Report: #792941

Complaint Review: San Diego Puppy - San Diego California

  • Submitted:
  • Updated:
  • Reported By: Julie — Los Angeles California United States of America
  • San Diego Puppy San Diego, CA San Diego, California United States of America

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I bought what was sold to me as a pure bred Maltese puppy on June 26, 2011.  

Ad I answered

I named her Daphne.  As Daphne got bigger, she looked less and less like the pure bred Maltese I already had.  I kept trying to convince myself that she was a Maltese.  When she was six months old and weighed 13.4 pounds, I knew she couldn't be pure bred.  I love her and she is cute as can be, but she is not a Maltese.  I decided to get a DNA blood test at my vet.  Daphne had absolutely no Maltese in her, but was 1/2 Lhasa Apso (which would explain the corkscrew tail), 1/4 miniature poodle, and 1/2 miniature schnauzer (which would explain the muzzle).  The link to the actual DNA test is below:

Daphne's DNA Report

When she first came home you could believe she was Maltese:  Daphne's First Day Home

This is what Daphne looked like on October 22, 2011:  Daphne Now  Picture of Daphne now no. 2

This is my pure bred Maltese, Penelope.  You can see the difference.  She is almost a year older than Daphne and weighs 3 pounds less than she does.  They probably shouldn't have tried to pass off a mixed breed to somebody who already had a pure bred Maltese for comparison.

Penelope (pure bred Maltese)

On October 19, I emailed with San Diego puppy and was told that he was very surprised that she was a mixed breed and they would contact the breeder.  In the meanwhile, they offered me a $150 reimbursement.  At the present time, I have received no such compensation.  

The email from San Diego Puppy stated the following:  "Julie, Thank you for your email - the value of the puppy that you have as a mixed breed to us is 300 which includes the shots and deworming. Giving additional deworming and next round of vaccinations is considered puppy maintenance and cost of ownership regardless of the breed. 

We will refund you $150 dollars. I hope you find this as fair and reasonable.  Would you kindly give me your address so i can mail you a check. Thank you Julie and again we apologize for the inconvenience. 

If you'd like to remove the Yelp comment we'd be grateful as we know that this is not a common occurrence and should not reflect on our integrity and overall business model."

At the time I agreed to accept compensation, I was only suspicious of the breeder, however I was then able to find filtered reviews on Yelp that indicated that the dogs they were selling were also sick.  Luckily, so far, Daphne has been healthy.  

The filtered Yelp reviews are  below.

Filtered Yelp Reviews

On a side note, he also has "Reputation Defender" as an advertiser on his site.  I think this is why he is able to stay below the radar.  He also does misleading things like offer prizes of Petco gift cards, and he uses their logo which gives the impression that they endorse him when, in fact, he is simply buying Petco gift cards and distributing them.

Lastly, no response has been made to my inquiry regarding my reimbursement, and when I called, his wife claimed to have no knowledge of anything and said she only "ran the website."

Do not do business with these people.  They move a lot of dogs through here at very low prices.  I take responsibility for part of this as I ignored the thoughts that the price he was offering was too good to be true and something was fishy.  

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/27/2011 11:53 PM and is a permanent record located here: https://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/san-diego-puppy/san-diego-california-/san-diego-puppy-david-salinas-sells-mixed-breed-dogs-as-pure-breed-dogs-sells-sick-dogs-792941. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#11 Consumer Comment

what pet store customers don't see

AUTHOR: Bill Sutherland - (United States of America)

POSTED: Sunday, December 18, 2011
If your customers saw how their puppy's mother lived her entire life - in a cage, without adequate food, vet care, play, socialization, toys and love - they would NEVER want to purchase another pet store puppy again.

Alternatives to supporting pet stores and puppy mills:

Adopt from a shelter or petfinder.com 

For a purebred, go to a purebred rescue group or a reputable breeder.
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#10 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Final Post

AUTHOR: San Diego Puppy - (United States of America)

POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
This will be our final post - This customer can make it her personal vendetta to try to slander us with her online bullying and harassment - we have NEVER had any customer as disturbed as this one. She has serious issues, but that's beside the point.   Bottom line is you know you are doing right when you have hundreds of happy customers and very few unhappy customers and when we do have an unhappy customer we try to make it right.

Recap of what we did:

1. We apologized to Ms Fitzgerald for this situation
2. We offered Ms Fitzgerald two options return the puppy or reimbursement for the difference of the actual value of the puppy - She chose reimbursement
3. We sent her out a check for the difference

By the way Yelp is bias extremely lopsided but don't take my word for it take a look here: http://getsatisfaction.com/yelp/topics/where_are_my_reviews_is_yelp_fair

So many happy customers that cant post on Yelp..


