The reason for my report is due to several factors of which I will explain. I have tried in good faith to correct this problem with the merchant, but to no avail. They refuse to deal with me any more. This dispute is in regards to a dog that I purchased on Nov. 22, 2008 from an adoption and dog rescue agency called, Adopt a Rescue Pet. They sell their dogs at the PetSmart off of Rainbow and Lake Mead in Las Vegas, Nevada. The address of this location is 2140 N. Rainbow Blvd. They adopt every Sat. and Sun. from 10:00 to 3:00.
On Sat., Nov. 22, 2008, I took both my 2 youngest children ages, 4 and 1 year old, with me to find a dog to adopt. Other people who came to help pick the perfect one out were my mother and sister, both whom have adopted successfully and positively from other rescue agencies and have much experience with dogs as their own pets for many years. My 22 year old brother-in-law was there and was a witness as well.
When trying to choose the best dog, we made sure we informed their worker that it would be for five young children and that it was to be a surprise for Christmas. We also informed them that it would be purchased that day and then taken to grandma's (my mother who was with me) until it would be delivered Christmas day, about one month from that time. So everything was disclosed and the lady helping NEVER stated that this was a bad decision or that any of it was against their policy or qualifications for adopting.
We had my 4 year old daughter walk several dogs while holding their leashes as well as pet and handle them as much as possible to see how they would react to children. My 1 year old would also pet them and we would observe the dogs' behaviors. The worker would tell us each pet she would bring out were good with children.
Finally, after checking several dogs, we came across a dog named DeeJay. It was a Doxie mix, so they said. But it must have been mixed with a Labrador, because it was a nice medium-sized dog. We felt it would be a sturdier dog for children. Our biggest prerequisite, though, was that it was used to children as we informed them many times it would be for 5 kids all under the age of 10 years old. She told us DeeJay was a good dog for children. We understood this was important since the dog was 2 years old already.
The dog showed no sign of being nervous around either of my 2 children I had with me that day and we had my 4 year old walk it in the store on a leash tugging on it and all in a very chaotic atmosphere. The dog was not one bit agitated and was very calm and friendly. We paid the $200 and my mom took the dog to her house, as was discussed all along.
On Christmas day, after my kids had already opened all their gifts and were very settled down by this point, we had grandma and grandpa deliver the grand finale. My kids were very excited for this as they had been waiting for many years before they could get one. We made them wait until we owned a home and had a nice back yard for it. We built our home 2 years ago on a nice acre lot and recently finished our block wall and nice dog run area, so everything was set up perfectly. All accommodations and supplies for this dog were taken care of and purchased and 5 loving children were excited for their long awaited pet. They were very careful with DeeJay the entire day as we explained to them that he was not used to them yet and needed to get to know them first.
We noticed DeeJay acted very uneasy and tucked his tail down so we were even more careful not to rock the boat. We also noticed that he tended to growl easy at the children right away, such a different behavior from at the store. He would growl when my kids would pass him by as they were going to sit down at the table to eat, for instance, not even touching him. We were starting to worry we had made a wrong choice. My mother, who had the dog for the past month had noticed DeeJay was a bit nervous at her house that first week as well and had growled a bit but afterwards was just fine and was very sweet, so we thought he needed to just warm up to us.
My mother and father stayed the entire day with DeeJay and the children, helping everyone get acclimated to one another and offer suggestions to the children of what DeeJay preferred and was used to. All along the children were being watched carefully and being taught how to handle the dog in the best way.
Later that night, when my six year old reached over to brush DeeJay's hair with the nice dog brush we specifically purchased just for him, DeeJay lashed out and bit my child before the brush even touched its neck. Being a fairly nice sized dog with big, sharp teeth, it bit big holes in two different areas of my child's hand, puncturing the skin causing much bleeding. We were lucky it did not require stitches but it was still a pretty good injury.
At this point my children were very afraid of the dog, as was I and we knew we could not risk it any more, especially since my baby's face is right at the height of this dog's mouth.
I decided to call the adoption agency and inform them as to what had happened that evening, as I knew their policy stated that if anything did not work out with the dog they adopted to you, they wanted you to return the dog back to them and they would find you a replacement. When I called, I was not mad one bit. My only concern was that my children were crushed as this was their Christmas gift and that we just needed them to find our kids a dog that was USED to CHILDREN this time.
Immediately, the lady I spoke with, Naoma, acted very strange and started to try to point fingers and blame. I did not understand where her hostility was coming from. I never raised my voice in anger or was accusing, nor did I report I was going to press charges or that I was mad because it could have caused stitches, etc. But that is how she reacted! She was very much in favor of the dog and was definitely discriminating against children! Almost as if 5 children would be horrible for any dog. She also said they would never adopt to anyone who planned on using it as a child's Christmas present and that it was a bad idea to have my mother take it to her house first before giving it to the kids. She was very accusing towards my mother and wanted to blame her.
I informed her that we disclosed all of this information to the lady who helped us pick out the dog at PetSmart, who was a worker from their agency who cared for DeeJay since they rescued it. If she would have mentioned on bit to us that this was a bad ideaWE WOULD HAVE NEVER DONE IT! Of course we wanted it to work out and pick the best dog for my children under the best circumstances. It makes since, now that it finally has been explained to me, why this wasn't the best circumstances. But, being that we have never adopted a dog before or even had a dog, I had no idea it would not be good.
