Rescue Watchdogs(TM)People and Rescues working together for the betterment of Rescue
To Whom it May Concern:
Last spring, my Dane died and after some mourning, I went to Gentle Giants in mid-summer (late July, early August) thinking that it would be a rewarding and helpful experience. Unfortunately it was neither and I ended up taking home and returning a sick and very, very aggressive Great Dane to them after many hateful emails from Tracy Ward blaming me for the problems I had from my first day. At no time was it considered that the (clearly longstanding) problems with the dog were the fault of the “sellers”. I was not offered my money back nor was offered another animal. The dog’s sicknesses, with included an active eye infection, kennel cough and diarrhea was blamed on my lack for care for the dog etc., even though the day I got her she had such a bad eye infection that I had to seek immediate attention for her. Tracy Ward, the seller, stated “the dog had no such problems when you adopted her, she was completely healthy and fully check out” before I left with her. I was also very uncomfortable with the insistence from The Wards that the injected micro-finder-chip be labeled as “return to The Wards” with their address, even though I was adopting.
I should have known better when I first got there after seeing a smelly, filthy environment (flies and excrement everywhere) and that a number of animals brought out were clearly ill and had one infection or another, some with mange, etc. But I was in need, drove for two hours to get there and I wanted a pet. The Wards also kept me waiting for so many hours in the heat (over 6 hours of waiting there) – hungry and thirsty – since they brought out only one dog at a time and took 20 minutes between each – and by the time I found a dog I wanted, I think that my judgement was impaired. My belief now is that there is no real love for dogs there, that it is all simply about money. I wrote to the mayor, the animal control people, the parks and rec. folks … in Norco and whatever county it is in, trying to get someone out there to witness the problems, the illness I saw, etc… and help. No one responded to my calls and emails. I even wrote their local paper.
When the Wards somehow heard about my complaints about them, their lawyer called and wrote to me threatening lawsuit if I didn’t stop stating my concerns to others, but that ended after I spoke with my lawyer and realized that they have no grounds as long as I was telling the truth of my experience. I have also heard from some Los Angeles based private rescue that in the past others did get through to the local Norco paper and report on the Wards, only to be served by an attorney with a slander suit.
My experience at Gentle Giants was exhausting, sad and heart wrenching, not to mention expensive. I paid over $700.00 for a sick, aggressive animal that I ended up returning within 10 days. I am glad to offer this letter if it helps to prevent other people or animals from being used in this way.
Los Angeles, CA