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Thread: Legal advice

  1. #1

    Legal advice

    Without going into great detail, I purchased a Labrador bitch just after the new year this year, around May time we noticed the dog had a slight limp. After several visits to the local vets for X-rays and suchlike we ended up having to take the dog for a CT scan and a operation at the Royal School of Veterinary Studies up in Edinburgh which we are just nicely home from.
    The vets who performed the op removed bone fragments from one elbow amongs doing other things to it as well. Basically the dog has got osteoarthritis in both its front legs. The dog may have it in the back legs as well but they didn't scan those,(cost issue to me).
    After a lengthy chat with the vets they basically said Lucy's (the dog) condition was cogenital, in other words she was born with it.
    Now I have just returned from a trip to the breeders where I got the Lucy from, to make him aware of the problem and the potential for Lucy's siblings to maybe be affected. I know this will have come as a shock to him but to my amazement he said Lucy's problem was probably down to my "training methods", by this time he had already seen several vet reports. The conversation rapidly went down hill from that point , him being a "responsible breeder", I thought he might have made an attempt to put this right ( give me my money back) .
    This is where I need the advice, has anyone ever sued a breeder for a congenital disorder in a dog, he wants the dog back, which he won't get as its the kids pet now, but I want my money back because I have been sold a "dud" so to speak. The insurance will hopefully pay out for everything but I'm still going to be out of pocket for at least 600 because of the excess and other bits and bats that I can't claim for.
    My last question is , does anybody think I am being unreasonable about this, as my view about it all is clouded in anger.

    Many thanks,
    Scott & Lucy

  2. #2
    With all due respect to you, unless the parents were both tested and we're both bad scoring, then there's nothing that the breeder would have known about and nothing would become apparent until the pup was X-Ray'd for its own hip/elbow scoring at a year old....
    Congenital tests which can eliminate issues are for eye problems, skeletal dwarfism and collapse type problems. The best you can do with hips and elbows is mate low scores to low scores and hope you breed out there problems.
    If it was a pup of mine, I'm afraid I wouldn't be expecting to get a refund, unfortunately that's labs for you. Some good, some bad. Not necessarily the fault of the breeder.

    that said there are breeders out there who disregard the genetics argument but the problem you're describing could happen to anyone and probably isn't in anyway a fault of the breeder. Sorry if that's not what you want to hear but there is also an argument to support what hey said about the amount or type of wear and tear the dog has received whilst growing, some will be genetic but there can be a lot of damage caused by excessive wear from going up and down stairs, jumping in and out of trucks etc, or just walking too much too soon.
    Last edited by deerstalker.308; 08-09-2016 at 14:50.
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  3. #3
    Deerstalker 308, what your saying is correct about the scoring , but the Dam didn't have a score, ( it may have had one but it wasn't disclosed/ documented). And this is the issue ,a responsible breeder is advised from the kennel club that a hip score is required/recommended test to have before breeding a bitch. The question is why did he not have one done.

  4. #4
    Agreed. But some responsibility falls to you as the buyer to buy from reputable sources, one who would have scores for both parents.....
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  5. #5
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    Sale of Goods, or rather contract, applies to animals as much as it does "things".

    So is the dog "fit for purpose" as a gun dog and was that made clear at time of purchase? IMHO buying a dog without a "score" is like buying a house without a survey and ONLY if you can prove that the seller knew about the condition beforehand (he/she did a "score" and didn't let on they had done one) is there any redress. For like buying a bottle of wine how can you know what's hidden inside if you haven't looked?

    Lastly what's the seller's offer? Dog back and full refund? Certainly you can't expect to keep the dog and get a full refund.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by enfieldspares View Post
    Sale of Goods, or rather contract, applies to animals as much as it does "things".

    So is the dog "fit for purpose" as a gun dog and was that made clear at time of purchase? IMHO buying a dog without a "score" is like buying a house without a survey and ONLY if you can prove that the seller knew about the condition beforehand (he/she did a "score" and didn't let on they had done one) is there any redress. For like buying a bottle of wine how can you know what's hidden inside if you haven't looked?

    Lastly what's the seller's offer? Dog back and full refund? Certainly you can't expect to keep the dog and get a full refund.

    Sale of goods act has limitations though, including the fact that a fair amount of time has elapsed since the sale and potentially damage has been done mechanically which may have exacerbated the situation, and I would suggest that the buyer was made aware of the lack of score for the bitch prior to purchase and as such would say they took some responsibility for that decision.
    Its all well and good saying that the breeder should have had the dam scored becaus the kennel club advice that, but they also provide buying guide for new owners with questions to ask and things to look out for, one of which is the relevant health tests....
    Opinions are like arseholes....... we all have them, and most of them stink

  7. #7
    You simply cannot expect to keep the dog and get a refund.

    Most breeders will sell "as a pet" and cannot warranty suitability for any other purpose than "as a pet".

    Even if both sire and dam have impeccable antecedents as far as hip and elbow scores are concerned, nature is quite capable of trumping those with a defect.

  8. #8
    Scott - my advice would be to sleep on it and not do anything immediately. Its a big jump from a discussion that didn't go well with the breeder to going to court. If you intend to keep the dog then a refund seems an unreasonable expectation.
    I never make the same mistake twice.

    I make it five or six times.

    Just to be sure.


  9. #9
    I'm just happy to hear you are keeping the animal as a pet , due to attachment with the children, I am mortified as to hear of humans trading dogs like fe**i'n used vehicles, I treat all such dog users as arseholes.
    (The Unspeakable In Pursuit Of The Uneatable.) " If I can help, I will help!." Former S.A.C.S. member!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by fordbank View Post
    I know this will have come as a shock to him but to my amazement he said Lucy's problem was probably down to my "training methods", by this time he had already seen several vet reports. The conversation rapidly went down hill from that point , him being a "responsible breeder", I thought he might have made an attempt to put this right ( give me my money back)
    Can't really offer advice, but faced with that attitude I would have a mind to just sue anyway.
    But obviously there is a cost issue and doubt over likelihood of success.

    Honestly, there are some right gits in this world. If he had just said sorry and that this was really bad luck because he had done all he could as regards testing the parents, then that would be one thing. Even if he couldn't return all the money, a part refund on the price would have been a nice gesture - that way there is would be no issue about having to return the dog either.

    If you don't sue, I would at least name the breeder - don't make any accusations, just state facts (i.e. Bought dog from x, vets have had to operate as it has congenital arthritis - caveat emptor. And leave it at that.

    Obviously take any advice from me with a pinch of salt - I'm not a solicitor

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