Crime & Courts

Puppies sold on Craigslist were sick, which led to a ‘deplorable’ discovery, cops say

From left, Kamila Garcia Alban, Elijzah Johnson and Crystal Leeann Hoskins.
From left, Kamila Garcia Alban, Elijzah Johnson and Crystal Leeann Hoskins. Prince William County Police Department

Weeks-old puppies rescued from a Virginia home in May were found in a shed, infested with worms and stained with urine and feces, according to police.

Two of three people suspected of mistreating the puppies in Woodbridge, and selling other sick puppies over Craigslist, were arrested Wednesday, the Prince William County Police Department said Thursday in a press release.

Kamila Garcia Alban, 21, of Woodbridge, and Elijzah Johnson, 20, of Waldorf, Md., each face 11 counts of animal cruelty, police said.

The third suspect, 20-year-old Crystal Leeann Hoskins, remained wanted on 11 counts of animal cruelty at the time of the release. Hoskins was listed as living with Garcia Alban at the Woodbridge house where the dogs were found.

Police said people thought they bought healthy mixed-breed puppies through an ad posted on Craigslist – despite the website’s terms of use prohibiting pet sales. Craigslist has a section for pets that allows “re-homing with small adoption fee,” the terms say.

But complaints began in February after some of the puppies became sick and one died of an infectious disease, according to police.

Several puppies purchased through the Craigslist ads were subsequently diagnosed with worms and parvovirus,” the release said.

There is no cure for parvovirus, sometimes referred to as parvo, which can be deadly for puppies, according to the American Kennel Club.

The press release said it was determined during the investigation that three suspects were bringing puppies from North Carolina to Virginia for the purpose of reselling them.

The search of the home on Reardon Court in Woodbridge revealed “deplorable conditions,” including “inadequate ventilation, loose exposed electrical cords draped across the floor, and no food or water,” the release said.

Hoskins and Garcia Alban were originally charged on Aug. 13 with obtaining money by false pretenses, a day before the cruelty charges were added, according to police.

A 2017 Better Business Bureau report on puppy scams said such fraud could be avoided by meeting the seller in person.

Most legitimate breeders will welcome the visit,” the report said. “There is no good way to be sure you are not dealing with a fraud if you have no direct in person contact with the seller.