BEWARE of this shop. It puts children in danger and re-sales animals over and over while making a profit and providing misleading information!
I walked into Adopt&Shop with the intent to pass some time before returning to work. I fell in love with a picture of a white dog they had named Gerald. It was only a picture and no other information about this dog, except that this agency was just getting to know this dog since it had recently arrived. I asked to see the dog and it was well mannered and behaved a lot like a cat. I had not owned a dog in over 20 years and began asking a lot of questions to the staff. I asked if it was normal for the dog to seem so passive and nonresponsive as he did not respond to your talking to him and did not seem to like playing with toys.
The staff were quick to say that he is a gentle giant, anxious from being in a cage, and he walked great on a leash. I called and had someone bring my very small children to the shop because my children (3, 3, and 5) do not like animals jumping on them or that have too much energy. While waiting for my children, I asked the staff if there was any history on this dog or any facts or behaviors I should know. A staff member reviewed something at the front desk and then said that they knew nothing except that he was found in a field and that he had spent some time in the Downey Shelter.
My children arrived and Gerald did not react as most dogs and barely reacted at all. Again, not having had dog in over 20 years and knowing my children's dislike of energetic dogs, I thought it may be a good thing for them to have a calm pet who did not seem to care if they were there or not.
I left the dog there to think about it over a long weekend. I went to different shelters and locations for dogs and did not feel right about the very energetic/loud dogs and my children agreed that they liked Gerald best. I called to see if Gerald was still available and he was. I asked a ton of questions again to be sure that I was making the best ad safest decision for my family. I arrived to purchase the dog and brought him home. The children were very excited to see their new pet. Gerald allowed them to pet him and they would run around together sometimes. Many of the times he was very calm and quiet. He had excellent training for almost anything.
However, He soon became comfortable and began snarling and growling at the children, which turned into snapping at them. Gerald snapped so hard, or possibly bit, a 4 year old neighbor. Unfortunately, she began crying so hard and covering her mouth while covering up whatever wound that was producing quite a bit of blood. She would not allow me or her father to see the wound and they went home. I later asked and they said she was cut on the inside of her mouth and had a very swollen lip.
I called several trainers and also told them that we had discovered that the dog is deaf. They all said that they might be able to help, but a dog who is aggressive towards children will likely not change and especially not when deaf. One trainer met Gerald and was bit. The trainer and many others described Gerald as Pitt and the store had assured me the dog is Labrador Mix and probably no Pitt at all. Gerald had been aggressive towards me on several occasions, but the children were not safe. My children were coming to me, crying while holding the side of their face, stating that Gerald bit them. Fortunately there were never any injuries on my children. I decided that I can not take the chance of another child getting injured.
I had a pretty good relationship with most of the Adopt&Shop staff. I had to tell my children that we had only "fostered" the dog hoping that we could get to know more about him and the store could be sure that they make a good match for Gerald, which included no association with children. We drove Gerald back to the store and I explained my concerns. They took Gerald back and had me complete a questionnaire about Gerald's return. I was very clear in the written document to state that Gerald is aggressive and definitely towards children. I said that he should not be adopted/sold to a family with children. I also informed him that he is deaf and even more difficult to train for child safety. I asked that the shop tell interested people about him being deaf, aggressive towards children, but very well trained.
I also asked for a refund due to the complete poor match of the dog and the high risks associated to him (Deaf, aggressive, pit bull). Pitt bulls can not be covered on any insurance--so be aware. The male manager told me that he would contact his supervisor and contact me soon. He called me the following morning and said that there would be a refund and that he could see that we had taken several days to decide to take him home, had the children meet him before an impulsive decision was made, and called their shop and spoke to a trainer there while sharing concerns about the dog and safety of my children. He agreed that Gerald is deaf and said that he does not know how that slipped by the staff. I told him that I would be there the following day. I asked if I should wait to see him personally or would each staff understand. He said any staff would understand about the refund.
I talked to the staff on Monday and said that I would be there on Tuesday. To my surprise, I arrived and the staff I spoke with told me that there was no way there would be a refund as it is a no refund policy at their store. I tried to explain the whole story and she put me on the phone with who I thought was the original male manager. It turned out to be the most arrogant, disrespectful, and rude male character. He was not the original staff, as I knew that from the voice. I tried to explain the details and he continued to repeat that there is no refund. I explained about the dog's aggression and he had the nerve to tell me that Gerald was definitely not aggressive and that he definitely never bit a child at my house. My God, they keep animals in small cages. How would they know any animals behaviors or personality.
How dare he tell me what did or did not happen while my new pet resided in my home. I also told him how it was never known or disclosed that Gerald is deaf and he sarcastically laughed as he said that they knew that when they found him and therefore I knew. I walked over to the new picture of Gerald on the door that now reads that he is well trained, likes dogs, but not cats......many of the things I had said, which really had placed me as a foster parent to Gerald as I have the picture that was up when I first saw Gerald's picture. There was no mention of his being deaf or any bit of information about him. I asked the character on the phone how he could post untrue facts about Gerald's behaviors towards children and he said "you are not going to direct me on my advertising techniques."
My biggest fear is that the new picture described Gerald as being a calm dog and a dog that children will love. This is an accident or death waiting to happen. Or someone will be sued because he bites someone who is not a family member. There are so many concerns that I have about a company who would knowingly mislabel a dog as child friendly. How many times will Gerald be returned and resold, making this company several hundred dollars. When I returned Gerald, there was conversation about 2 border collies that had been returned. This is not a shop selling pets. This is a shop that leaves families heartbroken because they had tried to love a pet that should have never been allowed to be adopted. And they clearly are a FOR-PROFIT as they have a lot of return pets. Why don't they have their trainer do some training to make some of these animals ready for homes?