Why You Should Foster a New Puppy Before Adopting
Christine Cheng, of San Jose, CA, had been wanting to adopt a new puppy for her current dog Mojo, so that Mojo can have play buddy.
After a LONG search, Christine was able to find one she liked: a Shitzu-Pekingese named Bernie, from a rescue group nearby.
But the story wasn’t “they lived happily ever after”.
In fact, he died in 4 days of getting adopted.
And what did the rescue group have to say about this?
Here’s Christine’s story, in her own words:
A New Puppy Love
I adopted a puppy 4 days ago from a PetSmart in Dublin.
The rescue who was promoting the adoption event was Stonecliffe Animal Rescue from Lemoore, CA.
I thought, what luck! I don’t have to drive all the way to Lemoore because they will be in Dublin! (I live near San Jose, CA which is closer to Dublin than Lemoore).
As I filled out the paperwork, an assistant pointed out that my puppy had a little wheezing.
Terri, the Stonecliffe Animal Rescue owner/coordinator said it was because Bernie has a short snout.
I glady paid $450 for the adoption fee and happily brought Bernie home.
Sunshine Gone. Clouds Looming
At home, Bernie wasn’t very active.
I thought maybe because it was a new environment but then Bernie started hacking.
I thought Bernie was throwing up because Terri said he hadn’t eaten that day yet.
Wheezing, hacking, through the night,…. I got concerned.
My personal vet and many clinics in the area were closed on Sunday so I brought him to a Banfield clinic.
They took some x-rays, gave me some meds, and said he has pneumonia. The cost was $348.
I brought the little guy home. Wheezing harder, coughing up liquids and tried to make Bernie as comfortable as possible.
The Sky Getting Darker
I contacted Terri and she said it (Bernie’s sickness) was impossible because Bernie had been playing and not sick since birth.
Pneumonia doesn’t occur overnight. Pneumonia is from an illness that progressively gets worse.
I believe in my puppy’s case, it was from untreated kennel cough.
I contacted Terri who told me she would give me a refund. I would have to drive to Lemoore on a Monday, lose my $348, and lose my new love.
Terri told me to get a second opinion. I got it on Monday and it cost me another $117.
Terri said it couldn’t be pneumonia otherwise the vet on site wouldn’t have neutered Bernie.
I told Terri that I could send her the x-rays and my vet was willing to talk to her.
Again, Terri told me, no dog, no refund.
I knew if I returned Bernie, Terri would not do what it takes to try and save Bernie.
My vet kept Bernie at her office for 2 days. I helped use a nebulizer on Bernie , gave Bernie antibiotics, etc. Total cost: $1,753.
What’s worse, I couldn’t eat or sleep for days.
The Life of a Puppy Vanished
My puppy died. In my arms.
Why spend time writing all of this?
I don’t know if anyone understands how that feels to have seen Bernie suffer for so long and not be able to do anything to help him.
1 minute after Bernie died, blood poured out of his body from his nose and his mouth.
His lungs had been filled with fluids from the pneumonia.
I don’t want to discourage anyone from adopting.
But, I just want to say, please, be careful so you don’t go through the heartache.
Not to mention the loss of so much money for only 4 days of time with a new family member.
I’m sure Terri means well but 50+ dogs on ranch means there is not personal detailed care for all of them.
Maybe Terri really didn’t know Bernie was sick.
Maybe Terri just didn’t want me to “badmouth her rescue” (something she actually said to me).
Either way, I lost more than a puppy tonight.
Our sympathy and condolences go out to Christine and her family. As fellow pet lovers, we feel her pain.
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