Veterinarian concerned over sick dogs, unsuitable conditions at pet store


BATESVILLE, Ark. — A veterinarian in the Batesville area is concerned after caring for sick dogs recently purchased from a local pet store. 

She says they had diseases that can be shared between animals and even people. 

Flipping through photos, Dr. Donna Cook shows us the evidence of her recent trip to the Complete Pet- East in Batesville. 

“It just broke my heart for these animals to have to live in that kind of filth and that kind of condition,” Dr. Cook said. 

As a veterinarian in the area, she was tipped off about the problems when a recently purchased puppy came in with ear mites and intestinal parasites. 

“It was evident that this animal was purchased with these disease conditions already present,” she said. 

“We offer a 100 percent guarantee if they’ll bring the animals back to us,” the owner Charles Matlock said.  

“I want to try and make the customers happy that are here and keep coming in. I know we can’t do that to all of them. Wish we could,” Matlock said. 

“This is a picture I had taken on the 9th, this is 5 or 6 days later,” Dr. Cook says holding up photos she took earlier this month. The dog was up on the fence with what looked like dozens of piles of dog feces behind it. 

“They clean everyday,” Matlock said over the phone. 

“I do not believe that this is being cleaned,” Dr. Cook argued. 

A back and forth Dr. Cook believes the state needs to investigate. 

After calling the state vet, the health department and the Independence County prosecutor… 

“I kind of ran up against brick walls.”

She says she’s not interested in putting the pet store out of business, but she’s willing to do anything she can to make sure the animals are safe. 

“Hopefully now, hopefully they’ll get some help and they won’t be living in that,” Dr. Cook said.  

The Arkansas Retail Pet Store Consumer Act was signed into law in 1992. 

It outlines a minimum standard of care that includes a daily examination for injury or disease, fresh water at all times and animal waste should be removed from an enclosure no fewer than 2 times a day. 

To see the full Act, click here

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