JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jackie Schwartz’s puppy Thor was at death’s door days after she bought him from a Jacksonville Petland store.
“He was so cute. And when we held him, we both just fell in love with him,” Schwartz said.
She spent more than $2,200 to bring Thor home from the Petland store on Beach and Hodges boulevards.
Schwartz said it quickly became obvious that Thor was very sick; he had diarrhea and was struggling to breathe.
The vet diagnosed him with a parasite called giardia, as well as pneumonia.
“I was told the first time that, well, if I return him, then they’ll reimburse me for his purchase price. At that point, I have no option to return because if I take him–I’ve fallen in love with him–and if I take him off of his treatment, he’s going to die,” Schwartz said.
The general manager at the Petland store where Schwartz bought Thor told Action News Jax he’s looking into possibly reimbursing Schwartz. He said he’s not aware of other cases of giardia at his store.
“I’ve been in a season of paying off a lot of debt, and now I’m faced with $10,000 more in debt, just from these medical bills to treat this little puppy,” Schwartz said.
Earlier this month, Action News Jax reported on an outbreak of a different stomach bug, campylobacter, that sickened 67 people who had contact with Petland puppies across the country.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 14 of those cases were in Florida and one was in Georgia.
“I would never want someone else to go through this. To fall in love with a dog, have the cute puppy snuggles and kisses, and then to immediately have to deal with these health issues,” said Schwartz.
Petland sent Action News Jax a statement that reads in part:
If you want to help Schwartz with Thor's medical bills, you can get more information here.
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