Sick Puppies: Pit Bull Pups From N.J. Shelter May Carry Deadly Parvo Virus

Man Tells CBS 2 How His Little One Died Shortly After It Was Brought Home

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A warning has been issued in the Garden State for anybody who bought puppies from an animal rescue group.

Some of the animals turned out to be sick and now some of them are dead, reports CBS 2’s John Slattery.

Slattery spoke with Brian Neilson, a dog lover who is heartbroken over the loss of a puppy that he purchased from a rescue organization last month.

“Our pets are our kids, and I have three little boys crying every day. She sits at home in a little wooden box,” Neilson said.

The female pit bull puppy named “Skyler” was just 9 weeks old when adopted from a litter of six. Neilson said that he saw the dog inside of a PetSmart in North Brunswick.

He said that it was sold by a rescue group called Pound Puppy Protection Rescue of New Jersey. The group, run by Christine Yurgel, had a table set up in the store.

Neilson said he saw the puppy in the store and adopted it the next day at Yurgel’s home. When the dog got sick, he called her.

“She got back to us and told us two of the puppies came down with parvo. I called (the) vet. She tested positive. She died,” Neilson said.

Parvo is a reference to canine-parvo virus, a highly contagious disease. It is a very common and serious health problem often encountered in animal shelters.

Neilson said that there seemed to be a connection between the rescue operation and the store.

“There was a PetSmart slip we had to return after picking the puppy up, and it died shortly thereafter. Had her all of five days,” Neilson said.

The New Jersey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has issued five charges against the owner of the rescue group. CBS 2 was unable to locate the owner.

A corporate phone number given to CBS 2 at the PetSmart store did not return a call.

If there are other sick dogs from the rescue group, the New Jersey SPCA wants to know about it.

Had a similar experience with an adopted pet? Leave your comment below…

Comments

One Comment

  1. Christine Yurgel/Pound Puppy Protection Rescue sold us a dog said it was fixed, but dog wasn't :( Dishonest $$$$ hungry hateful woman says:

    Christine Yurgel of Pound Puppy Protection Rescue Sold my family a puppy for $500 and said this puppy was fixed but puppy never had surgey! Christine Yurgel was to mail/or/email our Vet the puppies records, but never did. Our Vet and secretaries actually told us it’s an unfortunate scenario that we had to deal with Christine Yurgel and her dishonest fake rescue. We spent hundreds of additional dollars for spay & Vetting to be updated. Christine laughed it off and said that happens sometimes but that she had other dogs to worry about, that my puppy was in great heath and we should be thankful.. We just wanted a legit Rescue to get our money towards the “Donation” We wanted to save an animal, instead of paying thousands to go towards a puppy store, in my eyes, CHRISTINE YURGEL IS A PUPPY STORE, A PUPPY MILL!!! Crazy, horrible experience with this lady, I could tell she didn’t have working lamps upstairs. I thought she was a hard working exhausted woman, but she seemed to have her lid off of her crockpot. Thankfully our puppy lived after being in her hands, our puppy had a few issues, but is in good health now.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-christine-yurgel-animal-rescuer-selling-parvo-infected-pups

    1. NEVER pay a $500 "Adoption Fee" unless you see & take home those records for the animal you are adopting. Christine Yurgel Scammed us says:

      I also asked around and found out that $500 for an “adoption fee” is way to much, it should have been around $200-$250 at most. Christine Yurgel of PPPR told us that the puppy is considered a Designer Dog, so she made the adoption fee higher so that all of the other dogs in her “Rescue” would also have a fair chance in being adopted. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE never finalize a pet adoption unless you are getting ALL of the animals Vet / Health Records with the animal!!!!! And on female dog, look for a small scar to make sure that puppy/dog is fixed. This has been an unbelievable situation, heartbreaking, stressful, but we have learned our lesson and thankfully our dog is still with us today and healthy, AFTER WE brought her to the vet to take care of what this terrible “Rescue” did not. .

