After dinner one night, my fiance and I decided to go to Petland to check out the puppies and play with one or two of them. After holding the first puppy, I was in love.
When we asked how much this adorable little yorkshire puppy was, the Petland associate said she was $1800. Alarmed by the unusually high price for such a puppy, I was immediately turned off to the idea of taking her home. The Petland associate said that the first set of vaccination vet visits, half the cost of spaying, and the AKC insurance was built into the price. He assured me that it was well worth it and that if anything happened to this Petland puppy, she would be covered.
Petland has a puppy warranty. It states "To keep this warranty in effect you must have your puppy or kitten examined by a licensed veterinarian of your choice within four (4) business days of the date of purchase. [continued below]....
....." Easy enough, we went the next morning at 8AM. Less than 24 hours, our new puppy was seen by Petland's primary veterinarian and was deemed a healthy puppy.
Four days later, our little puppy's health started to diminish and this nightmare began. She started wheezing, vomiting, sneezing, coughing, and lost a significant amount of her weight within the next two weeks. We started to become regulars at that veterinary office, going in two to three times a week, paying in full every time.
Each visit, despite our puppy's worsening condition, the vet would downplay the illness, even though the severity was getting worse. Our little puppy was prescribed two to three different types of medicines a day and force fed four times a day. After no signs of any improvement, I was feeling at a loss that our puppy would not get any better.
"In accordance with the above, this Petland retailer also warranties your Petland Puppy to be free from Parvo Virus, Distemper, Hepatitis, Corona Virus and Canine Influenza for a full Fourteen (14) days from the date of purchase." Our little puppy's cough spells would get worse as each day passed. It finally took a video of one of her cough spells to convince the vet that it was a more serious condition than she was treating the puppy for; at last, day 14 from the date of purchase, the vet diagnosed our puppy with kennel cough.
Four more weeks passed, and the kennel cough was still persistent and there was still no improvement. It was time for a second opinion. I wanted to hear the opinion of a veterinarian that was not affiliated with Petland, so we took our puppy to the new vet. As soon as he saw our puppy and listened to her chest, he knew the severity of her illness. He wanted x-rays immediately and put her on more aggressive medicine.
The next day, we started to see drastic improvement in her health. That afternoon, we had a vet appointment with the original vet as a follow-up to see how the puppy was doing. The original vet listened to the puppy's chest and said it was clear. It wasn't until the end of the visit, that we told her that we got a second opinion the day before and he said some different. From that moment on, the original vet was very defensive and was more concerned about us seeing the other vet than the health of our puppy.
The next day, our puppy was lethargic and breathing heavily, as if she was having trouble breathing. We took her to the new vet immediately, her condition worsened from kennel cough to pneumonia. She was hospitalized and released after several days. Within two weeks, she had her first vet visit as a healthy puppy; eating on her own and medicine free.
Throughout those two months, we contacted Petland several times a week and every time we called they passed us onto their third party insurance that handled cases, such as this one. We wanted to know what the next steps were in order to get reimbursed for those vet visits, since our puppy was diagnosed with kennel cough within the 14-day puppy warranty.
Petland's third party insurance point of contact lacked customer service skills and avoided answering any of our questions or our calls. She would say she would look into our case and call back in a day or two, and we would never hear back from her. It has been four months, and we still have not been reimbursed for any of the vet costs that we were told would be covered the day of purchase our puppy.