AGAIN this will be our final post any other comments from this person will be ignored.
For healthy playful puppies www.SanDiegoPuppy.info
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#9 Consumer Comment

So Many Unhappy Customers

AUTHOR: Julie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Just read the Yelp reviews (Don't forget the filtered ones). As far as those happy customers of yours, I bet they would have never bought from you had they seen your email to me. Admit it, you busted yourself. Nobody forced you to type the email admitting that you have NO legitimate screening process for breeders. Anybody who asks for breeder information will never be given a physical address, will they?

Bitter? Because you expect people to believe it's a mistake to sell a pure-bred Maltese who is really nothing of the sort? Your own email to me speaks volumes, and she resembles every breed the DNA test determined. This was no saliva test performed at home, but a blood DNA test at my vets office, which results I have posted.

Either be willing to provide a name AND address for your breeders as required by law or be quiet. I guess there was no address at the TJ, Mexico border where you get these puppies off a truck though is there? What about the two customers on Yelp who got puppies with Parvo? Are you calling them bitter too?

Even when you sell healthy puppies, people who buy from you are contributing financially to keeping their mothers and other dogs in horrific conditions in some unknown mill in Mexico. Just because you bury your head in the sand and pick up these puppies without ever seeing where they actually come from, maybe you're able to fool yourself into thinking you are really providing a service.

You must be an amazing guy that so many responsible local breeders are able to provide you with a steady flow of so many different pure-bred dogs, designer dogs, and mutts that you can pass off as designers and pure-breds.

I can only hope Karma is alive and well, and you'll put your foot in it sooner rather than later. This really is my last response to you.

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#8 REBUTTAL Owner of company

So Many Happy Customers

AUTHOR: San Diego Puppy - (United States of America)

POSTED: Monday, December 12, 2011
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#7 Author of original report

My Final Rebuttal

AUTHOR: Julie - (United States of America)

POSTED: Thursday, December 08, 2011
Im hoping that this is my last post about David Salinas and his San Diego Puppy Regime. 

If the email I received today from Mr. Salinas when I pushed him for the origin, name and address of Daphnes breeder (which he is legally obligated to give me), I got this : 

SD Puppy's email (click here)

Mr. Salinas website, however, claims that this is how he acquires the puppies he sells: 

Website language (click here)

To sum up, I was sold what was represented to me to be a pure-bred Maltese.  The DNA blood test that my vet performed, showed that Daphe was actually Lhasa Apso, Miniature Schnauzer, and Miniature Poodle.

DNA Test link (click here)

Mr. Salinas compensated me in the amount of $150 for this error.  He never claimed that the DNA test was inaccurate.  Now, at this late date, he questions the DNA test.  Who needs a DNA test? Unless you are legally blind, you can tell that my 14 pound dog is in no way a Maltese.  She does, however, resemble the three breeds the Wisdom Panel indicated.

If this doesnt reek of a puppy mill broker, I dont know what does.  Is he kidding??  He pontificates that he cant possibly be a puppy mill broker, but when pushed admits that he met Daphnes breeder in a public place, viewed a supposed Maltese and acquired these puppies from this mythical
woman but has no clue where she breeds these dogs? 

So, were supposed to suspend our disbelief and adopt his version of reality where quality puppies are acquired from people who meet him in public places with mother and puppies in tow, leave a first and last name and then disappear into the great abyss? 

Most people wouldnt purchase oranges from a street vendor, but hell purchase pure-bred dogs this way? 

If this is the extent of this guys screening process for these so called local breeders, anybody who purchases dogs from him at this point has no business complaining after buying a puppy from him if theyve seen this review.  What more do you need than his own words?  Public location?  What does this mean?  Public parking lot?  Strip mall? Pechanga Casino? Public Restroom?  Public gas station? Public Mexican border? 

If you dont care and just want a puppy, imagine for a minute that even if your puppy from San Diego Puppy is happy, playful, social and disease free.  What about the puppys mother?  Why does she deserve to be in a little cage with little food and water, no veterinary care, and then dumped or
smashed upside the head when her usefulness is over.  I just adopted a pure-bred Maltese who was a puppy mill mama, and I feel horrific that I may have supported people who do this by buying a puppy from this man.  My girl had her surgery today to fix what they did to her at whatever puppy mill she was from.  Here are the before and after pictures:

Before and After (click here)

 For those of you sending anonymous letters to groups that deal with these types of individuals, its time to get brave and be willing to speak out for these animals who cant speak for themselves.  These organizations cant stop these people unless people are willing to come forward.   Im a single mom with a kid with autism who Ive raised by myself for 18 years, Ive worked over 25 years as a legal secretary, and I have three dogs and two parrots.  If I can do it, so can you.  If you have information, come forward. 

