Family Says Puppy That Died Was Bought From Illegal Sellers

A South Florida family claims their dog died just days after they bought it from a couple accused of selling dogs illegally on Craigslist.

"I held him and played with him and sleep with him, he was wonderful he was such a cutie pie," Sherri Shirey said of Louis, a tiny teacup poodle who was purchased on May 26.

Louis died five days after Shirey and her daughter bought the pup. The purchase started on Craigslist and ended in a Target parking lot in Kendall where Shirey was assured by Edith Espinoza that the dog was healthy.

But when the transaction ended, that was the last Shirey heard of Espinoza.

"We've heard nothing, I've texted her, nothing, she will not respond to anything," Shirey said. "At first I was like 'oh my God, this is something I've done to other people.' And they don't care about these puppies, they're just out for the money."

Shirey started doing her research and stumbled on an NBC 6 investigation that caught Espinoza and her partner Erick Canoura in the act in January.

"That's the girl, that's the one who sold us Louis. This makes me angry, because she doesn't care about the puppies that are in her hands, they need to be stopped, they need to be stopped," Shirey said.

They haven't stopped despite a court order prohibiting Canoura from selling dogs in Miami-Dade. The couple has been cited before for selling animals without a license.

NBC 6 attempted to reach the couple for comment Thursday but was unable to do so.

Pet shop owner Karina Martinez said she hears these stories all the time and begs people to do their homework.

"The paperwork is a health certificate, they have to be up to date with the shots of the puppy, they also should have a guarantee for a year, it's the law for any congenital defect that they have," Martinez said.

"We were just told a lie and what hurts the most was Louis not making it but then I wanted to put a stop to it so nobody else has to go through this," Shirey said.

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