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Terrible time with a newly acquired pet

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Hello

 

I wonder if anyone could help please?

 

We purchased a 4 year old dog from a private seller and had her for a total of two and a half weeks.

 

She was sold as being friendly and gentle and the owners assured us that, "She doesn't have a bad bone in her body and wouldn't hurt a fly".

 

Since purchasing Lola, she was always very vocal when out on a lead and barked and pulled strongly towards other animals and at times also towards people, especially so when out with my girlfriend.

 

We were in daily contact with the previous owners via text with regular updates on Lola and we twice raised concerns about her seemingly aggressive behaviour towards other animals/people - we were assured that she would never do anything. I forgot to mention that the previous owners had the dog since she was a puppy for all of her four years prior to selling her to us, so in my view, they will have known her much better than we did!

 

During the first week of her being with us, our neighbours were away on holiday, but upon their return, their dog was picked up from the boarding kennels and was subsequently out in the garden a lot - this caused Lola to run to the fence and attempt to almost burrow underneath it whilst barking at Bella. We also raised this with the previous owners, who assured us that she used to do this with their neighbour's dog, but would never hurt her.

 

The neighbours suggested we introduce both dogs, as it was most probably 'barrier frustration' causing them both to bark at each other. I put Lola on her lead on Sunday evening and the lady next door did the same with Bella. Lola pulled towards the dog, whilst not showing any signs of aggression and sniffed her. Bella was lying down at this point totally submissive. Out of nowhere, our dog launched at Bella's head and bit down on her ear and wouldn't let go. The only way I can describe it is she was in 'kill mode'. All of the neighbours on the street came out and nobody could do anything either. I did my utmost to try and shock Lola into letting go, but she had no intention of doing so. I had to put my fingers into her mouth and prise her jaws apart - I am a 6ft man and pretty strong and had to use all of my strength to release her grip.

 

Bella needed an emergency operation and we contacted the previous owners about this incident and also asked if they would take her back, as she wasn't as we had been led to believe. Within three minutes of my partner's text, she replied and said that her partner and her were both of the view that Lola is clearly unsafe and should be put to sleep! We were so shocked.

 

My partner asked why they wouldn't take her as they had her for four years and if she hadn't been previously aggressive, why not, but their response was they had their child to think about and would no longer trust the dog. We also have children I hasten to add.

 

We approached various kennels during the following days and nowhere would take her. We also visited the vets to get her checked for any medical reasons as to why she had acted in the way she did and she received a clean bill of health.

 

We were advised to speak to the Dog Warden, which we did, and it was his view that she was dangerous and a 'ticking time bomb' and needed to be put to sleep. This whole experience has been devastating for us all and we have had no further responses from the previous owners regarding this matter. We had to take her to a vet to carry out this awful deed and she also said that she was an aggressive animal and this had to happen.

 

We also discovered whilst Lola was in our care that she had a dog walker who used to take her out every day and upon checking his website, he was one who specialised in dogs with 'issues'.

 

Sorry for the lengthy message, I just wondered whether you felt there would be any redress in terms of compensation from the previous owners please?

 

Many thanks

 

Paul

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I think you'll have a fight on your hands but I think it's worth trying. Get in touch with that dog walker first, he's going to be your best evidence that the dog was knowingly misdescribed.

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Hello

Thank you for your reply, I appreciate it.

We thought of getting in touch with the dog walker too, but know that he also walks another of their family's dogs too - does he have to give us the information, or can he refuse?

Many thanks

 

Paul

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He doesn't have to talk to you but he's worth a try. Might be worth checking with his local council if he needs any sort of licence to run such a business - I honestly don't know but from what you say he's claiming to be a specialist with 'difficult' dogs and he obviously didn't make much headway with this one. If he won't cooperate you could then involve the dog warden/council.

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Animals are just like any other goods for your purposes. In this case the dog was a private sale of second hand goods and should have been properly described. If there were any behaviour problems you should have been told - you certainly shouldn't have been told the opposite.

 

One other avenue is to contact all the local rescues again and see if the previous owners had tried to get them to take the dog. Rescues won't usually take a dog with such behaviour problems as you found out.