By the end of the conversation, we agreed that my husband and I would take DeeJay back to them the follow morning to their boarding location at 2225 N. Nellis. When I asked if we would get a replacement, she informed me that we most definitely would. We would just need to go back to PetSmart the up coming Saturday with my children and they would help find a dog and really test one out to make sure it would work with each one of them.
As we brought the dog back to their boarding house on Friday, Dec. 26th, 2008, the morning after Christmas Day, the situation turned into a disaster. The lady who worked there was even more crazy than the one we spoke with on the phone the night before. She was very accusing and very short with us regarding picking out a new dog that would work better. She informed us that she needed to know the whole story of why this one didn't work, first off. We were very patient and explained it all to her, although I already knew she was informed of the whole situation as she seemed very familiar with who we were as soon as we came in the door and knew our dog's name. The first thing she made me do before we even exchanged one word, though, was to have me fill out paper work in order to turn it over and sign my name on the dotted line. Later, I realized why she made sure she took care of this step right away!
All our children were trying so hard to be patiently waiting in the car, hoping to receive a replacement dog as their cherished Christmas present. We asked the lady if it would be at all possible if they could pick a dog from the shelter that day and if they adopted from that location. This is the point where she told me we needed to first discuss why we were bringing the dog back, acting as if what the lady had told me the night before did not pertain. We nicely explained the story once more.
In the mean time, she was another protective, dog person that was very accusing and had a strong opinion as to how to find a dog for the right home and for our children. Again, we felt discrimination against our children being appropriate for a dog at all. She was starting to get under our skin.
One thing turned to another and she eventually told us they were not going to adopt to us and we better just go to the Lied Animal Pound in town because they will give a dog to any body. Like I said, before, our home is very appropriate for a dog. It's one of the biggest lots a home is located on in the city of Las Vegas. It's in the country part of Las Vegas where there are animal rights and everyone has horses, chickens, goats, dogs, etc. in their back yards. Our new dog to be would have a very nice set up with a family that would love and take good care of him. We bought a crate for it to come and rest in the home and get out of the harsh weather outside, but also have a very nice set up outside with a dog run, dog house, and acre of land with plenty of green grass to run around on. She immediately made up her mind without getting to know what we offered and the real circumstance. We said okay, still calm at this point and then just asked for our $200 refund in exchange for no dog replacement, as this was the cost of the original one.
At this point she told us they did not give refunds. We said, yes, but your policy is to replace the one that did not work with a different one, regardless of the reason. She then made it clear, again, they would not do anything more for us.
We then asked for our dog back. It had immediately been taken from us and put in the back in one of their not kept looking cages the moment we stepped into the place! The whole boarding place felt very trashy and not kept as did the lady that was dealing with us. She abruptly told me it was no longer our dog any more. I told her yes it was. She said I had already signed the paper work over to them. At that moment I saw the paper work still sitting on the counter so I picked it up saying, Oh, this paperwork is still mine.
At that point she tried to grab it away from me and we played tug of war across the counter. She went even crazier and said she was going to call the cops. At this point, I let go of the paper work and she ran over to the phone. As she was reporting me to the police, I calmly tried to talk some sense into her. I told her that times were tough and that we could not afford to pay out more money to replace this dog. That $200 right now in this struggling economy is a lot of money. I then explained that my mom had taken good care of DeeJay for one whole month as a Christmas gift to my children. He was now a nice and healthy dog.
When we first took him home his ribs were showing and now he was nice and filled out, bathed, loved, and well taken care of. That was worth something. Also, I told her that we didn't want any trouble. When I saw she was not softening up to me, I even offered to let my mom have DeeJay permanently. This seemed better than taking a complete loss and she was the one who took such great care of DeeJay for one month and grew to love him. She was aware my mother had no children at her house and this was where DeeJay felt comfortable and that they had grown to love him there. But still she would not give our dog back to us that we had paid in the amount of $200.
Once the police arrived, they said this was a civil matter and that the protocol for us was to file a law suit stating that we were treated unfairly and that they took our dog and money from us. This was all we could do. My lawyer informed me of another option to call my credit card company, which the $200 was charged, and dispute the charges. We have made efforts to work things
My mother called back Naoma, the original lady from the foundation we had talked previously to on the phone the night before, who had assured us they would replace the dog. She was upset and no longer wanted to deal with us any longer. My husband had already spoken to Naoma before on the phone when we were still at the boarding house. She was unwilling to be rational and stick to their promise of replacing the dog. Things had gotten heated up between the two of them and BOTH said things to each that were not nice. She was irrational and wanted to argue, not wanting to do what was best for the kids and only wanting to place blame on issues that didn't even pertain or were geared at finding a better suited dog for children.
Finally, we realized we would not get anywhere with her and told her we wished to talk to the president of the foundation. She would not relinquish the president's information to us so we could contact her. But she said she would have the president call us. After waiting 2 whole weeks and not receiving one phone call from the president--they have both my cell phone and home phone--we have decided to take further action and handle this with our credit card services to see if we can get some help with these people who are not willing to negotiate or stick to their policies. Thanks for hearing us out and for your concerns! Hopefully this will have a happy ending for all.
Las Vegas, Nevada