Utah family warns buyers to be wary after puppy dies days after purchase

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WEBER COUNTY, Utah -- Isabell Kippen's family wanted a dog for years. When she finally decided to buy one from a seller online, she didn't realize the dog would die just a few days later.

“We took a look at the dog and just fell in love with her, handed [the seller] money, she counted it, got in her car and she left,” Kippen said.

It happened on President's Day. Kippen had been searching the classifieds for a family dog and met up with a woman selling a miniature Doberman at an Arby's in Roy. At the time, she said it wasn't a red flag.

Kippen handed the woman $450, and little Zero became the newest member of the North Ogden family. The puppy had been sneezing, but the seller explained it away, saying the dog was "allergic" to her air freshener in the car.

“She seemed to be fine that night, and then the next day, she wasn’t," Kippen said.

Zero wouldn't eat and got sick. They took her to the vet that Friday and found out she had parvo, which is a viral disease most commonly found among unvaccinated dogs.

The sneezing was due to distemper, another viral disease. Kippen tried to call the seller, but it rang and went to voicemail. Then she discovered the number had been generated by a phone app.

“A lot of people out there that are selling their pets are honest people," Kippen said. "They don’t want to sell somebody a dog that’s gonna die, but there’s also people that are just trying to make money.”

Kippen said she spoke with police, who told her that even if she could find the seller, it would be the seller's word against hers. Kippen said at this point, they just want people to be aware that a scam could be out there.

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