matter between the buyer and the seller. There is no "lemon law" in the state of Texas regarding animals."
The Harris County D.A.'s office is aware of this man and has asked the Harris County Precinct 5 Animal Crimes unit to investigate.
That is not a guarantee charges will be filed.
If you have any information that can help, call Harris County Precinct 5 at 281-463-6666.