A Nova Scotia woman is warning dog owners after she almost gave her puppies to a woman previously convicted of animal cruelty.

Stacey Atkinson says she posted an ad on Kijiji, offering up the puppies for free. She says a woman responded using the name Tammy Whynott, and Atkinson agreed to give her two of the puppies.

They agreed to meet in Shelburne but things didn’t go as planned.

“When she got out of the car she came over to my car and I looked at her and I noticed she was Gail Benoit, so I asked her her name, and she said Tammy Whynott,” says Atkinson.

“I asked her for ID and she wouldn’t produce any so I said she wasn’t getting the puppies.”

Benoit and her partner, Dana Bailey, were convicted on animal cruelty charges four years go.

When reached by phone today, the couple told CTV News they are allowed to buy and sell dogs.

Atkinson says the woman’s car broke down as she was leaving Shelburne and a minister at a local church tells CTV News a couple who identified themselves as Gail Benoit and Dana Bailey approached him asking for help.

The minister didn’t recognize the names and agreed to put them up in a hotel and gave them food.

He says there was no money involved, but once he learned more about the couple’s background, the told them the church wouldn’t be able to provide further assistance.

Animal advocates say the latest incident proves tougher laws are needed to prevent people convicted of animal cruelty from owning pets.

“The faster we get the laws changed, the better,” says Shelly Hipson, an animal advocate in Shelburne.

Hipson has written several letters to the Nova Scotia government in support of tougher penalties against people convicted of animal cruelty.

“I think our governments need to sit down with rescue and develop a comprehensive, enforceable law and regulations that would go along with that law,” she says.

Atkinson has found homes for three of her puppies and plans to keep one.

“Just be aware, when you do put an ad on Kijiji or Facebook, just be aware of who is getting your puppies and ask for ID,” she says.

She has notified police that Benoit has been in the area, but police say there is nothing they can do as no laws have been broken.

With files from CTV Atlantic's Kelland Sundahl


This report by CTVNewsAtlantic.ca was first published on Feb. 7, 2013.