Im going to ignore responses from Mr. Salinas, as dealing with him and his endless talking in circles and deflection is tiresome.  Im five feet tall, bought a dog from him, and Im certainly not an animal rights terrorist, and the FBI certainly does not have me in their sites.  If they did, they would be pretty tired by now of seeing me going between the grocery store, home, and Petsmart. 
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#6 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Nice Try

AUTHOR: San Diego Puppy - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, December 07, 2011
" I'm a person who believes in nonviolence on principle. And true nonviolence is a spiritual force that the people can have, which can be the most powerful thing going. But I respect the revolutionist who adopts a violent method, because I think that the most important thing is the revolution." Bill Sutherland

[ter-uh-riz-uhm] Show IPA
the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. - dictionary.com

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#5 Consumer Comment

the truth about pet shops

AUTHOR: Bill Sutherland - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, December 07, 2011
To the owner of San Diego Puppy:

Many people are aware that most or all pet store dogs come from puppy mills. Most of us also know that pet stores usually buy their dogs directly from puppy mills or through brokers - who get their puppies from puppy mills.  No responsible breeder would ever sell puppies to a store.


Due to deplorable, inhumane conditions and bad breeding, many puppy mill dogs are born with health problems and end up sick and dying young. Many develop serious health problems after a few years and die at a young age or could potentially live a life of suffering, along with the dog owner who suffers both financially and emotionally.  The toll it can take is devastating.  What good is a 10 year guarantee at that point?

Due to puppy mills and pet stores, the market is flooded with millions of puppies each year. Many end up in shelters where millions are euthanized every year and millions more rot away in cages, lonely and frightened.  And then there is the unimaginable suffering of the millions of breeding dogs in puppy mills.

PETA and other animal protection groups and individuals are trying to stop the cycle of suffering and death. And you are putting them down? They are the heroes. And you are part of the problem Mr. Salinas.

Please stop spreading lies about PETA. There is no evidence that they are a terrorist group. After 9/11 the FBI targeted groups who spoke out against animal cruelty and exploitive corporate and government practices. These non-violent groups were labeled terrorists by the FBI. Later the Justice Department said the FBI was wrong and they improperly investigated these domestic groups, and they posed no terror threat.

To Daphne's owner, thank you for informing consumers about your experience.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company

We'll be the bigger person

AUTHOR: San Diego Puppy - (United States of America)

POSTED: Monday, December 05, 2011
We're going to be the bigger person here and not retaliate with a comment you so deserve.

Slandering is not ok - and you know it! We keep our breeders private because of people like you and other animal rights activists that are crazy enough to go knock on doors, disturb the peace, and are capable of hurting innocent people. Don't believe me? The FBI has deemed several animal rights groups such as PETA as TERRORIST Organizations.

On a positive note we're happy that you adopted a Maltese puppy we encourage adoption.

San Diego Puppy is going to keep on doing what is right and we're not going to get tired of it!

For happy quality puppies with a 10 year health guarantee - San Diego Puppy!
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#3 Consumer Comment

I Stand by my Report

AUTHOR: Julie - (U.S.A.)

POSTED: Monday, December 05, 2011
So, all of the filtered reviews on Yelp are from animal rights activists? I don't think so. Also, most of those people wrote their reviews before I wrote mine, and they also stated the breeds were misrepresented. What you keep skating around is the fact that you NEVER offered to replace Daphne with a pure-bred Maltese. Is that because you don't know any breeders of pure-bred Maltese in Tijuana?

Responsible breeders never deal in many, many different breeds. Speaking of which, I have the right under the law to know the name and address of the breeder Daphne came from. How come this information was never given to me? Lucky for you that most of your customers won't go out and confirm their doubts with a DNA test.

If you are telling he truth, you must not have a very rigorous screening process for your breeders. Selling a dog as a pure-bred Maltese that has no Maltese in her whatsoever seems like much more than a "mistake" to me. Maybe next time you shouldn't sell a mixed breed dog to somebody who already has a pure-bred of that same breed . . . Way too much room for comparison.

Do you think about the people who may dump the dog when they discover it isn't pure-bred? It's only lucky that I'm not allergic to the breeds that do make up Daphne, as this is the reason I have Maltese dogs. I also happen to love the breed.

I used to think the way you do, I'm ashamed to say. I asked why it was my responsibility to get a shelter dog and fix something that somebody else screwed up. I'm a consumer who should be able to choose where I buy a dog. I also knew that a pure-bred Maltese for $450 was way too good to be true, and i should have paid attention. As much as I love Daphne, it makes me sick to think of the conditions her mother is most likely kept in. The animal rights people do want the shelter dogs adopted first, but they also endorse responsible breeders. If you look up any guidelines for responsible breeders, you fit none of these criteria.

