November 29, 2012
On the basis of our one personal experience with adoption of a dog, we were surprised at what transpired in adopting our dog, a "6 year-old" Pomeranian, which is more likely 8, based on dental X-rays. We cannot fault Buddy Dog for not knowing the dog's true age, because all they could go by was the former owner's testimony. It was love at first sight. He was well groomed, so apparently well taken care of. The $300 adoption fee includes an evaluation by their veterinarian. When we picked him up, we were told the vet said he had "needs a dental check-up and a few extractions" but was otherwise healthy. As former owners of Pomeranians, we could see the teeth needed cleaning, and knew that the breed occasionally needs extractions because of their crowded mouth, so we mentally factored in about $300 for the dental work (typical expense for a cleaning and a couple of extractions). So we took him home and went to our vet for an estimate on his teeth. We were shocked to hear he had at least 8 loose teeth and possibly one that is infected. Estimate was around $1,200. We complained to Buddy Dog about the misleading veterinarian report and were told we are free to bring him back. When our vet's oral surgeon examined him in more detail, it turned out that he had to have 20 teeth extracted, four of which were severely infected. She said he must have been in severe pain and never put out for adoption in that condition. Of course we proceeded, because we knew that if Buddy Dog were honest with a subsequent owner, he would be UN-adoptable and euthanized. The bill could have legitimately been around $2,100, but for the kindness and compassion for animals that Natick Animal Hospital and their surgeon personally extended. Still, we paid more for an 8-year old dog than for a Champion pure-bred a couple of years old. Buddy Dog refunded our $300, but refused to help with the dental bill. We still paid $1,400. His dental issues should have been addressed before putting him up for adoption, or at least we should have been provided with an estimate. Addressing dental issues before adoption is a common practice with some other animal shelters.
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