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Old 05-03-2010, 08:28 AM
 
1,688 posts, read 3,679,912 times
Reputation: 1772
Getting into a "blame game" is going to go nowhere fast - very fast. Whether or not it was a pre-existing condition that was missed on a routine exam or if it was a more a "sudden onset" type issue is not the point.

The point is - or should be - policy. If the fees are clearly stated to be non-refundable regardless of anything at all, then that is the policy. End of.

If this is allowed to become personal with finger pointing and recriminations... it's just a head-ache that need not happen in the first place and will lead down a very, very unproductive road.

Poor Mr. Newfie.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:33 AM
 
Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
1,315 posts, read 4,458,378 times
Reputation: 1494
Adoption 1 and Adoption 2 and the health of the dog in each case are separate issues, since there is no proof that anything Adopter 1 did or didn't do contributed to the health problem of the dog. The vet that did the first exam may have missed something, or perhaps the dog's illness didn't manifest itself until the dog experienced the stress of rehoming, which can be significant.

Keeping it simple, Adopter 1 entered into an agreement to adopt a dog.
  • They paid the required adoption fee and signed a contract agreeing that the adoption fee is not refundable.
  • They complained about the dog's appetite. You advised them to see their vet if they felt the dog had a health issue and then have the vet contact you. They didn't.
  • They complained their sheltie was acting aggressively toward the adoptive dog. They said the adoptive dog was acting appropriately. You suggested training for the sheltie. They didn't pursue training.
  • Their stated reason for returning the dog was that the adoption "wasn't working out."
If Adopter 1 had visited the vet, found the dog had a pre-existing and undisclosed medical condition and notified you, they may have had a legitimate reason to petition you for a full or partial refund of the adoption fee or payment of the vet bills related to treatment of the pre-existing condition. By not seeing the vet they tacitly agreed that the dog did not have a health issue while in their home, since everyone will agree that a responsible, caring pet owner would seek veterinary advice if a dog was ill.

They didn't follow your advice regarding training or vet care. They didn't take reasonable measures to ensure the success of the adoption, including working with their own dog to ensure a smooth integration of the new dog into their household.

The adoptive dog was not the problem. They decided that they didn't want to do the work necessary to make the adoption a success. There is no reason to give them a refund.

The fact that they told Adopter 2 --and not you-- that the dog's sac was swollen, and the fact that they let him go to a new home without seeking medical care is appalling, and tells you that it's a good thing for the dog that they returned him.

Tell Adopter 1 politely that they agreed to the terms of the adoption, including the non-refundable adoption fee. Explain that you understand that they must be disappointed that the adoption didn't work out, that you know they are aware of and concerned about the dog's well-being since they mentioned it to Adopter 2, that now that you are aware of the problem, the dog is getting needed veterinary care to address the issue, and that their fee will be used to pay down the veterinary expenses to get the dog healthy. (Of course, do not adopt another dog into their home.)

One thing to consider for the future: It's probably not a good idea to allow a direct transfer of a dog from one adopter to another, particularly if there's been a problem of any kind with the dog or the first adopter. Despite the inconvenience, it's probably better for you to be the one in control of the transition, and for you to see and verify the health and well being of the dog before it goes to the next home, to make it easier to assign responsibility in case there is some kind of problem.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:45 AM
 
13,519 posts, read 22,179,998 times
Reputation: 9844
Yeah,,,, what Leorah said..

It is also a good idea not to send an email when you are upset.. at least wait until the next day and re-read it.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,249,618 times
Reputation: 5506
Still haven't heard back from adopter #2 or the vet. Getting a bit irritated. I've got their info at home so I can't even remember the vet's name. Will have to call hubby to get it and call myself.

Adopter #1 is now threatening to sue. I hate anything happening that looks bad for the rescue and am afraid they will spin it and say he was sick when they got him. My vet had cleared him for adoption and deemed him healthy. Could they have missed a problem? Sure. Anything is possible. But when I was told he wasn't eating and told them to see the vet and we'd cover any medical problems and they didn't do it............... I mean, hello - that's neglect. Instead of seeing the vet, they wait several more days and then want to return him. They told the new adopters something was wrong. They acknowledged the problem and denied him medical care. Gah!

I told them I'm waiting on the vet report and in the meantime they can submit a letter to the board officially requesting their adoption fee returned. Once I've got the medical records - if it turns out it was a problem he's had a while that my vet missed, even though they neglected to give him any medical care when they knew something was wrong - I'll send them a letter saying we're refunding it under special circumstances but that because they denied him any medical care for a condition they knew he had they are no longer approved for adoption through our rescue. I'll let the rescues / shelters I know of know what happened and they can make their own decision.

If however the vet says it's something that happened while in their care they'll get no refund and I"ll contact their animal welfare agency (HSUS, animal control, etc) and advise them of what happened and send them the vet report. And they'll get no refund. If something happened to him in their care and it was their fault I'll be major ticked. I"m afraid at this point they put him in the back of a truck and he fell out or he was kicked or something. I just hope I"m wrong.
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Montreal -> CT -> MA -> Montreal
12,238 posts, read 11,781,911 times
Reputation: 15753
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Still haven't heard back from adopter #2 or the vet. Getting a bit irritated. I've got their info at home so I can't even remember the vet's name. Will have to call hubby to get it and call myself.

