Anthony and Françoise Claessens thought they were buying a dog.
They took the little bichon frise home, named it Tresor II (after their recently deceased bichon) and only later in the day got around to taking a closer look at the paperwork from the pet store.
The contract they’d signed called for 27 monthly payments of $95.99, totaling $2,687, for the dog, which had a store price of $495.
And at the end of the 27 months, the contract said, they still wouldn’t own the dog — because what they had signed wasn’t for a loan. It was a lease.
The dog, unless the Claessens forked over yet more money at the end of the lease period, would have to be returned to Oceanside Puppy — the store they bought, check that, leased it from.
“I have never heard of leasing a dog in my life,” Anthony Claessens, 80, told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “We were under the understanding we were purchasing a dog … I feel that we were swindled.”
We can’t argue with that choice of words.
The store, with two branches in the San Diego area, and the finance company, WAGS Financing of Reno, Nev., say they’ve been offering financing and leases on dogs for more than a year, and that nobody is being swindled.
“I think that’s very unfair that they are saying we are being fraudulent,” said David Salinas, who owns the shop on Oceanside Boulevard.
“It is only a surprise to the customer if they are not reading their contract,” Salinas added. “As a courtesy, we explain it the best we can.”
According to the couple, no store employee mentioned that they were signing up for a lease.
Under the lease contract, lessors have the option of returning the dog at the end of the term or paying an additional charge to purchase the pet.
“Over the last 10 years, lease-to-own and rent-to-own is becoming a much more common way for people and consumers to purchase goods,” said Dusty Wunderlich, CEO of Bristlecone Holdings, WAGS’ parent company.
The Claessens returned their leased dog around the middle of November and the company agreed to cancel the contract.
Since then they’ve found another bichon frise, this one from a shelter.
(A litter of bichon frises, from galleryhip.com)
Posted by John Woestendiek December 1st, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: adopt, bichon frise, dog, dog sales, financing, lease, leasing, leasing a dog, oceanside puppies, pet stores, puppy sales, purchase, purebreds, reno, san diego, shelter, wags financing
What do the Hungarian wire-haired vizsla (below) and the coton de tulear (above) have in common?
At first glance, not a lot.
The fuzzier version of a Vizsla is a mid-sized dog with what’s been called a “professorial” appearance, while the tiny coton de tulear is a fluffy French breed that resembles a Q-Tip on steroids
Both breeds, newly recognized by the American Kennel Club, will be competing for the first time when the Westminster Kennel Club holds its 139th annual dog show in New York in February.
“Coton is the French word for cotton and that’s what this dog looks like, a little bit of a cotton swab,” David Frei, the host and director of communications for the show, explained to NPR.
“It has got a long white coat, smallish dog; looks more like a toy dog than the non-sporting group that it’s in — fun little dog,” Frei added. “The royal dog of Madagascar, if you will, was exported through the Port of Tulear in Madagascar, ended up in France and other places in Europe before it came to this country and now it’s not really a new breed per se, but it’s new to us.”
Unlike their smooth-coated counterparts, the wirehaired vizsla has an inch-long, rust-colored coat that helps protect it while romping through the brush.
While best known for their hunting abilities, their fuzzy faces — with beards and moustaches and, if you will, Andy Rooney eyebrows — give them a distinguished appearance that belies their playfulness.
The two new additions brings the total number of breeds recognized by the American Kennel Club to 192..
Posted by John Woestendiek October 3rd, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: added, akc, american kennel club, animals, breeds, coton de tulear, david frei, dog, dog show, dogs, hungarian wirehaired vizsla, new breeds, pets, purebreds, recognized, vizsla, westminster, westminster kennel club, wire-haired, wirehaired
Jessica S. Skacel, 30, of Derry, and Ashley M. Giovannagelo, 22, of Greensburg, were charged with criminal conspiracy and theft, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported yesterday.
According to court documents, Skacel was hired as a caretaker for the sisters, now ages 85 and 83, in their home in Derry Township in 2011. Giovannagelo later assisted her in those duties.
