5 On Your Side

Puppy love turns to pain for customers who didn't get their pet

Posted September 24, 2012
Updated September 25, 2012

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— A new puppy always brings excitement. They're small, cute and so much fun.

With his lanky legs and black masked face, Mark Olexa's new little boxer puppy has Olexa wrapped around his little paws.

But Griffey is not the first boxer pup Olexa and his fiancee picked out. They bought another puppy they named Griffey in July from Rob Millard of Dudley, in Wayne County.

They hooked up through Craigslist. After seeing the puppy, they paid Millard $300.

"We went to the ATM right there and gave him cash, he wrote me a receipt." said Olexa. "At that point I'm like I'm going to have a puppy on Sunday! We were just excited."

But the puppy needed a flea treatment, so drop-off was delayed a week.

When delivery day arrived, so did text-messaged excuses from Millard. Olexa said in the first message, Millard said he was at church, "after that he texted me and said, Umm, I had car trouble.'"

Olexa says Millard promised to bring the dog the next day, but that afternoon Olexa got shocking news.

"He texted me, 'I'm so sorry, but I killed the puppy. It was that flea medicine that I put on,'" said Olexa of the text. Boxer puppy scam Puppy love turns to pain for customers who didn't get their pet

He and his fiancee are just one of three area families heartbroken when puppies they paid Millard for never showed up.

Phil Morris told 5 On Your Side he paid $300 for a puppy that Millard told him died of parvo. Brian Bland paid a $100 deposit for another boxer Millard didn't deliver.

They call contacted 5 On Your Side when Millard wouldn't refund their money.

Since the phone numbers Millard provided are now disconnected, we went to his home in Dudley. We counted at least nine dogs. Millard said they belong to someone else. He said he is not a breeder but was just selling one litter of his pet boxer.

"I was going to sell them, just that one time," said Millard. "They all got parvo and passed away."

When we asked what he did with the money the families had paid him, Millard said, "I put the money in the bank. I mean I paid bills and stuff."

He added, "when I get the money, I'll send them their money back. It wasn't meant to be like it happened, and I told them all I'm terribly sorry."

Millard then ended the interview, saying he didn't want to be on TV.

While Mark Olexa is thrilled with his new puppy, he and the other customers don't buy Millard's story.

"I'm out $300 and we have no idea what the actual situation is."

If you're looking to buy a puppy, the American Kennel Club has some advice:

  • Always see the dog you plan to buy in person.
  • Visit the breeder's facility or the home of the person selling it.
  • Check references. Contact others who have purchased pets from the seller and the veterinarian the seller works with.
72 Comments

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  • beautifulbambie Sep 27, 2012

    (storchheim)

    "I'm not gonna bring an adult dog into my home not knowing it's history with my small children because that would be negligance on my part,..."

    But you're gonna bring an unknown puppy into your home not knowing, etc..
    A PUPPY is not gonna attack and/or critically injury my 4 yr old child but if i bring a 2 yr old full grown dog into my home he or she sure could!!!!! When ur gonna reply atleast use some common sense! BTW, I have a female pitt/boxer mix that was adopted, a male PB boxer that was adopted & a female PB boxer that I PURCHASED from a breeder.

  • silkesmom Sep 26, 2012

    I also wonder why the media accepts advertising for dogs. This enables the backyard breeders and puppy millers. It is all about money.

  • glo Sep 25, 2012

    There are 4 1/2 million dogs and cats put to death in shelters in the US each year. In North Carolina, we have virtually NO laws regulating dog breeders and puppy mills. People like the guy in this story are responsible for allowing the puppy mills and unethical breeders to continue. No sympathy from me. He got what he deserved, and he will be very lucky if the new puppy I am sure he bought doesn't cost him a mint in vet bills due to inbreeding and over breeding. Don't Shop, ADOPT!

  • americaneel Sep 25, 2012

    George Carlin said he did not waste time searching for pets. He just took his dead pet to the pet store, laid it on the counter, and said "I want one just like that"

  • storchheim Sep 25, 2012

    "Sorry i tend to care and put my effort into the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of issues in this world that are much much more important than puppies. GET A LIFE!jhk0704"

    Bet he can't list three that he's involved with, let alone millions and millions. Pure hysteria.

  • Scubagirl Sep 25, 2012

    "Sorry i tend to care and put my effort into the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of issues in this world that are much much more important than puppies. GET A LIFE!jhk0704"

    Thanks, I have one. One that INCLUDES caring about animals. You don't want to care about it that's fine, move along and don't waste your time posting comments on something you don't care about. Save that precious time for what you DO feel is important and I'll do the same.

  • riverangela Sep 25, 2012

    I really don't understand why anyone would buy from any kind of breeder, legal or not, when there are so many adoptable puppies and dogs and cats available. I think that every time I see puppies listed in the classifieds. What are people thinking???

  • rescuefan Sep 25, 2012

    "Sorry i tend to care and put my effort into the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of issues in this world that are much much more important than puppies. GET A LIFE!
    jhk0704"

    I don't think scubagirl was asking you to care about this issue. I'm not sure why you bothered clicking on the link to this story when you have some many more important issues to attend to.

    This "breeder" should be sued by these people who were scammed by him.

  • ncrebel Sep 25, 2012

    It has been documented that at least 25% of the animals currently located at our local animal shelters are purebreds.

    I work in animal rescue and I see PB boxers everyday....EVERYDAY. Trustworthy breeders would not have flea issues and most likely, no parvo. The boxer owner is a flim-flam artist. Any animal on his property should be removed immediately.

  • jhk0704 Sep 25, 2012

    To even QUOTE the AKC when talking about puppy mills or unscrupulous puppy sellers is wrong on so many levels. Thanks to them in part there are currently no laws against puppy mills in NC....and that is not only wrong but embarrassing to those of us in NC who DO care about such things

    Sorry i tend to care and put my effort into the MILLIONS AND MILLIONS of issues in this world that are much much more important than puppies. GET A LIFE!

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