adoption nightmare- long distance

ilmbgDecember 5, 2009

I found a miniature dachshund- I thought- on PetFinder. I contacted the rescue, talked to the lady, filled out the application. I was told the dog was a neutered male, 4 years old, house trained, crate trained and HEALTHY!!! I stressed both talking and on my application that I wanted a healthy dog that could go hiking. The Person who I spoke with said that he only needed a supplement that can be found in most pet stores. I do hike with my min dach frequently. I live in northern Wyoming, so the terrain can be hilly/rocky.

The dog is not healthy, not housetrained and not cratetrained (He barks all day while in the carte, I am told by neighbors). I expected a few 'accidents' while being transitioned into a new home- but he is not housebroken AT ALL!!

I think the person, Heidi, is the one who runs the program.

I paid for the adoption, paid to have the dog flown from Jacksonville, FL to Billings, Montana.......and IMMEDIATELY when I saw the dog at the airport knew that HE WASN'T 4 years old!! He also looked sickly.

The next before I was to pick him up at the airport Heidi asked 'if I had gotten what she sent in the mail?'. I said I had not because I only go to town once a week/every two weeks to get mail.

In the mail was the supplement AND a RX for pancreatic enzymes.

Anyway, I made an appointment for the dog to see the vet.

The vet puts the dog at 7-8 years old- maybe more.

The paperwork that was sent with the dog on the airline says the dog has malabsorption syndrome. I was not told this prior.

My vet agrees with the malabsorption syndrome- he says it will get worse in time.

The dog is so emaciated and in poor health that he has no muscle mass. My vet says this is characteristic of the disease.

My new 'hiking partner' poops out afer 1-2 blocks- just sits down at about 3 blocks.

His pasterns are so weak- I am wondering if the dog has been cage bound/a breeder dog all his life.

He has had only his 1 year rabies shot. (the ad on PerFinder says he is up to date with all his shots....NOT)

His teeth are terrible- I have never heard of an adoption/rescue not cleaning teeth.

Now.....I do not want this dog- he is NOT at all what he was supposed to be. I was mislead, lied to about the dog.

I want to talk to whomever is the real 'Leader' of the adoption, as Heidi does not return my calls now. I am sure she wants to keep the money and run.

I did talk to my lawyer, and he says there are options, but to try to get the adoption to take him back and return my money before resorting to legal means.

Does anyone know who actually runs D.A.R.E, (Dachshund AND Rescue, Education) I think... it is in Jacksonville, FL

What they did is not fair to either the dog or myself. I said exactly what I wanted, and they advertised the dog to be something that he isn't. It made the dog fly- a stressfull thing in itself. Now the dog has to go back. It is not fair to me, as he is not what he was said to be, I get attached to the dog, and I paid a total of $500 for adoption/flight. NOT a good adoption scenerio.

Does anyone know who to get in touch with? NOT Heidi.

Thank you

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Man I feel for you. It is so easy to be conned these days. First I would get on every forum related to dachies and minis and relate your story, that way t=more people wont be swindled. Next I suggest contacting the Florida Humane society to let them know what happened to see if they can get involved. Is the person a real business? Is it licenesed with the State? They may be looking for this person themselves. would wrte a regular letter informing whoever is at the address that you have an attorney on the case, the BBB and the humane society and that you are currently pursuing legal matters and that unless she contacts you and is willing to refund your money IN FULL, that the law will be contacting her in the near future. And before you get any dog from anywhere. Have the person send you a photo, a copy of a business license, paper work from a vet and the contact information from the vet so you can contact the vet to ask before you spend lots of money and any pup in the future. YOu might also contact Best Friends and ask if they can help assist you in finding a more suitable home for the pup you did get...good luck

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 5:21AM
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I've heard of them,my daughter was inquring with this rescue about a adopting a doxie,when they contacted her they tried to get her to adopt a special needs doxie and not the one she inquired about.Jacksonville,Fl is about a hour and half from us.Anyway I believe shes not going to adopt a doxie right now.Good luck!Debbie

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:57PM
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I don't know if you posted on another forum or not, but I think I replied, if not DO NOT GO TO their web site. It is full of virus. My computer stopped at least one so far. D.A.R.E. is a legal site about teens and drugs and not the rescue site. DARE might be the site but that is the one is virus laden. mazer has some good advice, and also contact the Attorney general of Fl in writing. The only thing the BBB will do is file the complaint. Legally they cannot or will not do anything and anyone can join if they pay their dues. When I sold Avon, we were told we could be members if we wish. I never did. Threatening might or might not work. The humane society will check if they suspect the people are not taking care of the dogs. Did you check with the local law enforcement to see if this dog has been stolen? you could also contact in writing with all the information the city attorney, board of supervisors and/or county attorney. Google the city and find all the information and let all know, Even the local politicians know. Especially if it is an election year.
I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 1:24PM
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Geez- Now it makes me wonder about how legit/dedicated they really are- especially with them trying to get Debbie's daughter to adopt a different dog.

mariend- You are saying the adoption site is the one with all the virus? That might explain why my antispy/virus programs are showing so many every time it scans... I get on PetFinder alot, just to look. Is PetFinder also a virus haven?