  2. PETSMART NOT WARNING CUSTOMERS OF PARVO OUTBREAK IN THEIR STORE RT 1 NO BRUNSWICK NJ says:

    KEEP PUPS/DOGS AWAY FROM PETSMART IN NO BRUNSWICK NJ DUE TO PARVO OUTBREAK, PARVO IS DEADLY

    JEFF DAVIS, WHY THE HELL IS IT YOUR PRIORITY TO HAVE ANOTHER “RESCUE” come into your PetSmart store AFTER PARVO DOGS WERE THERE?!!?!?!? Are you that stupid?? Parvo will be all over your store for many months to come you moronic jackass. PetSmart knew of Christine Yurgels shady bs “Rescue” and PetSmart didn’t care. You sohuld be 100% against having any dogs in the PetSmart of North Brunswick store because any puppy/dog coming into that store is at risk of getting parvo and dying! Even outside in front of your store! Seriously, this is YOUR statement:
    It is our priority to identify and work with another local animal-welfare organization that can provide dog adoptions in the store as soon as possible.

  3. KEEP PUPS/DOGS AWAY FROM PETSMART IN NO BRUNSWICK NJ DUE TO PARVO OUTBREAK, PARVO IS DEADLY says:

    JEFF DAVIS, WHY THE HELL IS IT YOUR PRIORITY TO HAVE ANOTHER “RESCUE” come into your PetSmart store AFTER PARVO DOGS WERE THERE?!!?!?!? Are you that stupid?? Parvo will be all over your store for many months to come you moronic jackass. PetSmart knew of Christine Yurgels shady bs “Rescue” and PetSmart didn’t care. You sohuld be 100% against having any dogs in the PetSmart of North Brunswick store because any puppy/dog coming into that store is at risk of getting parvo and dying! Even outside in front of your store! Seriously, this is YUOR statement:

    It is our priority to identify and work with another local animal-welfare organization that can provide dog adoptions in the store as soon as possible.

  4. Stop PPPR says:

    So let me get this straight “Jeff”……PetSmart’s Corporate Offices were contacted back in July 2011 with CONCRETE PROOF of this “rescue’s” shady practices – a history of sick and/or dead adopted animals, cash only adoption fees, forged health certificates, and the lies surrounding their non-existant 501(c)3 status – and you are hiding behind the fact that your Company terminated their contract five months later?!?!
    The dogs that she has pulled from animal shelters in the Southern States….came to her free or very low cost, were transported to NJ for free using a volunteer transport service, never received veterinary care when they arrived and we’re adopted out within days (if not hours) after arriving in NJ. These women have pocketed the cash from these “adoptions” and your Company just NOW put 2 and 2 together after this scam artist is finally charged??? This woman is making $300+ on EACH dog, and she’s pulling litters of puppies (4-7 dogs in each litter) Do the math – 7 puppies at $350 each is $2,450 of cold hard cash in her pocket.
    Let me warn you – parvo can remain on surfaces for up to 7 YEARS. One molecule of the disease can infect dozens, if not hundreds of animals. This woman had the parvo pups in your North Brunswick store. So don’t be surprised if there is a sudden outbreak of parvo in the area. And when it boils down to it, and customers find out that your store not only allowed this woman to bring sick animals into your establishment but that you were warned & did nothing about it….don’t be surprised if your sales in this store plummet.
    I will personally tell every pet owner I know – heck, I’ll tell perfect strangers – about this disgrace to the Animal Community. I will stand outside your store and warn customers about the possibility of parvo being inside the store. How the company was given proof that this “rescue” was a scam and allowed them to come anyway, to boost their sales. How the company knew for 5 months and did nothing, but is now trying to play the “We Didnt Know” card.
    Let’s see how your company likes that

  5. Stephen says:

    AMEN!!! Unfortunately PetSmart is looking for the profit as well as the shady so called “Rescue” PetSmart was informed and FULLY AWARE of Christine Yurgels irresponsibly acts yet still allowed Christine Yurgel to sell dogs in PetSmart for MONTHS AND MONTHS!!! It’s about time MORE of this crazy womans bs is out in the open for innocent animals sake and people to see the real piece of poo that is named CHRISTINE YURGEL, AKA CHRISSY, CHRIS, AND WHATEVER ALIASES SHE GOES BY!!

