Woman Questions Breeder After Puppy Dies

Monday, January 26th 2009, 9:45 pm
By: News 9

By Amanda Taylor, NEWS 9

CORDELL, Oklahoma -- Tammy Fairchild purchased Ramsey, a Yorkie, from Hurliman Kennels in Cordell.

"I had grown up with Yorkies when I was little," Fairchild said. "I wanted my own."

As soon as Ramsey arrived at his new home, Fairchild said he began throwing up.

"I was scared to death," Fairchild said. "I had done everything I was told to do with him."

Fairchild brought Ramsey to the veterinarian several times, but the pet's doctor couldn't find a cause of illness. Ramsey did receive medicine to help with his stomach, but six days after Fairchild brought him home, Ramsey became so sick he had to be put to sleep.

"To watch a little thing like that bring so much joy in one minute, the so much sadness in the next just breaks my heart," Tammy Fairchild's husband Jesse Fairchild said.

While Tammy Fairchild said she was handed a puppy without being able to see the facility and without the written health records, the puppy's vet said there was no indication Ramsey was sick from the kennels.

At the Hurliman Kennels, there were no dogs in plain sight, but there were several kennels with puppies inside.

The facility's owner, Dwayne Kurliman, said his company has been in business in 35 years.

"We stand behind our puppies," Kurliman said. "We have excellent quality and we have spent a lot of money on breeding stock."

He also said the littermates of Ramsey have been placed in homes without any problems.

Kurliman is licensed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, meaning his kennels are inspected yearly, but one legislator said even more needs to be required.

"These animals are kept in unfit, unclean conditions, and it's just not right," Representative Lee Denney (R-District 33).

Representative Denney, who's also a veterinarian by trade, drafted a bill called the Oklahoma Pet Quality Assurance and Protection Act.

Basically, if someone sells 25 or more dogs or cats a year, they would have to get a license.

A breeder would not eligible if they have a past convicted of certain crimes like animal cruelty.

The facility would be inspected by the state.

And any animals sold would have to be at least eight-weeks-old, have health records attached, and a microchip implanted or tattoo for identification purposes.

Any violations could mean a fine up to $2,500 dollars.

"We want to protect our consumers who are receiving these puppies," Representative Denney said.

The bill will be introduced in the house in February.

Voice your opinion to your representative.