At least three puppies sold at the Nappanee Apple Festival died of the deadly parvovirus prompting the festival committee to apologize for their error in allowing what some are calling a puppy mill from taking part in the annual event.
Diamond Puppy Palace from Missouri brought in a number of purebred puppies during the four-day festival, which was held Sept. 13-16 in Nappanee. Postings on several different Internet blogs blasted the festival for allowing the out-of-state breeder to take part in the event and for not checking the company’s background.
One person, identifying himself only as Cemeteryman, purchased a puppy from the breeder and wrote, “If anyone went to the Apple Festival … and saw the cute little purebred puppies for sale, I sure hope you didn’t buy one. If you did, then my advice is to get it to the vet asap and be tested for Parvovirus. Apparently the puppies were exposed to the deadly virus and it is showing up.
“Unfortunately, I bought an 8-week-old Pomeranian from the lady on Saturday and had to have it put down today … The seller has been reported to the authorities by the vet and the festival officials were also notified. She doesn’t appear to be answering any phone calls either. Just a heads up, when we bought it, the seller told us she will be at the Covered Bridge Festival in October, so beware if you see 2 ladies selling purebred puppies that appear just too cute to pass up.
“I should have known better, but I guess I took a stupid pill before I went to the festival and fell victim to the ‘cute’ factor and the begging from my grandchildren. I’ll mark it down as a $680 learning example.”
The Nappanee Apple Festival’s Facebook page was also the target of some unhappy people asking why an alleged puppy mill was allowed to be part of the festival. Parvovirus is deadly to dogs and highly contagious.
The festival committee, today, made an announcement that, effective immediately, they have changed the policy for future festivals. In a statement on the Facebook page, the committee said:
“As many of you have heard or have been directly affected by the ‘dog breeder’ that was present at the 2012 Nappanee Apple Festival, the puppies that were sold had a sickness that was highly contagious to other dogs and many of the dogs that were sold were infected. There have been several reports to the committee as well as the Nappanee Police Department confirming that some of these puppies have passed away. This is a very unfortunate situation and very sad to say the least.
“The Nappanee Apple Festival apologizes that this serious situation has happened. Unfortunately, all of the actions that are being taken now are reactionary to the issue. The contact information of the vendor is Diamond Puppy Palace, phone # 573-561-6608.
“Again, we sincerely apologize for the families that were directly affected in this situation, also for the outcry of local animal lovers that brought this to our attention. Effective immediately, the Nappanee Apple Festival will not allow any sales of live animals with the exception of local and licensed rescue groups and local licensed adoption groups.”
The Missouri Better Business says the Diamond Puppy Palace is not an accredited BBB business and therefore does not assign a rating. It does noted that there have only been 3 complaints against the business and none have been in the last 12 months.