Heidi did call me back today- she is willing to pay his fare and my adoption fee back. That is a start- I want the flight fee to here paid for also. Now, it is so horribly cold, that I couldn't fly him.....

Wish me luck...

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 1:57PM
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My local rescue organization is familiar with and has dealt with DARE. She says they are quite reputable. She's trying to get in touch with a group in hopes they'll come and get him so he doesn't have to be flown back.

I know this wasn't the dog you expected, but couldn't you find a way to love him and take him into your home? He obviously needs some TLC. If you send him back, what's his future?

I can't hike with my husband, either. But he's keeping me anyway.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 2:59PM
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FYI - Neither updated Norton nor McAfee indicate any risks on that site. (Cookies are not a threat.) The officers and board members are listed and you can contact them through the site.

Isn't there a group closer to you from whom you can adopt? They do look legitimate and have good practices on their website, I'm curious as to why they would adopt out long distance. It's risky for the dogs unless they have a sister organization in your area who checked you out. Whole thing seems odd, and you may be dealing with a volunteer who was simply not forthcoming with you.

Have to ask though - do you really mean 'hiking'? I would think an energetic medium sized pound dog would be a better match for true hiking.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 3:34PM
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I am so very sorry to read that you have been victimized by this lady. In addition to the horrible stress you are under, there a lot of things to try to accomplish.

Try to 'work' with this lady the best you can to get your full money back (vet fees, pet cost and shipping) without the expense of collection/court, etc. A letter from your attorney may assist you with this. If she still doesn't cooperate, I would file a complaint immediately with the Attorney General's office. She will get a photocopy of the complaint and it may very well help you. If she's sending you a full refund, then wait and file the complaint after. If you only get a partial refund, request the balance on your Attorney General form. (It's a very easy form to complete, don't feel intimidated). I'm dealing with the nightmares of the court system right now. Try to avoid this.

I know that you don't want this dog (and you probably feel bad for saying so)! But the reality is you got intentionally dumped on with a huge situation you were not prepared for or agreed to. There ARE people willing and able to care for a pet that requires health assistance. That being said, if there is any possibility of you re-homing the animal, then please take on the extra burden and try to find him a home. She may very well not want to pay to ship the dog back. I would rather see him go to a home then back to her for re-homing again :(

If this hasn't been a nightmare enough for you, please, please, please file complaints with anyone that will listen. I was under the GROSS misconception that if I reported my own incident to these agencies that things get taken care of. It doesn't work that way. They need multiple complaints. You would be shocked at the number of people that DON'T file a complaint. As a result, these people continue to operate and we continue to be victimized. It's heart wrenching for the unsuspecting adopters and shameful to those that sit in silence. If we don't speak out loudly on each and every instance as group, the perpetrators will continue indefinitely. Look at your dog's condition and what was done to you. I find it hard to believe you are the only one this woman is doing this to.

In addition to the other organizations mentioned, I would suggest you contact the ASPCA. Give them your factual situation and all of this person's information. They will be able to determine if she actually works for the rescue. They reference "rescues" as well as breeders. The legitimate rescues I'm aware of would never operate in such a fashion.

If you look on their website, you can see some information on "bait and switch" under "puppy mill scams" and they also have a link to report false advertising to the Internet Crime Complaint Center. False advertising is a federal offense. For whatever it's worth, if you fall into this category then report it. Keep all of your documentation about the advertising. If you haven't printed it out and can't find it anywhere on the web, double check on the "Wayback Machine" (internet archive). I found that there is more recourse under 'fraud' than the sub-standard puppy mill laws.

Again, I'm very sorry this was done to you. It's an exhausting, sad situation. Do the most you can to prevent this from happening to someone else.

Here is a link that might be useful: ASPCA

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 5:02PM
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Here is a link to the Florida Attorney General's Office.

Here is a link that might be useful: FL Attorrney General

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 5:17PM
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Really, this sounds like fraud.

I've seen multiple craigslist ads with the same photogenic, cutely-posed dog, & I just *know* that the "rescue" isn't really a rescue;
it's just somebody turning a profit via defenseless animals & other people's kind hearts & lack of suspicion.

If this is a 501-3c tax-exempt group, you might report it to the IRS.

or at least tell "Heidi" that's what you're going to do.

