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View Full Version : There must be something we can do?



estelle
21st March 2008, 11:15 PM
It's been a few days since we were given the bad news about Bailey, now we are learning to accept this although it's very difficult we are becoming increasingly more and more angry towards the woman/place where we got him from. We feel that things were intentionally kept from us as regards to Bailey's health, we were never told about any of his illness's even though their vet must have known!! and they even have the bare face cheek to state on their website that they are proud to offer healthy pups!! I wish I could post a link but I don't think i'm allowed?
We brought him home on the Saturday so obviously couldn't get him to our vets until the Monday which is when we were told about his overshot jaw, damaged eyes, oddly shaped head! aswell as the cough he's STILL got, a few days later we were told about his knees!! now we were told that all pups are vet checked and cleared!!!
Obviously I was very upset and angry so tried to phone the lady but couldn't get an answer so I phoned their vet (where we got Bailey from), he was very cagey to say the least and wouldn't discuss Bailey's health or the fact that his vaccination card was very vague! He just kept saying that he wasn't prepared to discuss anything untill he'd spoken to the seller!
I explained to him that his reputation was on the line here and that this puppy that he was supposed to have checked over was obviously not as healthy as we had been told or led to believe, and that someone somewhere along the line was either not doing their job correctly or just being very irresponsible. A few minutes after coming off the phone to him I got a call from the lady asking what the problem was! I told her everything that our vets had said and all she said to me was "Well if you bring him back i'll give you a full refund" !!! I told her that it was not that simple as we'd all become very attached to him.
She did tell me when we collected Bailey that he had a little bit of a cold and was on tablets for this which were in a sandwich bag with nothing to say what they were and that if I wanted him to see a vet she wouldn't pay unless we used her vet!! which is miles away from where we live so was not really an option, but at the time we didn't know what we know now!!
Doesn't all this sound to anyone else a little dodgy and that something is going on here? Do you think we could take this further? I know that this isn't going to help Bailey but we can't just sit back and do nothing.

Karlin
21st March 2008, 11:36 PM
Yes it is dodgy, sadly it is not uncommon. There re a few things you can do:

1) if he has papers and/or the breeder is a member of the CKCS CLub, complain formally to both the Kennel CLub and the CKCS Club.

2) contact the RSPCA and Dogs Trust to find out if you have any possibility of further action

3) complain to the ROyal College of Veterinary Surgeons if you feel the vet passed this cavalier as healthy when it has physical and other health problems subsequently picked up by another vet. You do this by following this procedure:

http://www.rcvs.org.uk/Templates/Internal.asp?NodeID=89916&int1stParentNodeID=89644

I would also talk to your current vet and ask in their opinion, how much should have been flagged by the previous vet. Ask if they will put this in writing or give you a copy of Bailey's records stating all his problems as caught on that first visit. Submit that with your complaint to the clubs as above if relevant, and with the complaint.

Consider if there's grounds for a small claims judgement. In Ireland I could bring charges for reimbursement of medical costs and 'distress' up to around 1000 euro in small claims. Here's info on the UK system:

http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_rights/legal_system/small_claims.htm

Note that you need to try and settle the case out of court first. I would ask the breeder to fully cover ALL medical costs and predicted costs (get an estimate from the vet) plus £1000 for distress or something like that. If you have free legal aid centre (most cities do) you should get advice on how to do all this.

Send any correspondence to the woman and vet by registered mail, and keep records and copies of EVERYTHING. Do not make phone calls to her or to her vet -- deal in writing, do not get angry and attack either; be firm, polite and ruthless. Make detailed notes for yourself recording the conversations (and dates of them) you had with both and what you said and they said. This will be part of your evidence. Do it now while it is fresh in your mind.

I'd check your Animal Welfare Act too -- it may say something regarding animals sold by breeders.

Please don't publicly post the link to this breeder. :thmbsup:

estelle
21st March 2008, 11:48 PM
Thanks Karlin, we'll definately be looking into this.

Elaine 2
22nd March 2008, 12:28 AM
Sounds dodgy to me too, and there could be other complaints about them from the owners of Bailey's litter mates, good luck

estelle
22nd March 2008, 12:39 AM
Do you still think we have a chance even though she offered a full refund? but even so her vet would/should have told her about his problems and she chose to keep that information from us??
Elaine I even have doubts now as to whether the other pups were even from the same litter! they all looked different, the others all had the really short nose, even if Bailey was the runt he would of still had the same features wouldn't he?

