Silver Brook Maltese / maltese puppy
I bought a $6000 puppy from Tammy Tomson of Silver Brook Maltese. This was to be the last dog of my life and I used retirement funds to purchase her. I only had her a couple of months before she developed two luxating patellas, a genetic disorder where the long bones of the legs are not properly formed. Her legs were also bowed. My vet stands behind this diagnosis. The surgery was to be a minimum of $5000, not including any follow-up physical therapy, and I could not afford this. Tammy offered to take the puppy back with a promise to have the surgery done and replace her with another puppy of the same value, meeting my initial specifications, as soon as she had one available. Upon receipt of the puppy, Tammy concurred with the diagnosis and reaffirmed her commitment to replace the puppy. However, when a suitable puppy did became available, Tammy refused to send her to me without me paying an additional $3000. This was extortion and I refused. She accused me of buyer's remorse and of possibly dropping the puppy, neither of which was true. I loved that dog and she was kept very safe. After a few e-mails back and forth, Tammy stopped answering either my e-mails or my calls. She had my money, she had the puppies, she lived 2500 miles away and she was refusing to talk to me. I had no choice but to get an attorney. I have now accrued a fairly substantial legal fee. We have sent two demand letters to Tammy and she has ignored them both. She has also refused calls from my attorney. We are now prepared to file in court, which I fully intend to do if Tammy does not settle by the end of the month. I want my $6000 back, plus all my legal fees, and if I go to court there will be additional legal fees, plus I will add all of the other vet expenses I accrued in the short time this puppy was with me, approximately $2000 worth. We intend to claim consumer fraud. My attorney has already notified the AKC, Better Business Bureau of Western PA, PA Department of Agriculture, and the PA Attorney General. I have follow-up letters ready to go to these groups. This puppy was from a joint breeding and I have not mentioned the other breeder's name in all of this because my dealing was strictly with Tammy. The only fraud perpetrated on me was from Tammy. However, in the further correspondence I have with AKC and the PA Department of Agriculture, because of the genetic flaws, we will be naming the other breeder and her kennel.
I have considerable documentation for my claim. I would be glad to discuss this with anyone. My attorney is in Pittsburgh and I am sure he would be happy to hear from anyone with a similar complaint against Tammy.
Updated by QuinnyAnne, Feb 23, 2018
Well said. AKC has been notified and I will be following up with them if this matter is not resolved to my satisfaction soon. However, I do believe that Tammy was one of the top breeders in the country maybe ten years back. I think she was dedicated to the breed and had honest business practices at that time. I chose her for my first Maltese for those reasons. Unfortunately, at age seven, that Maltese developed, simultaneously, two major health problems in what seemed to be a spontaneous manner, heart disease (which resulted in her death 1 1/2 years later) and cancer. My vet said that these were genetic problems and due to overbreeding. I didn't believe him, considered Tammy to be a friend, and proceeded to get another puppy from her ... and that is that puppy's story above. However, the demand letters that my attorney has made, and the lawsuit that we intend to file if this matter is not resolved soon, are for consumer fraud, i.e. the promise of a puppy that was not delivered. Tammy's lack of honesty in business practices is my most immediate concern. She not only refused to send me the puppy she had promised, she refused all my attempts to communicate, necessitating that I get an attorney.
Updated by QuinnyAnne, Aug 21, 2018
FOLLOW-UP: Tammy eventually offered me a puppy of my choice and I picked a delightful boy. I am totally in love with him. He is not exactly what I paid the big bucks for (he is worth less because he is male, larger and older), but he is what she had at the time of the offer, and I am not at all disappointed in him. Tammy showed remorse and worked really hard to make things right. She would have given me pick of any future litters, but I had waited a year and a half for a puppy and didn't want to wait longer. I am still out a lot of $$$ for legal fees, but I was saved from going to court, which was already well in the process.