Court case over puppy from puppy farm

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This discussion was created from comments split from: Puppy Not as Advertised.


  • I purchased a KC spaniel pup from a puppy farmer - unknowingly!!!! 
    He was advertised as having a grade 3 heart murmur.  
    I researched it and it held little impact to the quality of life or life expectancy.  I went ahead.  
    His ears stunk upon arrival home - not noticeable on the smelky farm because of other stenches.  
    He had a rude ear infection and his murmur was a grade 6 requiring £6k surgery or a life of difference. 
    Surgery provides a full fix.  
    His ears and screening cost. me £2.2k.  
    She offered a refund if I returned him.  
    That was a no - nor do you have to return them by the way - in Law.  
    You can refuse to return them.  
    The breeder was obstructive throughout and insisted the courts decide the resolution.  
    I filed a claim, no defence so I won a judgement for !5.2k which was for the refund cost the cost of a healthy replacement and vet fees. 
    I did not claim for required surgeries/further screening - only the things I had paid for.  
    On the day the order stated payment was due, I received a letter from the breeders legal rep who claimed invalid service - she had muspelled the details she provided so it went to their sister company. 
    They are also claiming that was due to dyslexia of the breeder.  
    This was never mentioned or evident in our months of texts yet on the day she provides legal details - she’s got dyslexia.  
    They are now applying for it to be overturned. 
    They are basically saying some allegations are not evidenced but I had a witness with me who I presumed was evidence. 
    The particulars listed the breaches that had occurred according to her LA breeders licensing obligations. 
    Iv been told to consent to the overturning and re issue a more concise particulars.  
    Some advice is it’s rarely overturned so wait to hear off the courts who will give me the chance to respond.  
    They are applying her costs to me as I have refused to sign anything overturning a judges decision.  
    Should I agree and advise them of a new claim or see if it’s overturned.  
    China rock. 
  • Jenni_D
    Jenni_D Posts: 5,050
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    edited 18 December 2023 at 3:51PM
    Not having any legal expertise .... it sounds like they're wanting you to consent to a set aside for (alleged) invalid service. (That makes it cheaper for them to set aside). I believe you can challenge the set aside, provided that you're able to counter their assertion of invalid service.

    In my opinion, you filed a claim against details explicitly provided by the seller. As such you could not be expected to believe that such details were incorrect, and the evidence you've got re. texts etc. showing no signs of dyslexia supports your belief.

    Remember that small claims are judged on the balance of probabilities (something is more likely to be true than not) - I believe that set aside assessments are equally judged.
    Jenni x
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,747
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    edited 18 December 2023 at 4:01PM
    I saw a similar case to this quite recently (slightly different circumstance, but same theme - the breeders had hidden a broken bone that they'd treated and healed).

    The buyers eventually found out on a vet visit and were understandably annoyed that this was never mentioned to them. Their vet made them aware that a previous broken bone meant a higher chance for future treatments.

    The judge was pretty quick to conclude that the buyer was entitled to a refund. The breeder had actually already offered a refund, but the buyer rejected (for similar reasons to the OP).

    The buyer was instead seeking unlimited future reimbursement of related treatment costs. The judge was quickly dismissive of this idea and curtly proclaimed that they either take the refund or keep the dog.

    While I'm sympathetic to the OP, especially being lied to, I think if you seriously need to ask "Do I have to give the puppy back if we want a refund?" then you probably need to distance yourself from the situation with a cup of tea and a few deep breaths.
    Know what you don't
  • Gavin83
    Gavin83 Posts: 8,722
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    Lesarn1 said:
    That was a no - nor do you have to return them by the way - in Law.  
    You can refuse to return them.  
    Technically you're correct, you don't have to return the puppy. However what you can't do is refuse to return the puppy and hold them liable for the vet fees, nor can you claim betterment, which you appear to be doing, although I find it hard to follow exactly what you've claimed for. However you certainly can't get a free puppy, plus the costs for an extra imaginary puppy, plus all the vet fees covered.

    Ultimately pets are considered no different to property from a legal standpoint. Therefore an offer of a refund is a suitable remedy, especially if the cost of repair (see vet fees) is a lot higher than the cost you paid.

    Despite their lack of defence submission I'm surprised you won this case, especially if you laid it out exactly like this. While each individual case is based on it's own merits I'd be surprised if this one doesn't get set aside and resubmitted and if it does unless they're idiots I don't think you have a strong case. Now you're at the point you are there's not a lot you can do other than fight it, just be prepared for an outcome you won't like.

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