Elaine 2
22nd March 2008, 12:54 AM
Well l would have thought they would all have had short noses but I'm not a breeder so l don't know, but l think you've got a good case and I'd deffo do as Karlin suggests

Karlin
22nd March 2008, 01:14 AM
She could easily have been a broker for puppies from a puppy farm -- but it is hard to know outside of a DNA test.

You need to talk to someone with legal background for proper legal advice on what is possible. Try your local advice centre. You'll need to look into what is available; I have no idea where to go in the UK or your region.

Cathryn
22nd March 2008, 01:55 AM
Have PM'd you Estelle

Babette Boop
22nd March 2008, 04:58 AM
I really wish I could offer more advice but you have a lot of good tips already. I just wanted to say im so sorry this is going on!

chloe92us
22nd March 2008, 08:08 PM
I had a similar situation with a breeder once, and I know how to hard-ball. Follow these instructions and you should get a full refund.

Here is what you say...

"I purchased a dog from you with several genetic defects and a multitude of health problems.

I have spent $____ so far.

The future medical bills will be $____.

Her prognosis is ________, and she will be forever effected by _______.

I paid $____ for Bailey.

I am prepared to file a formal written complaint with _________, _________, and __________. IN addition, I will file a formal written complaint against your vet with _________________.

YOU HAVE TO USE THIS LINE....

"What are you willing to do to compensate me for my time, money spent, and emotional trauma?" AND THEN BE QUIET. Let her answer the question. The ball is in her court and the key is to be quiet.

YOU decide how much money you want from her. I would push for a full refund, if not more (although you probably won't get it without taking her to court and that is something you want to avoid!)

If she says, "I will give you $500 (or whatever the amount is that is NOT the full amount), say "No, that does not cover it. Let me ask you again...." And then ask the "what are you willing to do" question again and then be silent.

If she doesn't give you an amount you are happy with, tell her she can look forward to hearing from your attorney. Then, go have a consultation with an attorney and find out how much it would cost to have them write her a letter? Then call her again and ask the same question.

After you get the money from her, file the complaints anyway.

Karlin
22nd March 2008, 08:55 PM
I still think -- strongly -- that you should speak to a legal advice centre. Print out the advice above on what to write her and check if this would in any way damage your ability to bring a case in small claims. Jurisdictions are all very different and what might be acceptable in one region is not necessarily going to be considered the appropriate, watertight legal minimum needed elsewhere to open the way for legal action if needed.

Personally I would rather ask for an amount that is beneath the small claims cap and stick with that rather than initiate what may turn out to be a long series of exchanges (I just hate having to prolong having to talk to a person like this if not necessary, but that's me!). In addition if you ask her to tell you what she will do in terms of compensation, and she just never bothers to reply, I am not sure this will count in the courts as having attempted to actually *settle* the case. If she refuses to agree to a specific demand or to respond at all -- rather than for a request of a reply -- I am guessing that will be seen as legally having attempted to settle out of court and a case could then be taken. On the other hand maybe asking her to come back with compensation will be adequate. But I don;t think so, from a brief read of how the UK court works.

estelle
22nd March 2008, 09:30 PM
I got out some of the paperwork today to have a look at it all, on one of the sheets it say's

While every possible care is taken to ensure that your puppy comes to you in the very best of health (having already been checked by a veterinary surgeon at the time of it's vaccination) it is recommended that you take your puppy to be examined to have a full health check by your own vet WITHIN 72 HOURS of purchase. If within the 72 hours your puppy is found to have a disability The **************** must be notified by telephone immediately within the 72 hr period. Conformation by way of a written of a written report is required from your vet and must reach us within 5 working days. A full refund oe exchange for the same value will only be considered after receiving the veterinary report. Regretfully we will not be responsible for any veterinary exspenses. We strongly recommend that you arrange immediate insurance to cover your puppy for third party liability, veterinary expense and debt.
Hereditary conditions can develop in all animals and not be identifiable at time of sale therefore we cannot accept responsibility for any defects, future size, colour, type, temperment or suitability of any breed sold by us. ALL PUPPIES ARE SOLD FOR THE PURPOSE OF PET HOMES ONLY.

Then at the bottom it says that All puppies are under vet's supervision from ***********

Stupidly I signed this form!!