    1. Stop PPPR says:

      Don’t forget about “Pat” from “Paws-R-Us” That’s the sham rescue she tried to start after South Plainfield ordered her to shut down. I made sure that EVERYONE knew that Pat was actually Christine. This woman is pathetic.

      1. CHRISTINE YURGEL HAS NO HEART NO THOUGHT PROCESS, JUST MONEY HUNGRY says:

        Pat/Patrick WAS her Fiance or boyfriend, he left her due to her constant cheating and drug, money blowing habits, she spends money as soon as she makes it selling any animal she can get her greedy hands on, selfishly selling animals that she NEVER brought to a Vet. Christine Yurgel thought she could start a fesh new “Rescue” and nobody would know!! What a joke, THEN Christine Yurgel attempted to start a home daycare IN HER HOME AFTER DYFS was at her house due to her toddler daughter escaping the house and walking blocks away down busy streets while Christine was passed out on the couch!!! whis baby girl walked down Maple and Park Avenue in South Plainfield, while that bitch napped!!!!! Many people called the police and thankfully that baby was unharmed. Working for the township, we hear every horrific story as well as many things that go on because of Christine Yurgel and we still don’t understand how the hell this woman is allowed to be around children and animals. NO living person or animal should be in this woman’s “care” Christine Yurgel is money hungry, a selfish nasty person, she does not have compassion for anyone or anything. Christine STILL blames everyone else when she gets caught doing shady things, she just blames others and acts like she’s doing a great thing with her “Rescue” THIS WOMAN IS A LUNATIC!!!!!! She has NEVER done a single good deed.

  6. Sammy says:

    It is wonderful to hear everyones input. I just want to point out one thing…we can not use the word “rescue” and “shelter” interchangeably. Shelters are usually run by the state/county that they serve. They take surrndered and stray dogs and cats in from the immediately surrounding area. These dogs and cats are vet checked, behavriorally evaluated and only adopted out when they have passed these tests with flying color. They are also completed vaccinated, spayed or neutered and microchipped. Fees in the tri sate area range anywhere from $15-$175. (Yes, this is our taxes at work!) There are some very reputable rescues out there that abide by the same standards. Often, they take animals that have run out of time in the shelter system and give them another chance. Unfortunately, there are other rescues that “pull” dogs from the southern shelters and bring them to the tri state area. The shelter system there is not udner the same strict guidelines that our shelter system abides by. These animals are often transported sick adn the disreputable “rescue” passes the suffering animal on to you. Siknesses such as Parvo and distemper were eradicated for many years in the northern states; now we see a reemergence of these illnesess because of the animals being introduced from the south. It is both our beloved pets and the unfortunate pets that the resuces infiltrate that suffer. This “industry” is unregulated to say the least. Truly something needs to be done. God Bless the shelters for all that they try to do and the truly honest rescues that are in rescue for all of the right reasons.

  7. josephine says:

    I personally called the company in June/July and warned them about this organiation. They didnt seemto care…which means that they dont care if their customers bring their dogs in and contract parvo……or any other diseases brought in by disreputable rescues.

  8. Bad Experience says:

    You people have no idea how bad these women really are. Christine and Lisa are responsible for the death of HUNDREDS of puppies not just 2 or 3. There are so many that died in their homes/basements before ever being adopted. Someone needs to check how many dogs she took from the shelters against how many were adopted. You will be shocked at what you find. 95% of the time Christine knew she was selling dogs that were sick or had been exposed to a dangerous illness. For those of you who adopted a dog from her that did not die, you have no idea how lucky your dog is to have made it out of those homes of horror.

  9. Karen, Parsippany says:

    There are bad rescues infiltrating every part of the tri state because of the money here. What guarantee do I have that my own pet that I brough to your facility on a shopping spree doens’t contract a disease that lives in the earth up to one year!

    Do you screen your rescues that hold adoption days at your facilities. NJ has become filthy with disreputable rescues bringing in dogs from all over the nation under the veil of a 501c3 for profit alone. Not to save a life and transport laws are disregarded and sick animals are transported within hours of pick up to selective Petsmart locations.

    So can you answer me if you screen these rescue groups? Are you certain you are not spreading disease on your properties across the nation?