Police say they started stealing from the sisters — both from their bank accounts and money the sisters had squirreled away in hiding places around the house — in early 2012.
Police began an investigation after a man who has power of attorney for the sisters noticed their bank accounts, both of which exceeded $100,000, ” were basically empty,” according to court documents.
“The bank records showed that both victims were making regular, large cash withdrawals from their accounts in amounts such as $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and even $20,000 at a time,” an investigating officer stated.
Police say the money was used to cover travel expenses to dog shows. Skacel’s former husband, Kyle Squib, told police she purchased two trailers for more than $5,000 to transport dogs to shows.
Police say Skacel admitted to stealing an estimated $40,000-$50,000 from the sisters.
Skacel is a dog groomer and Giovannagelo shows dogs regularly, according to their Facebook pages.
Skacel and Giovannagelo were fired as caretakers for the sisters in September 2013, shortly after the investigation began, police said.
Both face preliminary hearings Sept. 3 before a district judge.
(Photo: Ashley Giovannagelo shows a St. Bernard at a dog show in a photo posted on her Facebook page)
Posted by John Woestendiek July 31st, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: Ashley Giovannagelo, caretakers, charged, competition, contests, derry, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, elderly, groomer, Jessica Skacel, pennsylvania, police, purebreds, sisters, st. bernard, theft
Big dogs — not that they ever left — are coming back.
In its annual report on breed popularity in the U.S., the American Kennel Club notes that, while the Labrador retriever is again the most popular dog breed, other large breeds are quickly moving up the list, including Dobermans, giant schnauzers and Great Danes.
According to the AKC, it could be a sign of an improving economy.
“Owning bigger breeds – an economic indicator of sorts – has been on the rise during the past five years,” said Lisa Peterson, AKC spokeswoman. “As the economy has improved, people are turning back to the big dogs they love, which cost more to feed and care for than the smaller breeds that saw a rise in popularity in 2007 and 2008.”
Labs took the top spot for the 23rd straight year, the longest consecutive reign of any dog in the annual ranking. The rankings are based on the number of AKC dog registrations across the country.
Here are the top 10, with links to their AKC profiles:
Comparing those rankings to the 2009 list, there’s evidence of a decline in small dog popularity — Yorkies dropped three places, from third, dachshunds dropped two, from eighth, and shih tzus fell out of the top 10 entirely.
Some smaller breeds saw a gain in popularity, like the French bulldog (now 11th). But far greater gains were made by greatly sized dogs: Doberman Pinschers rose from 22 to 12; Great Danes from 27 to 16; and Bernese Mountain Dogs from 47 to 32.
The AKC announced its rankings Friday, in advance of the upcoming Westminster Kennel Club dog show at Madison Square Garden.
Three new breeds will compete this year: rat terriers, Chinooks, and Portuguese Podengo Pequenos.
(Photo: Ash, a lab, or perhaps a lab mix (we didn’t ask for his papers), at play; by John Woestendiek)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 4th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: akc, american kennel club, animals, beagle, bernese mountain dog, big, boxer, boxers, breeds, bulldog, dachshunds, dog breeds, economic indicator, economy, german shepherd, giant schnauzer, golden retriever, great dane, labrador, labrador retrievers, labs, large, large breeds, list, most popular, most popular dog breeds, pets, poodles, popularity, purebreds, rankings, registered, rottweiler, small dogs, top ten, yorkies, yorkshire terriers
Ralph Ullum, 68 of Claysville, was attending a kennel club show in December at the DuPage County Fairgrounds with his girlfriend, whose Siberian husky, Diana, was entered in the competition.
He’s accused of feeding Protonix and possibly Benadryl to a competing husky, named Pixie, NBC in Chicago reported.
