(WFLA) – It was a dog day afternoon for Haley Lidey of Riverview. Following a series of Target 8 reports, Lidey stood in court facing new charges that she illegally sold puppies without shots and without state required health certificates.
8 On Your Side’s investigation revealed many of the puppies the 23-year-old Lidey sold were sick and dying. She left a trail of tears throughout the Tampa Bay area.
“To own a dog for three days and then watch him slowly die in front of you is just awful,” Cheryl Hostetler told Target 8.
“Oh, it tore me apart,” Sherry McCormack said about learning the dog Lidey sold her had Parvo virus. “It broke my heart.”
“I picked her up and put her in the box. I sat down on the couch and cried,” Chelsea Haller said about the dog she bought from Lidey.
“She just went limp in my arms, and I just started crying. I just felt so bad,” said Cecily Cortes, who also bought a puppy from Lidey.
All that green Lidey picked up as fast cash turned into jailhouse orange. She is now criminally charged with illegally selling a puppy to Shawn and Christopher Tomaras. They named the puppy Leo. Within a week of buying Leo from Lidey, he became deathly ill with parvo.
“As soon as the vet told me, I just started crying. I felt so helpless. I didn’t know what to do,” Shawn Tomaras said.
Lidey claimed the puppy had his shots. He didn’t. She claimed his health certificate was at her veterinarian’s. It didn’t exist.
Too sick to continue, Shawn Tomaras stayed with Leo as a vet put him to sleep. “I just held him until he fell asleep, and the whole time I was just sobbing,” she said.
Lidey was already on probation for her part in fencing stolen property. At that time, Judge Daniel Perry ordered in that she be sent to a probation restitution center in Orlando to repay victims.
“Ma’am, I’ll tell you this is your last chance in front of me. I see you again, you’re going to prison,” Perry warned. “So you need to stop your thieving ways.”
Lidey is now charged with selling Leo without the proper inoculations and without a state health certificate, landing her in Judge Margaret Taylor’s court. Taylor ordered Lidey back to the probation restitution center. The judge set a hearing on the new charges for March.
Others who claim Lidey peddled sick and dying puppies hope for more criminal charges. “She’s hurting not only the animals, but the families that take the animals and the kids they go home to,” Cecily Cortes said.
Several of the people who bought dogs from Lidey told Target 8 state investigators interviewed them about the transactions. Target 8 has confirmed the state is putting the finishing touches on its investigation into Lidey’s puppy peddling adventures. More charges are likely.
If you have a problem you think should be investigated call our Target 8 helpline at 1-800-338-0808.