    Instead why not promote shelters and offer free coupons for adopters at shelters throughout each state to get someone started with their new pet. This supports community and it also brings business to your local stores without endangering our own pets!

    What type of regulations does your company have in place to protect consumers who bring their pets for a shopping spree at your facilities across our nation?

  10. Lilly Ann says:

    THIS STORY IS PEANUTS COMPARED TO THE FILTHY LIFESTYLE THIS WOMAN LIVES!! CHRISTINE YURGEL of POUND PUPPY PROTECTION RESCUE IS NOT A 5013C, SHE DOES NOT HAVE A VET, SHE TAKES CASH, SHE REFUSES TO GIVE REFUNDS FOR SICK DYING DOGS BECAUSE SHE SPENDS THE CASH AS SOON AS IT HITS HER POCKETS, SHE HAS ABSOLUTELY NO RECORD OF ALL OF THE MONIES COMING INTO HER POCKET. THIS IS NOT THE FIRST, SECOND, OR 15TH TIME THIS HAS HAPPENED. PETSMART OF NORTH BRUNSWICK WAS WARNED SEVERAL TIMES OF CHRISTINE YURGEL’S SHADY IRRESPONSIBLE “RESCUE” BUT THE STORE GETS A PROFIT DUE TO THE ADOPTERS BUYING DOG FOOD, TOYS, BOWLS, LEASHES, ETC. CHRISTINE HAS ADOPTED OUT DOGS AND CLAIMED THE DOGS WERE SPAYED AND THEN THE DOGS WENT INTO HEAT!!! CHRISTINE YURGEL BUYS ANIMALS AND RE-SELLS THEM. SHE ALSO SCOUTS THROUGH CRAIGSLIST AND TAKES ANIMALS THAT ARE BEING RE-HOMED AND THEN SHE SELLS THEM!! SHE IS RUNNING AN ANIMAL TRAFFICING BUSINESS.

  11. Tara Brust says:

    To Anyone that can help us, December 7,2011

    It is with great sadness I tell you what happened to my daughter when she got a puppy from the Sullivan County SPCA, Inc. in Rock Hill. My daughter has the belief that you should give a home to a dog from a shelter that needs one over getting one from a breeder or pet store. So in July she started to watch the dogs on line that the shelter was bringing up from the south .She visited the shelter a few times to see what they had there. Then on November 20, 2011 a small black lab/boxer mix grabbed her heart. They said she has to pay them $360.00 for the puppy. They didn’t say make a donation.
    I felt this was very high. We have gotten two other dogs from different shelters and have donated over $200.00 less than their amount. However she wanted that puppy. Guinness came home and was very quiet, sweet and always wanted to snuggle with you .He really enjoyed your body warmth and now when I look back I think it was because he was already not feeling well. At the end of his fourth day with us, that was Thanksgiving night, he began to throw up and had diarrhea. He became very lethargic and his poor little six pound body would tremble. The next morning we took him to the Youngsville Veterinary Clinic where the doctor looked at him and then doctor told us he has parvo and about a 50/50 chance of making it through this terrible disease. We prayed and hoped for the best however on the fifth day at the clinic he passed on. The disease has an incubation period; he had to have had this prior to us getting him on November 20. We had the puppy only four days and the vet had him his last five days. We believed we would have Guinness a long time, not just four days.

    When my daughter heard Guinness had parvo, she called the shelter right away because the vet had explained how serious and contagious this disease is and that the other 39 dogs on the bus they came with him from the south were at risk too. The shelter said they had no other problems and that they would give us $150.00 of the vet’s $484.00.This was before Guinness died. After Guinness died on November 29, 2011 when I called the manager of the shelter and told her that she gave my daughter a sick puppy, she said the puppy was healthy when she got him. This is untrue, you can question any vet, and parvo does not enter and kill a puppy in nine days. The manager said it is just my bad luck about the puppy and they don’t have to do anything for us because we did not paid for the dog, we made a donation. My question is who protects the public from these non-profit organizations? Who protects these animals? Guinness came up from the south on Saturday with 39 other puppies. These puppies were given out the very next day. How well did they check these puppies out? They say they are non-profit however 40 puppies @ $360.00 due the math, that’s $14,400.00. I also question the care and what this organization supports, poor little Guinness at 8 weeks of age had had two worming, two vaccines, a micro chip implanted and was neutered at six weeks. Every dog I have had in the past the vet had recommended to fix the puppy at five or six months when they are at a healthy weight.

