Valley adoptive dog parents frustrated with agency
A group of around a dozen dog foster families say a good deed has turned into a frustrating experience over the past few months.
PHOENIX — They answered a call to foster dogs, but for at least a dozen families around Arizona, that process has been fraught with expense and little communication. Now the good deed has become a frustrating experience.
In April, Ashley Stockton’s family welcomed Stella, an eight-month-old Doodle whose litter had just been rescued.
“They were dirty, they were matted, they stunk,” Stockton recalled. “It was so sad, they were piling up in a corner and huddled on top of each other. I thought Pawfect Match was a rescue and I would support her. I was excited because they would be providing the training and help so I thought it was a perfect situation.”
Pawfect Match is a Mesa pet service whose website states that they adopt, train, transport and rehoming pets.
The family provides a loving home and lots of attention. The host agency provides funds for vet visits, medications, training, and other expenses. Except for some, the experience was far from great.
“The past four months have been very stressful to say the least,” said Laura Studebaker, who is also raising a puppy from the same litter. She says something is wrong with the situation.
“We’ve spent hours and hours trying to figure out what’s going on and staying in the dark,” she said.
RELATED: Looking To Adopt A Pet? Maricopa County Animal Shelters say now is a great time as shelters reach capacity
What started as a Facebook request from Renee Wierz of Pawfect Match, turned into a litany of unanswered requests and unpaid expenses. They say Wierz told them all expenses would be handled, but that didn’t happen.
“We have this dog with fear, extreme fear and anxiety,” Studebaker said. “She needs medication, we asked for it. She was able to get a five-day supply. She couldn’t get her prescription filled after that.”
“She told a bunch of foster families that we couldn’t take the dogs to the vet,” Stockton said. “Because she said we don’t own them. I finally said you know what? It’s neglect and abandonment on Renee’s part and we took Stella to our vet.”
Stockton also says she has never rehabilitated a dog that had suffered trauma, so she asked Wierz about training.
“When I realized the training wasn’t happening because it didn’t meet any basic text, I ended up contacting the dog trainer we were using with our other dog,” she said. declared.
Now, four months and hundreds of dollars later, they say the families involved want answers.
“This dog is basically mine,” Stockton said. “I paid everything for this dog, I have all the papers, the receipts.”
“I contacted her several times, she was often out of town, I work, I’ll call you back later,” Studebaker said.
Bretta Nelson of the Arizona Humane Society says this is not common practice. She adds that in general, organizations will try to make it as easy as possible for host families and pay for things like food, supplies and medical care.
“And they should be able to share records with you, medical records, admission profiles, their ages and things like that,” she said.
RELATED: ‘It’s just shocking and really sad’: 160 pets rescued from homeless encampment near Surprise
With no dog profiles, medical records and a lack of communication, Stockton and Studebaker say the situation doesn’t add up. Especially after saying that Wierz asked for information on adoption plans. Because even though women say they were told in advance there would be a fee to adopt, there is still confusion as to why it is so expensive.
“I asked her if she could give us a detailed breakdown of the cost of the dogs,” Stockton said. “She says it’s $1,200 and we don’t understand why a rescue costs so much considering we paid for it all.”
12News has contacted Wierz several times for an interview. She issued a statement via text message saying:
“Working with adoptive dogs to get them adopted costs money. We would like to be able to give away adoptive dogs to good families for free. In reality, it’s not feasible. We pay the vet bills. pay for the transport and we provide groomers. You are encouraged to contact the groomers of all dogs and anyone else involved.”
She also asked us to speak with other groomers she has worked with and said “the foster families not wanting to pay the fee is the real story.” 12News again requested an interview and did not receive a response.
“We’re willing to pay for the dogs,” Studebaker said. “For us though, we really want to make sure other people don’t go through the heartache, the stress and the horrible situation we’ve been through. She cares more about the money than the dogs.”
“I don’t care if Renee wants to keep saving dogs,” Stockton said. “But she can’t operate the way she does. She takes advantage of people and makes them pay exorbitant prices. I would ask her one thing, can you give us clear answers? I want transparency, I want to understand what happens. “
RELATED: Foster Dog Found Safely After Being Stolen in Phoenix
Up to speed
Check out the latest news and stories on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.