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Parents Of Parvo-Infected Pup Warn Others Looking To Adopt

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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By Esme Murphy, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Many people who decide to get a dog turn to rescue associations.

It’s a way to get a wonderful animal, often at a lesser cost and to support the work these associations and rescue groups do.

But for one young couple an adoption went terribly wrong. Their puppy had a deadly illness and they spent more than $1,000 on vet bills.

Jill and Steve Buus charge that Paws for a Cause knew the puppy they adopted had parvo virus. Parvo is highly contagious and kills 90 percent of the dogs that get it.

Parvo can result in cardiac arrest, or in its intestinal form, results in severe diarrhea and vomiting.

The day after they adopted 3-month-old Trooper the Buus’s got a call from the rescue group telling them their new puppy had been exposed to Parvo.

For the couple, it has meant round the clock treatment including injecting the dog with fluids, extensive antibiotics and even a hospital stay.

They said no one ever told them when they adopted Trooper that another puppy in the same shelter home had died of Parvo.

“They knew that the puppy was sick and they adopted it out anyways,” Steven Buus said.

According to the founder of Paws for a Cause, this was a terrible mistake.

“We should never have let that puppy out of the house,” Heidi Harden said. “That is very true.”

Hardin founded Paws for a Cause three yeas ago. Hardin said Paws has helped save and adopt 700 dogs.

“This was our first litter of Parvo puppies so there were some learning experiences with this,” she said.

Hardin said Paws offered to take the dog back and pay for the organization’s vet to treat Trooper but the Buus’s said no way.

“You see the guy and he is just adorable,” Jill Buus said. “It would have been a death sentence sending him back to that house.”

So the Buus’s spent more than $1,000 on treatments at their own vet. Trooper is making a remarkable recovery. But since the virus lives a long time, the Buus’s home and yard remain infected — any puppy that comes onto their property could get the virus.

Jill offered this advice to others looking to adopt a pet: “If you are adopting through these places that you do get full disclosure and you do get them checked out at a vet.”

The Buus’s have been told that their yard and home could remain infected for a year. Humans can not get Parvo. Paws for a Cause has 12 other puppies that are also being treated for Parvo, two more of their puppies have died.

The group website now discloses that they do have puppies with the virus.

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