Dane Puppy Tragedy
Buyer Beware experience that puppy buyers should read
and heed. The court found in her favor but there was no justice for
As is too often the case, there was no punishment for the seller who doubtless
continues to cause incalculable pain and suffering to her dogs and to gullible
buyers. Read this agonizing story written by the buyer. Was the court right? Do you give a guarantee and
paperwork with pet puppies? What is your advice for puppy buyers? Your
comments will be published as a link to/from this tragic example of a puppy sale
gone horribly wrong. Please state your name and give permission to include your
observations and advice.
4, 2011, around 7:00 PM, I (Claimant/Purchaser: Colleen Fisher) purchased a
Great Dane puppy from the named (Defendant/Breeder: Alma Weber/ Robert Weber.)
The puppy was extremely under weight and had a very calm/lethargic personality.
I wasn't worried by this as the defendant stated she was free feeding the
puppies and I gathered the other puppy was eating most of the food. As for the
calm personality it was a plus as this would be a very large dog.
Weber showed me two AKC papers for the mom and dad dogs with her hand placed
over them, stating that she was selling him at a discount and therefore would
not be giving me the puppy’s papers. I asked if I needed to sign anything and
she said “no just take the puppy."
the puppy to my regular vet the next day for a health checkup. The vet said he
was considerably under weight and had some abdominal tenderness but he felt it
was due to me changing the puppy food. On April 9th I awoke at 3:30am to the
puppy whining. I let him out of his crate to take him outside to go potty. He
made it as far as my kitchen floor and started urinating pure blood. I took the
puppy to the emergency hospital right away.
there said he was seriously underweight and diagnosed a serious bladder
infection containing extreme amounts of the E-coli bacteria. He said it did not
happen in the 5 days that I had him, that it was something he had for a while. I
called the defendant at 8:30 that morning; she returned my call late that
afternoon. I explained (about) the bloody urine and that he was walking around
bumping into walls hanging his head down and not responsive to me and that I was
under the impression I was getting a healthy puppy. She said “I’m sure you and
your children have become attached to the puppy at this point” and that I should
just keep him because all of the other puppies were very healthy. She said she
could give me references to call the other owners; that she had been doing this
for 25 years and had never had this happen before.
explained that yes all four of my children and I had become attached to him and
if it was nothing more than a bladder infection I wanted to keep him if she
would be willing to cover half of the vet bill. She got very upset claiming she
sold me a $1200.00 puppy at a discount and she wasn't willing to split the cost.
She said if I brought the puppy back she would only give me back the $300.00
that I paid. I explained to her it didn't really matter how much she sold him
for, she sold me a sick puppy. I felt that it was fair for her to cover half.
She said she would talk to her husband about it. I never heard back from her.
On the 15th,
one week later, I was again awakened by the puppy crying. I took him out of the
crate to find he was not able to walk straight … had labored breathing. The
puppy walked in circles banging into the walls and then falling to the floor. I
contacted the pet hospital they said it would be another few hundred dollars if
I brought him in.
Defendants at 6:00 A.M on their home and cell numbers to let them know how sick
he was and that I needed to return him at this point. She texted me later that
day saying she couldn’t talk, she was at work and would be home after 5:00 P.M.
and for me to return the puppy then but she would still only return my $300.00.
return home at 3:30 P.M., I found the puppy to be moving around better however
he was again urinating blood. I contacted the vet’s office to explain my
arrangement with the breeder. The vet’s office advised me the puppy needed a
blood panel run to find out if he had a more serious issue going on and to not
make the puppy wait for care due to the fact it was Friday; the breeder wouldn’t
be home until after 5:00; and regular vet offices would be closed for the
weekend. Considering the puppy’s condition, I took him straight in.
the defendant to let her know but had to leave her a message in which I said
that the puppy needed to be seen ASAP so I would not be bringing him to her at
the time arranged for that day. The defendant (later) called me screaming, “Why
would you take him in and spend more money on him?” I explained after she
stopped screaming at me that the puppy needed care and his prescription refilled
and with the weekend coming up I didn’t want him to be in pain or go without his
medication for the whole weekend. I told her even though I was not financially
able, I would not let him suffer.
defendant said that all the other puppies were fine, that something must have
happened to him … or he had gotten into something in my back yard. She stated
that she had taken mom dog into the vet … to have her checked for any genetic
diseases that could have been passed to the puppy and that she got a clean bill
of health from the vet.
Fortunately for me, working in the health field, I realized very quickly that
this would have been impossible for her to have done in such a short time frame.
She (said) she had told her vet the puppy’s situation and he told her without
seeing the puppy it was hard to say why he would be urinating blood, but that he
could have gotten into something in my back yard or an injury. I explained to
her once again that it had already been established that it was a serious
bladder infection that had been occurring for some time and he was taking
antibiotics for it and that it appeared he might also have some sort of
neurological issues. She explained that she gets all her information from the
internet regarding health issues for her pets and that it’s very accurate
information. She also stated that it was bad to give the dog antibiotics and did
I know that? I told her the licensed veterinarian had prescribed them according
to the puppy’s diagnosis and weight.
point I realized that she was obviously not a well educated or responsible pet
owner and had probably not gone to the vet at all and I felt she probably
wouldn’t take the puppy in to a vet either. I told her I felt she knew he was
ill and that is why she let him go for a discount “to get him out of her care”
and that I had asked her several times to split the cost of treatment as it was
established to be an illness that the puppy had had for some time. She said she
in no way was responsible. I explained that it would not be fair for me to have
incurred such a debt for her puppy … that I needed to return him but to walk
away with no puppy or reimbursement wasn’t logically, morally or ethically
right. She said she would again speak with her husband but she knew he wouldn’t
agree to reimburse me for the vet bills. I never heard back from her.
contacting Great Dane organizations asking for help. The puppy continued to
become more and more disorientated in his behavior. I contacted my regular vet
who said he needed to refer me to a specialist for a neurological work up … that
I should continue his medication and he would complete follow up tests to see if
the bladder infection was better. I continued to give him his medication daily
as instructed. I left Alma several messages on her home and cell numbers letting
her know that puppy was getting worse.
30th, the puppy was not doing well at all and he needed more help. I contacted
the Great Dane Rescue Group (Colleen Leahy) she said she would find a foster
home for him and to take him to her vets’ office for care. When I got home from
work the puppy was very bad he had bloody paws from scraping at the walls while
disorientated. He had urinated blood everywhere. I contacted Colleen (and) we
made arrangements to get him into her vet the next morning. I sat up with the
puppy all night trying to comfort him in any way that I could.
Colleen at the vets’ office on May 3rd. After the vet did some tests
on the puppy he determined that the puppy had a massive brain trauma, most
likely from birth or shortly after, and was suffering terribly and the only
thing to do was to put him to sleep.
was put to sleep on May 3rd 2011, four months after his birth.