Adopter #1 is now threatening to sue. I hate anything happening that looks bad for the rescue and am afraid they will spin it and say he was sick when they got him. My vet had cleared him for adoption and deemed him healthy. Could they have missed a problem? Sure. Anything is possible. But when I was told he wasn't eating and told them to see the vet and we'd cover any medical problems and they didn't do it............... I mean, hello - that's neglect. Instead of seeing the vet, they wait several more days and then want to return him. They told the new adopters something was wrong. They acknowledged the problem and denied him medical care. Gah!

I told them I'm waiting on the vet report and in the meantime they can submit a letter to the board officially requesting their adoption fee returned. Once I've got the medical records - if it turns out it was a problem he's had a while that my vet missed, even though they neglected to give him any medical care when they knew something was wrong - I'll send them a letter saying we're refunding it under special circumstances but that because they denied him any medical care for a condition they knew he had they are no longer approved for adoption through our rescue. I'll let the rescues / shelters I know of know what happened and they can make their own decision.

If however the vet says it's something that happened while in their care they'll get no refund and I"ll contact their animal welfare agency (HSUS, animal control, etc) and advise them of what happened and send them the vet report. And they'll get no refund. If something happened to him in their care and it was their fault I'll be major ticked. I"m afraid at this point they put him in the back of a truck and he fell out or he was kicked or something. I just hope I"m wrong.
AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

I'm so mad, I'm seeing (and typing) red.

Some people... !!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 05-03-2010, 11:59 AM
 
Location: East Valley, AZ
3,753 posts, read 4,855,204 times
Reputation: 3697
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrs1885 View Post
Still haven't heard back from adopter #2 or the vet. Getting a bit irritated. I've got their info at home so I can't even remember the vet's name. Will have to call hubby to get it and call myself.

Adopter #1 is now threatening to sue. I hate anything happening that looks bad for the rescue and am afraid they will spin it and say he was sick when they got him. My vet had cleared him for adoption and deemed him healthy. Could they have missed a problem? Sure. Anything is possible. But when I was told he wasn't eating and told them to see the vet and we'd cover any medical problems and they didn't do it............... I mean, hello - that's neglect. Instead of seeing the vet, they wait several more days and then want to return him. They told the new adopters something was wrong. They acknowledged the problem and denied him medical care. Gah!

I told them I'm waiting on the vet report and in the meantime they can submit a letter to the board officially requesting their adoption fee returned. Once I've got the medical records - if it turns out it was a problem he's had a while that my vet missed, even though they neglected to give him any medical care when they knew something was wrong - I'll send them a letter saying we're refunding it under special circumstances but that because they denied him any medical care for a condition they knew he had they are no longer approved for adoption through our rescue. I'll let the rescues / shelters I know of know what happened and they can make their own decision.

If however the vet says it's something that happened while in their care they'll get no refund and I"ll contact their animal welfare agency (HSUS, animal control, etc) and advise them of what happened and send them the vet report. And they'll get no refund. If something happened to him in their care and it was their fault I'll be major ticked. I"m afraid at this point they put him in the back of a truck and he fell out or he was kicked or something. I just hope I"m wrong.
Good Lord--people sue over everything these days!

The fees it costs to hire a lawyer and sue someone would surely bypass the amount they paid in adoption fees, so I don't see how that threat even has merit.

If you offered to pay for medical expenses after they said the dog wasn't eating well, and didn't listen, that's your perfect out. You did everything on your end right!

I wouldn't give in, at all, but that's just the spirit in me Stubborness runs in my family.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:35 PM
 
20,745 posts, read 16,095,078 times
Reputation: 8267
Can I ask how much money we are talking about?

This very likely would be small claims.

Let them file, you will win.

If they really feel wronged, their filing would be against the vet, not you.
That would not go very far either.

Can you put their name on a list or something so they can't move on to another pet?? They do not need one.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,249,618 times
Reputation: 5506
Quote:
Originally Posted by MAtheBanker View Post
Good Lord--people sue over everything these days!

The fees it costs to hire a lawyer and sue someone would surely bypass the amount they paid in adoption fees, so I don't see how that threat even has merit.

If you offered to pay for medical expenses after they said the dog wasn't eating well, and didn't listen, that's your perfect out. You did everything on your end right!

I wouldn't give in, at all, but that's just the spirit in me Stubborness runs in my family.
I'm spiteful as all get out. But when it comes to the rescue and the rescues name, I tread lightly. Any bad rumors about the rescue could have the potential to turn someone away from adopting, which ultimately costs animals their lives. I don't want to be responsible for that. That's why I"m so torn.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Tropical state of mind
5,100 posts, read 8,249,618 times
Reputation: 5506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driller1 View Post
Can I ask how much money we are talking about?

This very likely would be small claims.

Let them file, you will win.

If they really feel wronged, their filing would be against the vet, not you.
That would not go very far either.

Can you put their name on a list or something so they can't move on to another pet?? They do not need one.
It's only $150. It would cost them more to file than the fee is. It doesn't make sense. And I'm not worried about the money. It's just money. It's the rescue's reputation that I'm worried about.

Yes, there's a national DNA (do not adopt) registry that we're signed up with and they'll be added for sure. Even if my vet missed something, they knew something was wrong and couldn't be bothered to take him to a vet. That alone in my opinion was reason to be added.
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Old 05-03-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: California
9,714 posts, read 23,387,476 times
Reputation: 21424
Let'em try and sue. It sounds as tho everything was done right. I still say, no refund, means NO REFUND.
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