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Animals are just like any other goods for your purposes. In this case the dog was a private sale of second hand goods and should have been properly described. If there were any behaviour problems you should have been told - you certainly shouldn't have been told the opposite.

 

One other avenue is to contact all the local rescues again and see if the previous owners had tried to get them to take the dog. Rescues won't usually take a dog with such behaviour problems as you found out.

 

Thank you for this sound advice, we will try this avenue. The previous owner had mentioned something when we got Lola that she had tried the Dogs Trust but said she hadn't liked the place, I now think there was more to it.

 

Thanks again

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Also remember that a dog warden is not a qualified professional behaviorist. Theyre just a person hired by the council to catch animals . No real qualification or experience is needed to do it.

 

A vet could sway an argument, but again, the majority of vets arent behaviourists either and when hearing about a dog attacking another, theyll almost always side with the victim as its the easy way out.


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Also remember that a dog warden is not a qualified professional behaviorist.

Quite right but I was thinking they might have had reports about the dog/previous owners. Anything which shows any previous knowledge that this dog had behavioural problems would be evidence of misdescription.

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Dogs are like people, some of them have a temper.

They're not toys that act on command and if they don't we take them back to the store.

It's always a risk to get a pet, especially a 4 year old one.

All of us know that pets become part of the family and are loved as much as humans, so why give it away to a stranger after 4 years???

Personally, even if you have legal rights, I would just forget about it and learn a valuable lesson: why pay for a dog when there are hundreds ready to be adopted in rescue centres?

Is a pure breed better than a mongrel?

No, unless you are Paris Hilton or Jordan.

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I'm sorry this has happened to you. We ran a Rescue for many years until health dictated otherwise. It was always the case that previous owners were very economical with the truth in the belief that we would not help rehome their pet. There were many difficult cases and the ones you describe were fortunately in the minority. It is sad to say that the advice to have the animal put to sleep could well turn out to be a blessing in didguise as just imagine the horror if something really untoward were to have happened.

 

I agree with king and try to move forward as there are lots of very decent pets looking for new homes in established Rescue Centres. I was always taught there are no bad dogs just bad owners.


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I was always taught there are no bad dogs just bad owners.

 

I thought the same thing, until my father who trained dogs all of his life to an extremely high standard, took a pincher Doberman from a friend because the dog was "mad".

For an entire year my dad tried to get this dog straight, but then he gave up and had to finally accept defeat.

7 years on this dog is still mad, he barks at everything, he inseminates furniture and cannot be taken around without a leash otherwise it runs away.

All training techniques have failed with it.

He's just a bad dog, same as some people are naturally bad.

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Thank you to you all for your support and advice, I really appreciate it.

 

We have received a letter back from the previous owners stating that it was nothing to do with them, basically.

 

They did of course quote The Animal Act and suggest that we were the owners at the time of the attack and therefore responsible, which to some extent, I do agree with. However, we have written back and reiterated again our belief that we weren't furnished with all information about Lola and the sheer fact that within a couple of minutes of my other half texting her to tell her what had happened with the neighbour's dog, we receive a reply telling us to put her to sleep as she is clearly dangerous sets alarm bells ringing.

 

She also asked for proof of the receipts from the vets, so hopefully they will appreciate where we are coming from now and we can bring this to a close.

 

Thanks again

 

Paul

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Sorry, just another point I forgot to mention, we cited the Sale of Goods Act and how they had also fallen short of what it states in this by not being fully truthful about Lola's temperament.

 

Thanks

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We have also been to a rescue centre this morning and met a beautiful little dog called Stella, who we have agreed to foster for a short time to make sure she is ok and settled with us before we adopt.

 

Again, thanks for all the support

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Hello there.

 

I really hope it works out with Stella. Tell us more about her please. :)

 

HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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Sorry, just another point I forgot to mention, we cited the Sale of Goods Act and how they had also fallen short of what it states in this by not being fully truthful about Lola's temperament.

 

Thanks

SOGA may not apply to livestock or domestic animals however I am unsure. The good news is that the Misrepresentation Act will apply if you can prove that the dog was nasty or dangerous prior to your purchase.

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