Pixie’s handler, Jessica Plourde of Newark Valley, N.Y., noticed a crushed pink pill near Pixie’s cage on the second day of competition, according to police. Later, witnesses came forward saying they had seen Ullum feeding and petting Pixie while Plourde was away from the cage
A veterinarian induced vomiting in Pixie and found a rubber band, dog food, chicken pieces and an undigested Protonix pill. Protonix is used to treat acid reflux and heartburn. Wheaton police say the pink crushed pill found near Pixie’s cage is believed to be Benadryl, an over the counter allergy medicine that can cause drowsiness.
Ullum denied feeding anything to Pixie, but said he did pet her.
His hearing on misdemeanor cruelty to animals charges is scheduled for June.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, arrest, benadryl, cheating, competition, competitors, diana, dog, dog show, dog shows, dogs, drugged, drugging, drugs, dupage county, kennel club, pennsylvania, pets, pixie, protonix, purebreds, ralph ullum, sabotage, siberian husky, wheaton
Assemblyman Micah Kellner, an Upper East Side Democrat, and State Senator Joseph E. Robach, a Rochester Republican, are proposing the legislation.
If passed, New York would join about a dozen states that have named state dogs, including the Chesapeake Bay retriever in Maryland, the Great Dane in Pennsylvania, the and the Boston terrier in … take a wild guess.
No state has chosen the mixed breed — that most prolific of all dogs — to represent its state.
In New York, a spokesman for Kellner said the assemblyman would choose a rescue dog — as in rescued from a shelter — to symbolize the need for people to adopt pets from animal shelters and animal protection groups. Kellner has no dogs of his own, but he has provided foster care for several.
“He’s a huge advocate for animals in need,” the spokesman told the New York Times.
Also appearing at the announcement of the proposed bill will be Kim Wolf’s dog, Sarge Wolf-Stringer, a Philadelphia dog who was rescued in 2009 from an abusive owner by the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and who now works with the elderly and hospital patients as a certified therapy dog.
(Photo: A Baltimore mutt named Martini)
Posted by John Woestendiek April 21st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, assemblyman, bill, breeds, dogs, joseph robach, know your state dogs, legislation, louisiana, martini, micah kellner, mixed breeds, mutt, new york, north carolina, official, pets, proposal, pspca, purebreds, quiz, sarge wolf-stringer, senator, south carolina, sponsors, state dog, state dogs, texas
A purebred flat-coated retriever won best in show, but it was a one-eyed mutt named Dudley, and his dazzling performance in an agility contest, that won over the crowd at Crufts — the pretentious, I mean presitigious, UK dog show that concluded this past weekend.
Dudley, a six-year-old Lhasa apso-pug mix who lost his eye as a pup, and later was given up by his owners, won an official Crufts rosette for his performance in the agility ring, beating out other rescued dogs in the competition, according to the Southern Daily Echo.
While we’ve been known to poke fun at purebred dog shows, it’s good to see them — on both sides of the pond — opening things up to mixed breeds, like Dudley. And, if the crowd reaction to him is any sign, it’s something they should do a lot more of.
“He was definitely the crowd’s favorite and got a huge cheer as he ran round,” Dudley’s owner, Lara Alford, from Southampton, said. “Over the last few days he has had so many admirers – he’s probably been one of the most photographed dogs at Crufts this year.”
Dudley had his right eye removed as a puppy because of an infection. At 14 months, his owners surrendered him at an animal adoption shelter.
Alford, shortly after adopting him, noticed his speed and maneuverability and began training him in agility. As they run the courses, she always stays on his left side, so he can see her.
At Crufts, the training paid off. “It was one of the fastest rounds Dudley’s ever done,” she said.
More than 21,000 dogs vied for honors at Crufts, which opened Thursday. In the best-in-show competition, Jet, a flat-coated retriever, beat out a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen, a German shepherd, a boxer, a wire fox terrier, a standard poodle and a bichon frise.
Posted by John Woestendiek March 14th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: agility, animals, best in show, breeds, crufts, dog shows, dogs, dudley, flat coated retriever, jet, lara alford, lhasa apso, mix, mixed breeds, mutts, one eye, one-eyed, pets, pug, purebreds