A Family Afraid for their own Safety
By: Kim
March 19, 2008

In September we decided to look for a Great Dane to rescue. We looked into the local rescues and craigslist for a couple weeks. Not finding what we were looking for we broadened our search and discovered Gentle Giants Rescue in So. Cal. We e-mailed them for more info and were suckered into traveling down there to find our 'dream dog'. They really paint a pretty picture.

We went down as a family with 'T' in tow and brought home 'Z'-the perfect fit. She was a 6 year old female and she was beautiful. She was fantastic with our children and we thought (although their facility was nasty) Gentle Giants was what it promised to be. 'Z' fit every criteria we had set.

This is where the wheels fall off and bad decisions on our part start. 'Z' showed signs of major aggression toward our small pets (cats and rabbit) and then began aggressive behavior toward 'T'. For the sake of shortening this story I wont go into detail. She scared our cats so badly they both escaped and didn't return for weeks. We only recovered one. And we feared what would happen if we exposed her to the rabbit. By the end of our first two weeks she attacked 'T'. We really feared she was going to kill her.

We loaded up the car that weekend to return 'Z'. All the while we were assured this was a fluke situation and that if we only lived closer Traci could surely fix the problem. They encouraged us to bring our bunny to be sure our next choice was a perfect fit. We made it all the way to Norco and 20 minutes before we would arrive to drop off 'Z', she broke through the heavy plastic crate our bunny was in and killed him. We wisked our children away (fortunately my mother-in-law was with us on this trip) and called Burt and Tracy demanding they pick up their dog so that we could be rid of her and clean the blood out of our car.

Burt Ward arrived and gave an emmy worthy performance, tears and all. He told us in 13 years they had NEVER had something like this happen. He said they understood if we didn't want to come back but as a gesture of their genuine interest in our family and what we had been through, they had 'the perfect Great Dane puppy' and a bunny they would ship directly to our home the following week.

We spent the following 3 hours at a park talking while our children played. We reviewed the damage: 2 lost cats, 1 dead rabbit, the loss of a dog (we had actually bonded with 'Z' and, before she killed our bunny, were heart broken about taking her back), two failed trips to southern California and about $2000 between trips and adoption fees.

Why we didn't leave town at that very moment is puzzling to us now. We were in a horrible place emotionally and somehow ended up back at Gentle Giants that night. We saw 'our boy' and introduced him to 'T'. They hit it off. We told them to hold him for two weeks and we would come back to pick him up on the way home from a trip to Arizona. They insisted this was not something they would normally do, but for us, after what we had gone through, they would do it.

Even with two weeks to think about it our judgment was still cloudy and we brought him home. 'Our boy' has proven himself to be a very sweet and loving boy. But we have struggled over the past 5 months to convince ourselves he is a good fit for our family. He is very high strung and after five months of training including classes at Petsmart and working with an on-line 'specialist' we worry that he is not meant to be with small children.

We are heart broken right now as the frustration is mounting. We love our boy and don't want to consider him going somewhere else. But we are concerned for our children. Especially considering we plan to have another baby in the next year to 18 months.

This whole experience has been one bad choice after another. We just don't know where to go from here.

There are so many other discusting details to this story. Like how we recieved a call en-route after waking our children up at 6:00am to allow a deture to Norco that our boy wouldn't be available for pick up until later that day. We again had to adjust our travel plans to allow another overnight stay in Norco so that we could continue the other 7 hour leg of our trip the next day to get our boy home.

We were also told 'our boy' was a 7 month old great dane puppy. It is evident now that he may have been older and is most likely a mix-breed. He has problems socailizing and is incredible high strung. We are now sinking $$ and endless hours into training. This is interesting since we were told "our dogs are the best behaved dogs. You wont have to waste time running to the vet or training classes. Just take him home and enjoy how wonderful he is."

I wonder where they managed to get the 'success' stories they have posted on their site. They paint such a pretty picture. It's a shame its all lies. Not ONE of the statements from Burt and Tracy has been true. We have been lied to and decieved over and over again. We just thought there was no possible way this could be normal. We had to be the exception or Burt and Tracy would be out of business. Who would go there if this was really what happened to everyone?

Now we feel as though we were in a fog and the wool had been pulled over our eyes. Here we are, months later, awake from the fog and in torment over what has happened. Although finding this site and reading other's experiences is comforting to know we were not the only ones decieved, and we're not actually fools, it kills us to know that our's wasn't even the worst story. And they get to keep doing it over and over! This needs to stop. I hope and pray that a way will be made to end this. Only the dogs and families are suffering. Burt and Tracy have lost sight of the truth. These dogs do deserve loving caring families. And GGR is hindering that effort, not helping.

                    In prayer for an answer,


This comment is from individual person voicing his/her opinion and warning about Gentle Giants, based on what he/she has  personally encountered with Gentle Giants.

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