On December 26th 2009, my boyfriend and I decided it was the right time for us to get a puppy. The humane society was out of the question for us, since we only rent our property and do not have a screened in backyard (learned from a previous dog rescue attempt).
We unfortunately did not have alot of knowledge about where to get a dog and after a BRIEF online search, found Petland. We viewed their website and from first glance they seemed like a pretty reputable place with words like "USDA approved breeders" and "health warranty". A little puppy Yorkie caught our eye at a location near our house in South FL and we decided to go and check out the place. We got there and were put into a room with the Yorkie.
We quickly fell inlove and were then told of a brother of the yorkie also available and he was put into the room with us as well. Well my heart sank, I did not want to separate these littermates. There was a size different of the two, the smaller one being priced at $2290! The larger one was priced at 1800$!
We spent over a hour with the dogs and left the store to privately discuss. I felt inclined, thinking that no one else would purchase these guys together and my boyfriend and I had to do something. We had saved up some money and decided to use it towards getting these two guys a happy healthy home. While in the store, of course the Manager and other sales associate used their usual Petland pitch and us being blinded by puppylove fell right into it.
We were originally told that both dogs were 100% healthy. Upon signing the paperwork, the Manager corrected herself stating that the smaller dog ( now named Bentley) had an open fontanelle and a luxating patellar grade 1. We were reassured it was nothing to be concerned about and there was really no better place to buy a dog from. When we were about to leave the store, the larger dog (now named Jack) started to cough, the Manager of course followed up with a poor excuse of the dog being stressed and it should probably go away on it's own.
When we got the new pups back to our place, we noticed the cough getting progressively worse. The following day was Sunday so we had to wait until Monday for our new puppies to be seen by a vet. On Sunday, I had all these doubts about Petland's pledge to providing healthy dogs. I turned to my computer and decided to do a little research.
And yes, I sat there stunned and horrified at what I found out. Petland=puppy mills to be frank about it. At first I was sickened to have contributed to such animal cruelty and then it hit me that I was happy that we got these guys in our lives and could provide a good home to them. **So a bit of a disclaimer that I am not writing this to be lectured about purchasing dogs from Petland or just petstores in general, so please don't reply to purely guilt me** After learning about Petland, I was skeptical to use the Vet they recommended.
I tried to make a visit with a trusted family used vet but was unable to get an appointment. I found another Vet close to my home and brought them in on Monday (two days after getting them). I was told each one had an upper respiratory infection and was prescribed Claramox. I was only able to get a stool sample from Jack and awaited the results of that.
The following day the vet called and said he tested positive for Giardia and recommended treatment for both dogs. Meanwhile I was able to get an appointment with my trusted vet for that day (Tuesday) and decided to get medicine there. UGH, well my vet was overbooked and I saw another vet who was helping out in the office for the day. I inquired about my Jack itching his ears and thought he may have an ear infection, the vet said his ears were just hairy and plucked out some hairs, said they looked clean & fine otherwise.
I was given Panacur for both dogs for the Giardia. Within the next few days, I followed treatment and dosage according to the vets in hopes my pups would get better. Bentley's sneezing and coughing was getting worse, Jack as well. I called the vet and he actually told me vet bils will begin to pile up and recommended to me that I go to the vet Petland told me to be covered.
So I did. With the holidays and such, I bought my dogs to the Petland warranty covered vet on Saturday (one week from purchase date, third vet visit). This vet, unlike the other two was actually very thorough to my delight. I went over their history with him and he examined each one.
He found earmites in Jack (hence the scratching; that the other two vets failed to find). He also told me the original dosage of the Claramox was way too low and not even a good antibiotic that gave good results. He checked each dog's stool once again, telling me that not only did Jack test positive for Giardia but also coccidiosis. I was given a new antibiotic for both and a new dosage for the Claramox.
Bentley did not have coccidiosis (at least it did not show up yet) and they only wanted to treat Jack. Jack was given his puppy vaccinations and thankfully did not have an adverse reaction. My poor babies are on a bunch of medication now. I fear these parasites will never go away, the possibility of them spreading them back and forth to one another.
My boyfriend and I clean as much as possible. They for some reason love to try and play on their wee wee pads (as we are indoor training). I strongly try to discourage that behavior but they sure are thickheaded little guys. My boyfriend and I are also having stomach issues ourselves and hope we did not get giardia from them - and that it is just our nerves from worrying about our puppies.
We are still trying to communicate with Petland to try and get some sort of refund from our sick dogs (no luck so far). I have inquired about getting in touch with their supposed breeder " Cindy Zeigenbein" and was told they could only provide an address and did not guarantee i would receive a response. I contacted Petland Corp. to only get the runaround, and was offered zero help, told that each store is owned privately and to contact the owner.
Okay, So I tried calling the owner of the store, the manager told me he was not available but I could try again tomorrow with no guarantee he would take my call. I called up the petaled warranty department, I was told they were not employed by Petland, upon asking who they were employed by I was told, well not Petland Inc. but by the store. If there really a difference?
I contacted the breeder, she was clueless as which dogs I was talking about, wouldn't a good breeder KNOW their puppies? I could go on and on, as there are other parts of my guys story but I think thats enough for now.I am getting very disgusted myself.
Product or Service Mentioned: Petland Dog.
Monetary Loss: $3300.
Location: Pompano Beach, Florida