Tennessee Pet Store Sells Defective Yorkie, Says Woman Took Dog to Wrong Vet

 |  Apr 17th 2007  |   2 Contributions


Max with portosystemic shunt (PSS).jpg

Let's try this again. NEVER buy a dog or cat from a pet store. Snakes, iquanas, birds, fish, tarantulas, frogs, okay. Dogs and cats, no!

Compare the pet store's reaction to the puppy's death to that of a reputable breeder. First, the puppy would not have been sick or if he had, he would have not been solg and the breeder would have kept the puppy. Next, if the puppy had been sold without the breeder having known the puppy was sich, then she would have taken the puppy back and given the distraught pet parent another puppy.

Thanks to WATE.com for this investigation.

Contract dispute follows pet store dog's death in Maryville

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) -- A Maryville woman bought a purebred dog by contract from a pet store. But when the dog died after an emergency illness, she was initially denied a refund because pet store managers said she didn't go to the right vet.


Debbie Gregory says for the last two weeks, her dog Bo has been pretty sad. He misses his friend, Max, a Yorkshire Terrier that Debbie gave her daughter last Christmas.

On March 31, Max became ill. "He was completely in like a coma state, not responding to anything," Debbie says.

Debbie bought Max at Petland in Maryville. She paid $700 for the purebred Yorkie. Her contract says there's a limited one-year warranty on Max against congenital and hereditary disorders. In case of emergency, the contract says owners are supposed to call Village Veterinary Hospital in Maryville.

But Debbie didn't take Max to Village Veterinary the day he was sick. "He's a Petland puppy so normally we take him to Village. But from my house to Village is a good 40 minutes."

"You took him to the closest vet?" 6 On Your Side asks. "Yes, I did. It's over on 411. It's Dr. Wilhite." It's called Animal Health Center and it's also in Maryville. Debbie says as fast as she was driving, it's "about eight minutes away."

At Animal Health Center, Max was stabilized and Debbie brought him home. But he got sick again. "So I immediately called Dr. Wilhite back and said he's doing it again," Debbie says.

Her vet directed that Max be taken to Midland Pet Emergency Center in Alcoa. It's open on the weekends.

"They couldn't do anything to keep his sugar level up," Debbie says. "They did everything humanly possible to save this dog." Then, they gave her the last alternative. "The only thing left to do was put my animal down."

A letter from the vet at Midland Pet Emergency Center says Max suffered from portosystemic shunt (PSS), a congenital defect common in Yorkies.

Taking the vet's letter with her, Debbie went to Petland, hoping to get a replacement dog due to the congenital defect. She spoke with the manager.

"Within 60 seconds, she told me I had broken the contract. They were not going to replace my pet. Boom. Immediately, no questions asked," Debbie says.

She says Petland offered to sell her another dog but there would be no full refund. "She said I broke all the rules because number one, I didn't call Petland. And I told her, in the middle of an emergency, I'm supposed to drag out a contract?"

Petland's owner tells 6 On Your Side, "Mrs. Gregory never called us until after the fact, after Max was euthanized. We want our customers to call if there's an emergency. It's in the contract."

However, Petland relented and agreed to give Debbie a replacement dog. Now, she and her family have a miniature pinscher named Ebony.

If you're going to buy a pet from a pet store with a contract, Debbie advises that you read the contract carefully and "Follow it verbatim."

6 On Your Side spoke with other full service pet stores in East Tennessee and found contracts like Petland's are common.

Follow this link to read the rest of the article and watch the video.

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