I wish you the best.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 5:44PM
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Thanks for the help.
I found the dog on Petfinder. I have a copy of the ad in my other computer- which I have dropped for the umpteenth time the other day and now can't get it to work. It is at the computer guy so he can get the file out. This file/ad, shows/tells a 4 year old healthy, housetrained, crate trained, up to date with shots, neutered (he is) dog. There is NOTHING that says he is a 'special needs' dog.
Heidi has been in contact, and will pay the return fare.
I was contacted by someone else who was extremely rude- says I KNEW I was getting a special needs dog...NOT!
I won't do anything until the tech gets the ad out of my other computer. My lawyer said to do nothing until I get the file- it is what proves that the ad I read says nothing about a special needs.
It is just really too bad that the dog has to go through this- he is a sweet litle dog, but not healthy.
To answer your question about hikin...I already have a miniature dachshund- she is a WONDERFUL hiking companion! I live in northern Wyoming, and there are lots of places to go/see. I am not a 'hard' hiker because I have some disabilities myself, but walking is about all I am allowed to do safely now. I cannot wear out my current dog! She can outhike me anyday! She is 6 years old. I thought another HEALTHY dog would be a nice friend for her to be hiking with, too. I can afford another small, healthy dog.
I thought adopting one who needed a home would be good. I thought I checked this place out carefully...
My lawyer, and friends also, and now myself think that the rescue thought 'Oh boy, here is someone who knows dogs, can provide a good home, has tons of references- we'll let her think this dog is a good one, let her get attached emotionally, and then she won't want to send the dog back'.
What makes them even more disgraced, is that I wrote on the application exactly what I wanted the dog for!
The dog is a cute as can be, and I always expect a couple 'accidents' when a dog comes to a new place, but he is not housebroken in any fashion. And he (as my vet confirmed) will not ever be able to hike. He has a hard enough time keeping his weight now, and that is without expending any alories with hard exercise. He needs to be a pet in a quiet home maybe with elderly people.
I don't know if this was a scam on purpose, or some people want to have their rescue dogs have a good home so badly that 'little white lies' are told.
Anyway, he will go back when I am satisfied that my total expenses are met. I detest fraud.
Debbie- I wonder if this is the same dog that they tried to get your daughter to adopt? Trying to get an adoptee to take a different dog than what they want is not acceptable. Especially if it is a 'special needs' dog...
I will heed all of your advice.
I think I am through with adoption.
If there is to be another dog in my future, it will be a puppy that I pick out.
Unfortunately this means another dog that needed a home does not have one.

Nowwwww, guys...what do you think about the rescued dogs that the soldiers are trying to send to the states? We already have so many here- should we be trying to help the war zones when we have to put so many in the USA to sleep each and every day? Saw it on tv this am.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 10:07PM
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ilmbg,my daughter was interested in a female dog(Suzy)it turned out she was 6years old and she wanted one a little younger than her own which is under 3 years.They suggested she look at Lita)a special needs dog with allegies,she onced weighed a lot and lost weight and has lots of loose skin that is hairless.I feel tremendously for this dog but having a dog that has allergies myself(but not to this extent)it can get expensive treating allergies.The dog doesn't look like hair will ever grow back on her legs.Being her dogs are considered my granddogs as in I have to babysit them when she vacations,etc I felt I should have a say in the situation.I would have supported her though if she insisited in getting her.My heart does go out to the dog when I look at her photo and I really hope she finds a home soon..Debbie

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:10AM
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Nowwwww, guys...what do you think about the rescued dogs that the soldiers are trying to send to the states? We already have so many here- should we be trying to help the war zones when we have to put so many in the USA to sleep each and every day? Saw it on tv this am.

Why not?? There are lots of children who need homes in the US, yet people adopt from other countries all the time. I see absolutely nothing wrong with soldiers helping suffering animals.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:11AM
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I am from DARE, Dachshund Rescue in Florida. We left messages for you yesterday with arrangements that we had made for Gabe to be dropped off at a local vets office to be boarded. We also made arrangements with a person from a local shelter to pick him up this morning to transfer him to a vets office in Cody who has agreed to board him. You talked with her initially and then all calls went to your voice mail. We have made arrangements with a local Dachshund Rescue to foster him until he can be safely transported back to Florida but we need you to cooperate with us to make this happen. Please call Bobbie Jo. You have her contact info.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:15AM
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Lita is my foster dog and I spoke with your daughter. I knew it was a long shot but I suggested that she look at Lita's bio along with several others. Lita is considered a special needs adoption because of her allergies and resulting skin infection and damage. Thankfully some of her fur is starting to grow back now. It will be a long road for her. She was turned into my vets office to be put to sleep because of these issues and the vet convinced them to surrender her to us. We think she's wonderful and love having her with us.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 11:28AM
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Furryfritz,I'm glad Lita is in a loving home even if its a foster home and I'm glad you chimed in here for DARE.I keep going back to look at her pics and I feel for her so much.I'm not against adopting special need pets,I just know how much patience is required for dogs with allergies.I have bassets myself and one is a rescue and one I purchased.The purchased one has had so many more problems than the other.Good luck and heres hoping lita finds her forever home soon...Debbie(by the way she didn't mention any others to look at besides lita,maybe lita was tugging at her heart to.))

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 12:45PM
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Furryfritz, I'm happy things are working out for the dachsund. I had contacted Kelly from Lost Angels Animal Rescue to see if she could contact your group to see if something could be done. Hopefully, she was able to give you info you needed.

Keep up the good work!!!

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 2:06PM
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