The mother is not available on sight, you don't screen buyers, and will sell a dog to anybody with money, you have many available breeds all the time, you do not provide the name of the actual breeder, etc. if you look up the criteria for how to spot a puppy mill/broker, you do fit those guidelines.

A week ago, I saw a Maltese on Petfinder at the North Valley Animal Shelter. She had a flea infestation, respiratory problems, a huge hernia, and she was unspayed. Her owners dropped her off with three other dogs. I am having her hernia fixed and her spay done on Wednesday. She looks like a completely different dog now that she's cleaned up. She is also potty trained, walks on a leash, gets along with my other 2 dogs, and has already given so much. it appears that when she was done producing pure-bred Maltese, they dumped her.

Maybe in some small way, I gave something back to Daphne's mother rescuing another puppy mill mother. Wonderful dogs are available at the shelters, and I wish I would have known that.

Please spare me on how you are a big fan of adoption, etc. You are very slick with the words and presenting yourself as caring about these dogs with your cute pictures and comments. Back to my original question, how come you can't produce a pure-bred Maltese for $450?? Because you can't get them for that price, can you?
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#2 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Hundreds of Happy Customers

AUTHOR: San Diego Puppy - (United States of America)

POSTED: Monday, December 05, 2011
We been in business for several years and have tons of happy customers and we strive to make it right whenever an unfortunate situation like this happens.

In this case as discussed with Ms. Julie Fitzwater of Los Angles , CA we explained that the breeder in this case misrepresented the breed. In our efforts to not sell puppies from puppy mills we have to continually work on acquiring new relationships with breeders all over southern California. On occasion we do get a bad breeder and immediately sever the ties with that breeder.

At our loss we offered Ms. Fitzwater two options:

1. Return the puppy for a full refund - This option was not accepted
2. Give a fair reimbursement to the actual value of the puppy - this was agreed upon and a refund check was issued. (On a side note my wife is a Pharmacological Chemist and does not work at San Diego Puppy - so of course she would not have known what was going on! (Totally unneeded comment on Ms Fitzwater's post)

We are a small father and son operation and we keep our overhead low as to pass the savings down to our customers. We are not in the business to sell sick puppies or to misrepresent breeds to make more money.

Do some puppies get sick from time to time - yes of course. Puppies are living organisms and like people get sick. We make every effort (with no expense spared) to keep our kennels clean and disinfected. Our puppies come with their up to date shots, dewormed, free vet check, and a comprehensive 10 year life guarantee.

This accusation of being a careless business that misrepresents breeds and sells sick puppies is simply untrue and quite frankly insulting. We would not have remained in business if this was our business model.

In the years we've been in business with the hundreds of happy customers we have - a few unfavorable  yelp reports (some from animal rights activists that love to slander breeders that have never purchased a dog from us) and one totally unfair and bias rip off report proving without a shadow of a doubt our business ethics.

Thank you for being a savvy consumer - for quality healthy puppies San Diego Puppy!
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#1 Author of original report


AUTHOR: Julie - (United States of America)

POSTED: Monday, October 31, 2011
The owner of San Diego Puppy responded to my complaint as follows:

San Diego Puppy Rebuttal

My Response was as follows:

Maybe it's good that this Yelp review is here so you can assist people who bought from you in the past who also don't think their dog is pure bred, which I'm sure you are anxious to do to correct these mistakes.  I saw that you responded to the allegations of sick dogs, however, I would think that what happened with me is more than a simple "mistake." 

I knew before the DNA results came back that Daphne couldn't possibly be a pure Maltese, but the fact that she had NO Maltese whatsoever was very shocking.  In answer to the question as to why you are still in business, I think most people fall in love with their dogs and put questions to the side.  People also aren't going to be willing to return a dog who they have fallen in love with by the time they realize there is a problem.

I would also think that my situation would raise a huge red flag regarding breeders you may be getting your puppies from.  I'm not so sure that I would have been so quick to dismiss this woman's comments given your knowledge of my situation. Dog Appearance Concern (Ears)

I would DNA test these dogs immediately.  At the very least, I would question the breeders as to the DNA/breed of the dog in cases like this:  Poodle Issue

Additionally, I would offer free DNA testing to people such as these, and those that have bought dogs from you and have legitimate doubts.  The woman with the Maltese didn't even get hers from the same litter as Daphne.  Malltese Issue

I have no emails where you offer to take Daphne back, and I think you know that I wouldn't have agreed to that.  Regardless, it's interesting that you didn't offer to replace her with a pure-bred Maltese.  Is it because you dont know any breeders who actually breed pure-bred

On Halloween, hes now apparently a rescuer and now its a rehoming fee.  Is he kidding?  Now It's a Rehoming Fee Link

On the upside, Daphne is very healthy, has a wellness plan, and sees the vet often.  She is also very well socialized, and you can't fake that.
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