    The New York Puppy Lemon law protects people from breeders and retailers that are selling puppies, but what about a shelter that to me is operating like a retailer store forcing you to paid $360.00 for your puppy. I have called many other shelters in this surrounding area and not one of them operate in this matter. I am asking you to do the same and please find out how many other people have been a victim of this organization. I just can’t believe they are protected by their contract and do not have to answer for what they do to innocent people whose only fault was they wanted to love and give a puppy a home. Everyone I have shared this story with is outraged that this is how they conduct themselves.
    Thanking you for your help,

  12. K.V. says:

    Yurgel has been selling sick dogs for years. She only cares about the $ Hundreds of dogs have died in her care and after adoption. You have no idea about the horors that went on in that house. Petsmart was informed about the reputation of this rescue as early as May and the did not care.

  13. Anonymous says:

    No suprise Jeff you are the “senior manager of communications” at pet smart
    1) The location is Pet Smart in North Brunswick, NJ, not New Brunswick as you stated.
    2) Without a doubt there are wonderful rescue organizations that use PetSmart and PetSmart Charities as a vehicle to help adopt animals.
    I understand your role and position to defend the company; however, your company must do a better job performing back-round checks on the rescue groups who become “Adoption Partners”
    As you know the media and internet is a powerful tool and a simple on-line search of Christine Yurgel showed pervious accusations of sick puppies dating back as far as January 2011. I understand you can’t believe everything you read or hear, but with the amount of articles on the web about the woman, prior to the story breaking December 6th, Petsmart should have done a better job.
    Not sure if you personally are aware, but New Jersey has an Open Public Records Act and the information one can obtain on Christine Yurgel is astounding and heart breaking if you have any compassion for animals
    I hope the series of events that have and will unfold about Christine Yurgel and Pound Puppy Protection leads PetSmart to improve their background checks performed on rescues before they are brought into your stores across the country.

    1. Stephen unfortunately prior adopter says:

      AMEN!!! Unfortunately PetSmart is looking for the profit as well as the shady so called “Rescue” PetSmart was informed and FULLY AWARE of Christine Yurgels irresponsibly acts yet still allowed Christine Yurgel to sell dogs in PetSmart for MONTHS AND MONTHS!!! It’s about time MORE of this crazy womans bs is out in the open for innocent animals sake and people to see the real piece of poo that is named CHRISTINE YURGEL, AKA CHRISSY, CHRIS, AND WHATEVER ALIASES SHE GOES BY!!

  14. JJ says:

    I adopted a dog (Not related to PetsMart) a month ago really sick, thankfully it wasn’t as serious as parvo. My little guy came to us with lyme disease, giardia which can be contagious to humans, and tapeworm. I have emailed people to find out what can be done about these places and I am not getting far, but it is not fair to the animals and the people who adopt them to have them come home sick like this. My dog with in 5 days had to be taken to the vet for his illnessess, and has to go back at the beginning of the year for more treatment, and hopefully no long tem affects from any of this.

    I understand the shelters can’t catch everything but it is insane the amount of sickness in the shelters out there, and apparently since they are non profit (where I got my dog) they aren’t regulated by the government in anyway.

  15. Sita says:

    My roommate just adopted a puppy from a rescue in petsmart on long island. She has parvo and pneumonia and has been at the animal hospital for a week. We still don’t even know if she’s going to make it or not

    1. tray says:

      we had the same issue with Ruff House Rescue out of the Pet Smart in Huntington, Long Island. We adopted a 9 week old puppy who contracted Parvo, we spent $4k to try and save him, but ultimately had to put him to sleep. Vert sad day!!

  16. Jeff Davis says:

    PetSmart and PetSmart Charities have terminated Pound Puppy Protection Rescue of New Jersey as an in-store adoption partner for violating our policies and procedures. The group has not conducted adoptions in the New Brunswick PetSmart store since mid-November. It is our priority to identify and work with another local animal-welfare organization that can provide dog adoptions in the store as soon as possible.

