real life accounts from people who have bought dogs from westport puppy store
Disgruntled customers of Puppies of Westport have revealed horror stories over puppies purchased at the store. Dozens of such situations have been revealed about experiences with Puppies of Westport to our members. Many have been confirmed by independent vets involved in treating the animals.
In some instances, dogs died of medical conditions and in others, store co-owner Monty Kaufman allegedly refused to pay for veterinary care given by vets other than his own.
In one instance, a customer took a seriously ill dog (purchased from Puppies of Westport) to Norwalk’s 24/7 Veterinary and Referral care facility and was criticized by Mr. Kaufmann for doing so.
The customer said he also refused to pay the bills associated with the care.
Others have told of instances where Mr. Kaufmann has offered to replace dogs that have died after purchase but would not refund the purchase price.
Puppies of Westport customer Julie Funicella recounts the sad story associated with her purchase from the store:
Julie and her fiancé purchased a puppy (Weezy) from Puppies of Westport on April 22, 2007. On that day, Weezy’s microchip was scanned by a store employee, and found to be a different number than the one listed on his litter medical record from the breeder. They were assured by the store employee that this paperwork did belong with Weezy. Julie tried contacting the breeder by phone to follow up but was never able to reach anyone.
Weezy suffered from Giardia and Coccidia parasites, with chronic, bloody diarrhea throughout his short lifetime, requiring repeated visits to the local emergency vet clinic as well as the veterinarian recommended by Puppies of Westport.
Weezy died of a seizure (cause undetermined) nine days after what was supposedly his first birthday. Julie spent over $2,000 on medical bills in less than a year, and her grief over losing sweet Weezy still lingers.
When we spoke with Julie, we compared the paperwork she had for Weezy with the health certificate record that had been sent along during Weezy’s transport from the Oklahoma breeder. We found the health certificate microchip number matched the one implanted in Weezy, meaning that Weezy was actually two months older than the papers Julie had been given when she purchased him. According to her papers, Weezy had an inguinal hernia repair and was neutered while still at the breeder. Did he actually have these surgeries? Julie will never know.
Despite hours of conversations with Monty Kaufman (owner of Puppies of Westport), he was unable to resolve this paperwork mix-up. Julie claims that Mr. Kaufman said he would reimburse her $500 in medical expenses, but has yet to do so, and verbally threatened her with a lawsuit for posting her experience on PetShopPuppies.org.
Puppies of Westport customer Doug Garni had an experience that leaves him with a dog requiring medical treatment for the rest of its life. Here's his first person account:
I am one of many troubled dog owners purchased at Puppies of Westport (“PoW”) in Westport, CT. My concerns with this pet store are of the quality of dog they are selling and how they conduct their business as a pet store selling puppies.
I bought a “mini” Australian Shepherd in August 2006 from PoW. The day we got him home we discovered he had kennel cough. It took two months and a lot of money paid to the vet for medication and visits to heal our new puppy, Harley. He was also diagnosed with chronic colitis, a condition that requires daily antibiotics, and will never go away. He also had parasites that required extensive treatment.
He also developed a small skin tag between his eyes, and I was told by PoW it would simply “fall off.” While my vet said that was possible, but unlikely, the skin tag did not fall off. It grew bigger and had to be surgically removed by my vet.
PoW said a mini-Aussie was fine for life in a condominium as it is a miniature; he will not need as much space nor exercise as a full grown Aussie. This is simply not true. Aussies need space to run - and lots of it. Just because it is a mini does not diminish my dog's need to exercise. I learned this after the fact, and after a lot of destructive behavior. I was naive and believed what PoW told me as I thought they understood the breeds they sold. I now pay to have my dog to go to doggie day care every day, for his benefit and mine. Although this is in his best interest, this is a large and unexpected cost.
It also took weeks to get the paperwork from PoW. They told me they lost the paperwork, and had to get copies from “the breeder.” When I did receive the paperwork, the application for registration for the United All Breed Registry had the parents listed for Harley, and the Sire was DIFFERENT than what was given to me on the Sanjon Kennel Shot Record by PoW at the time of purchase. I felt this was not only completely unprofessional; it brought into question what exactly was going on at this pet store and with the “breeder.” It also turned out the kennel from which my dog was purchased was not a breeder at all (despite PoW’s claim at the time), but a puppy broker in Missouri. I now know Missouri is VERY well known for puppy mills.
After purchasing the dog I started to dig deeper into the breed. My dog is mostly white. I looked on the internet and found the Web site Lethal Whites.
Although the term itself is inaccurate, my dog shows many signs of being a homozygous merle, or a “Double Merle.” They can never be shown in a dog show (immediate disqualification), and usually occur with the breeding of two merles, a HUGE no-no by any reputable breeder. This is a problem because double merles tend to have hearing and seeing deficiencies.