Oh it also says that the 1st vaccination was done by the breeder, hence the 2nd vaccine on your puppys vaccination card. If you require a copy of the 1st vaccine please send us a stamped address envelope and a copy of this form and we will happily send you a copy.

I can't believe we were so stupid!!

TillyTommy
22nd March 2008, 09:39 PM
Sorry to hear your news. How long have you had Bailey?

estelle
22nd March 2008, 09:45 PM
We got him on 24th November 07, so only 4 months!

Cathryn
23rd March 2008, 12:17 AM
I got out some of the paperwork today to have a look at it all, on one of the sheets it say's

While every possible care is taken to ensure that your puppy comes to you in the very best of health (having already been checked by a veterinary surgeon at the time of it's vaccination) it is recommended that you take your puppy to be examined to have a full health check by your own vet WITHIN 72 HOURS of purchase. If within the 72 hours your puppy is found to have a disability The **************** must be notified by telephone immediately within the 72 hr period. Conformation by way of a written of a written report is required from your vet and must reach us within 5 working days. A full refund oe exchange for the same value will only be considered after receiving the veterinary report. Regretfully we will not be responsible for any veterinary exspenses. We strongly recommend that you arrange immediate insurance to cover your puppy for third party liability, veterinary expense and debt.
Hereditary conditions can develop in all animals and not be identifiable at time of sale therefore we cannot accept responsibility for any defects, future size, colour, type, temperment or suitability of any breed sold by us. ALL PUPPIES ARE SOLD FOR THE PURPOSE OF PET HOMES ONLY.

Then at the bottom it says that All puppies are under vet's supervision from ***********

Stupidly I signed this form!!

Oh it also says that the 1st vaccination was done by the breeder, hence the 2nd vaccine on your puppys vaccination card. If you require a copy of the 1st vaccine please send us a stamped address envelope and a copy of this form and we will happily send you a copy.

I can't believe we were so stupid!!

No! You were not stupid!! You were presented with a form that would make you think that there was nothing wrong, nor could possibly go wrong with your puppy, this sort of breeder/seller works on the fact that when you are there you will be so in love with the idea that you can take this darling little creature straight home with you that you will sign anything in order to make your departure quicker! Your good nature itself was preyed on!!

I know for a fact that vaccine's are available over the counter in Ireland and that many breeders import them and then vaccinate their own dogs, however by doing this they actually invalidate the vaccination as they are NOT qualified to sign the vaccination record which can only be signed by a qualified vet! Fine if you intend to keep the pup yourself, but not so good if you then go on to home it!!

Get that form double checked at Citizen's Advice, you will most likely find it is not worth the paper it is written on!

Karlin
23rd March 2008, 05:54 PM
A signed contract does not necessarily mean anything. The conditions that were present *should have been picked up by her vet*. She illegally vaccinated the puppy herself. A contract does not allow someone to do anything they want -- especially if they were deceptive.

Please get proper legal advice -- none of us can offer you practical help at this stage; you need to pursue this through proper channels and you need advice on how to do this.

I would recommend that you get that advice and then proceed but don't post further details here -- I know people feel they are talking to a small group of people but anyone can read a forum including your breeder, and you really don't want to be explaining what you are going to be doing publicly. As I noted elsewhere we have over 10,000 people reading this forum every month and the vast majority are not board members so I have no idea who they might be. :thmbsup:

estelle
23rd March 2008, 06:20 PM
Thanks Karlin, Didn't think of that!! you do forget though, it just feels like your talking to friends!

misty
24th March 2008, 11:23 AM
Have pm'd you again - have some useful info.

Bruce H
24th March 2008, 12:07 PM
I am so sorry this is happening to you. I would do like others have suggested and get a legal opinion. A contract is not necessarily valid if it has conditions that are not legal. For example, if you sign a contract that has a condition that says you will punch the next door neighbor in the nose, that entire contract or at least that portion would be ruled invalid.

This brings home a fact that I have discussed a few times with potential puppy people. Be sure to read and understand what you are signing. There are a couple "breeders" around here who offer a 5 year gaurantee on their puppies. I have actually seen one of the contracts and I can say it would be nearly impossible to collect under the terms of the guarantee. In fact, some of what you quoted from your contract is almost word for word from what I remember on the contract I saw. Guess they all use the same lawyer to write contracts.