Adopted a dog with Mange and Giardia
March 2, 2009
By: The FF Family

Dear Gentle Giant News,

I've been wanting to write for some time, since I found your website.

We adopted a four-month old puppy last year (2008) from Gentle Giants.  We were told he was a Mastiff mix (because I had wanted a Tibetan Mastiff and Tracy knew it)---Newfoundland and Chow.  Now that he is grown, it looks like he has no Mastiff in him at all! 

After being contacted about our application, and accepted, and adopting, we could never get a hold of the Wards again (we had a hard time getting a call back about our appointment to adopt!---red flag). 

After adopting, we found your website, and our problems had already begun.  There were small spots with no hair on our dog, that got worse.  It turns out he had Demodex Canis (basically, mange).  Tracy knew it, made light of it and gave us some cream that she practically guaranteed would work---our vet said she hadn't found it to be very affective.  It was costly and took dips and rechecks to get rid of it.  Then we had a tough bout with Giardia, a difficult parasite to get rid of and he had two rounds of medication for that.  He also was underweight.  All of these conditions were ones he came home with. 

I tried to get in touch with Tracy when he was ready to be neutered, since they say they will take care of that through their vet.  I received no response from them---ever.  We were already leery about even going back there, so we went ahead and paid for our vet to do it.  We have now spent $743.57 JUST AT THE VET (includes neutering) and this doesn't include the almost $600 we paid for an untrained puppy mutt.

Another big problem for us, is he hasn't been able to be crate trained.  He freaks out if he is even gated in our large bathroom with us right within sight in our bedroom at night!  I know this was trauma from Gentle Giants, and he isn't over it yet, although we have been successful in training him out of other fears.

When we went to meet him, Tracy said we couldn't touch him.  There was fear in her eyes when I forgot and just reached down to let him smell my hand through the fence---and she yelled at me.  I have never been to a rescue or shelter that wouldn't let you interact with the dog, to see if it was a fit for both of you---very fishy.  We had to come back to pick him up.

As detailed as the application and contract were, there is absolutely no follow-through.  There was no house check, even though it says there would be, and we registered the micro-chip in our nameand paid for it---other rescues want you to leave it in their name. 

We just adopted a friend for our dog from another rescue and the experience, compared to Gentle Giants, was like night and day---and a LOT cheaper.  She is healthy, spayed, and current on shots, and came with a file of everything that has been done with her and there is a bio on her temperament.  There was a thorough home check and two meetings with our dog to see if they were a good match.  They also make themselves available for any problems or difficulties for the life of the dog.

I've read other stories about the amount of litters the Wards seem to have and I want to add to our story that while we were there, there was a litter of purebred Great Danes barking constantly, that we saw.

We absolutley love our dog and wouldn't give him up for anything, but the whole process was weird and costly, and a fight to get him well.  It just shouldn't be like that.

Thank you for caring,

(Real name on file)

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