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I-TEAM: Store owner agrees to help with medical bills after puppy needed heart surgery

Owner of Puppy Avenue also refunding couple full cost of dog

File photo of Ella, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A St. Augustine couple who recently purchased a puppy from a pet store at the Avenues Mall said that they were soon met with hefty bills after the dog required a life-saving heart surgery.

A day after the I-TEAM got involved, News4JAX has learned the owner of Puppy Avenue has agreed to settle a dispute with the couple. The husband and wife said the owner has refunded them the $2,500 that was paid for Ella, the Cavalier King Charles spaniel.

The owner also gave them an additional $1,000 to go toward the vet bills they incurred to save Ella’s life.

Ella was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon following the emergency heart surgery. When the couple first contacted the I-TEAM, they felt the store owner should bear responsibility for the medical costs.

News4JAX checked with the Better Business Bureau and found seven different complaints that had been filed against Puppy Avenue over the sale of sick puppies that required immediate medial attention after they were purchased.

We also found a civil complaint filed against puppy avenue in 2019 that was similar to complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau.

The Better Business Bureau recommends looking up online reviews before making a pet purchase. Checking its website is one way to search for filed complaints.

Have you experienced health issues with puppies purchased at this store, or other puppy stores? Send Erik Avanier an email -- EAvanier@wjxt.com.


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Award-winning broadcast and multimedia journalist with 20 years experience.