Target 8: Slapped on the wrist for selling sick and dying puppies

Investigations

RIVERVIEW, Fla. (WFLA) – A woman who sold sick and dying puppies throughout the Bay Area got a slap on the wrist in a Hillsborough court today.

Authorities found out about 23-year-old Hayley Lidey of Riverview through a series of Target 8 reports. Lidey was later charged with selling dogs without state-required health certificates proving animals received inoculations from a licensed veterinarian.

Lidey told her customers the dogs received all of their required shots, when in fact they hadn’t and they were sick and dying.  Many of the dogs died within days from the Parvo virus.

Judge Ronald Ficarrotta sentenced Ms. Lidey to 12 months probation on three misdemeanor charges.

“I didn’t know that what I was doing was wrong,” Ms. Lidey told the judge.

When we learned of her misdeeds, Lidey was already on probation for dealing in stolen property.

Cheryl Hostetler’s puppy, Bhodie was sick the first night she got him.  “Three days later he died in my lap,” Ms. Hostetler said.

Sherry McCormic of Pasco County paid hundreds in veterinary bills to keep her puppy Bella alive.  “I hope she rots in jail for what she did,” added Ms. McCormic.

When asked if she had anything to say to the people to whom she sold sick and dying puppies, Ms. Lidey chose only to say, “No comment, no comment.”

Following our reports in April, May and June of last year, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services opened an investigation.

The agency filed three cases looking into her actions in Hillsborough County, 10 in Pasco.

Lidey entered a guilty plea and told Judge Ficarrotta she was sorry.

While she denied knowing what she had done was illegal, we found evidence that she and her boyfriend provided customers with certificates from feed stores claiming they were proof the puppies received the required inoculations.

We also have text messages she sent to customers assuring them that Ms. Lidey’s veterinarian had all of their puppy’s health records.

When customers called the veterinary clinics that Ms. Lidey claimed had the records, customers were told the clinics had never heard of the dogs or the phony names Ms. Lidey gave her customers.

In sentencing Ms. Lidey to probation, the judge cited a report from the Department of Corrections that stated Ms. Lidey was a model probationer.

The prosecutor for the Hillsborough State Attorney failed to mention that Hayley Lidey skipped a mandatory drug test while on probation because she had just smoked a joint and that she had to be ordered to a restitution repayment center to force her to pay court-ordered restitution.If you have a problem you think should be investigated call our Target 8 Helpline at 1-800-338-0808. Contact Steve Andrews at sandrews@wfla.com

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