    PetSmart and PetSmart Charities are strong proponents of pet adoption and maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all pets in our stores. We work with approximately 2,000 local, non-profit animal-welfare groups across North America and help more than 400,000 pets find homes each year through the PetSmart Charities Adoption Centers which located in every PetSmart store. Since 1994, our program has saved the lives of more than 4.7 million pets. We strive to develop strong, positive relationships with all of our adoption partners because we sincerely value and appreciate the work they do for homeless pets.

    1. Lilly Ann says:

      PETSMART OF NORTH BRUNSWICK WAS CALLED, WARNED WITH PLENTY OF INFORMATION, EMAILS, AND PETSMART DID NOT CARE ONE BIT ABOUT THE PROOF THEY WERE VIEWING!!! VERY SAY MONEY HUNGRY WORLD. IT ALL COMES DOWN TO MONEY, GREED, PROFIT. SADLY.

    2. Stop PPPR says:

      So let me get this straight “Jeff”……PetSmart’s Corporate Offices were contacted back in July 2011 with CONCRETE PROOF of this “rescue’s” shady practices – a history of sick and/or dead adopted animals, cash only adoption fees, forged health certificates, and the lies surrounding their non-existant 501(c)3 status – and you are hiding behind the fact that your Company terminated their contract five months later?!?!

      The dogs that she has pulled from animal shelters in the Southern States….came to her free or very low cost, were transported to NJ for free using a volunteer transport service, never received veterinary care when they arrived and we’re adopted out within days (if not hours) after arriving in NJ. These women have pocketed the cash from these “adoptions” and your Company just NOW put 2 and 2 together after this scam artist is finally charged??? This woman is making $300+ on EACH dog, and she’s pulling litters of puppies (4-7 dogs in each litter) Do the math – 7 puppies at $350 each is $2,450 of cold hard cash in her pocket.

      Let me warn you – parvo can remain on surfaces for up to 7 YEARS. One molecule of the disease can infect dozens, if not hundreds of animals. This woman had the parvo pups in your North Brunswick store. So don’t be surprised if there is a sudden outbreak of parvo in the area. And when it boils down to it, and customers find out that your store not only allowed this woman to bring sick animals into your establishment but that you were warned & did nothing about it….don’t be surprised if your sales in this store plummet.

      I will personally tell every pet owner I know – heck, I’ll tell perfect strangers – about this disgrace to the Animal Community. I will stand outside your store and warn customers about the possibility of parvo being inside the store. How the company was given proof that this “rescue” was a scam and allowed them to come anyway, to boost their sales. How the company knew for 5 months and did nothing, but is now trying to play the “We Didnt Know” card.

      Let’s see how your company likes that.

      1. Kelly says:

        I called Petsmart as well over the summer. I spoke to a manager who told me “We have had tons of complaints about this and we are not getting envolved. I suggest if you have a problem with the rescue that you talk to the owner of the rescue.” She then hung up the phone. Petsmart knew all about this rescue and did nothing.

        1. CHRISTINE YURGEL SCAMMER says:

          PetSmart was called, emailed, and visited with PLENTY of evidence, information, proof, etc, etc, etc, BUT DID NOT CARE ONE BIT.

          $
          $
          $

          PetSmart is as shady and greedy as Christine Yurgel is, they don’t want the world to know of their shady ways. Now PetSmart will brag and gloat about how wonderful and innocent they are. Great job PetSmart, I smell parvo lawsuits!!!!

    3. COMMON SENSE, KEEP PUPS N DOGS AWAY FROM PETSMART NO BRNSWIK NJ BCUZ OF PARVO OUTBREAK!!!! says:

      JEFF DAVIS, WHY THE HELL IS IT YOUR PRIORITY TO HAVE ANOTHER “RESCUE” come into your PetSmart store AFTER PARVO DOGS WERE THERE?!!?!?!? Are you that stupid?? Parvo will be all over your store for many months to come you moronic jackass. PetSmart knew of Christine Yurgels shady bs “Rescue” and PetSmart didn’t care. Seriously, this is your statement:

      It is our priority to identify and work with another local animal-welfare organization that can provide dog adoptions in the store as soon as possible.

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