I was told Sandy Blake was the breeder at Sanjon Kennels (the puppy's source that was in fact not the breeder) by PoW. I called her and asked if my dog was the result of breeding two merles; of course they denied that. Later, I discovered her name not as the breeder, but as the administerer of his chip implant tracking device. On the certificate that was shipped with the dog, there was a different name as the breeder! Further, on this same certificate, the color of my dog was listed as “pinto.” I have yet to read ANY literature that states there is such a color for Aussie Shepherds. Additionally, similar to the symptoms of a homozygous merle, my dog has multiple problems with his eyes. He has a coloboma in his left eye, which produces light sensitivity. He also has microphthalmic right eye (an abnormally small eye) in addition to distichia in his right eye (an abnormal amount of eyelashes that causes irritation, discomfort and excessive tearing). His blue eyes are a common condition with white Aussies and known to coincide with vision difficulties. He has trouble seeing in darker environments and cannot follow a ball thrown high in the air or too far (“tracking”).
About two weeks later after purchasing our first dog, who seemed exceedingly hyperactive and unable to focus even for a puppy, my wife and I went back to PoW. We were told that buying another puppy was a great idea to keep our first dog company. Based on the specific advice of the owners of the PoW, we did just that, being told that with each other, the dogs would avoid destructive behavior a single dog can create if bored and alone. After doing my research again post-purchase (mea culpa!), having two puppies at the same time is the absolute worst scenario. They will become their own best friends, never develop a bond with the owner, and worst of all, the owner will rarely become the “alpha” pack leader necessary to train the dogs. This was supported by a veterinarian and a dog kennel owner that I spoke with. In my experience, this was horrible advice from the PoW that resulted in the sale of another dog for them. As a footnote, the second puppy also developed kennel cough the day he arrived home.
We tried everything for months to train the dogs. All they did was mimic each other’s bad behavior, and when separated, all they would do is whimper and cry. Unfortunately, we had to give away the second pup because we just couldn't train them. Every groomer, kennel, and dog owner that I have spoken to - EVERY SINGLE ONE - that has had exposure to and experience with PoW had NOT ONE GOOD THING TO SAY. That has had a very powerful impact on me, and only reemphasized my opinion of that store. They straight out lied to me, used sales pressure to sell me dogs that were not suitable for my living arrangements, sold me two puppies within weeks of each other, and sold me two dogs that were sick from the start (one of whom has multiple health issues to this day). I have even been told by dog aficionados that the dog I kept does not even look like a purebred - his snout is too long. PoW, all in all, was horrible to deal with.
My dog is an excellent example of the potential, but serious, problems anyone can encounter when purchasing from a dog store. You simply do not know where the dog is from, what you are getting, and what you are getting yourself into. I didn’t. I hope my experience will save you the problems I had.
Bloodlines Questioned, Parasites
My name is Jacqueline Malone and I purchased a puppy at Puppies of Westport a year and a half ago. I was given breeder documents and paid $1,200.00 for “Punkin”.
I am sad to admit I was so ignorant. I never dreamed (having grown up in Westport) that a local business would sell puppies from less than reputable sources. Westport is a cosmopolitan town with so many educated "on the ball" people, I never thought we could be duped.I brought Punkin to the South Wilton Vet Group, which was recommended by the store. Punkin was diagnosed with the intestinal parasite Giardia on his very first visit there. Additionally, I was told by the vet group that Punkin was not a purebred, that he was nowhere close to being the size, markings or feathering of a purebred. Upon supplying a stool sample again recently, we were told the Giardia is still there, necessitating yet another course of medications etc. for $600. I’ve since learned that Giardia is NOT common in puppies, just the ones coming from poor sources. It can be a chronic problem as it’s a very difficult parasite to eradicate completely.
The money isn’t really the issue here (fortunately, because these treatments are expensive), but to see little Punkin outside straining with diarrhea, then trying to rub his rear on the grass and mulch to relieve the discomfort is just awful to watch.
|Puppies of Westport is just one of thousands of pet stores in America that contribute to the cycle of puppy mills. Puppies of Westport sells dogs that come mostly from Missouri and surrounding states. The parents of the puppies spend their lives in cages until they can no longer be bred. Our group has paperwork confirming the rough and unsanitary conditions these dogs are kept in. The owners of Puppies of Westport claim the dogs they sell do not come from puppy mills. However, the paperwork that has been gathered shows the puppies come from large, commercial breeders that supply pet stores and puppy brokers across America. Pet stores are selling trendy, designer breed puppies that are taken from their mothers at an early age and loaded onto trucks to be distributed to stores. Puppies of Westport is an outlet for breeders who treat the dogs as a cash crop.|