Breeder sold me kitten with fleas, ringworm, coccidia, and URI. Recourse I can take?

hohohobosanta

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I purchased a ragdoll kitten from what I thought was a reputable breeder as they are very transparent with their queen/king pedigrees and their kitten raising process. However, two days after bringing the kitten home we found two fleas on him. The breeder admitted they have an outdoor kitten whom they found fleas on after I notified them. We brought him to the vet to get flea medicine and after acquiring it later found ringworm on his paw. If that wasn't enough, his fecal results came back and he tested positive for coccidia. All the while, he developed a bad URI that we had to put him on antibiotics for. I also have a resident cat at home who is now potentially infected with all of these things. All in all the vet costs have totaled to over $500, but the real burden is on our mental health, time spent cleaning, nonstop researching, and going back and forth to the vet so many times. Thankfully he has majority recovered from the URI at this point and no more fleas so we are only dealing with ringworm and coccidia now.

According to the contract we could've returned him after finding fleas and URI, but I picked him up from across the country and didn't want to stress him with a flight back on top of all his current conditions as he likely would have suffered even more from the stress (plus I already love him). The contract states no compensation will be made for vet costs after purchase but legality aside, what we're going through now seems simply unacceptable from an ethics standpoint. I originally asked for flea medicine compensated for just his share (my resident cat needed it too as advised by the vet but I was willing to pay for that myself) and she only wanted to pay half of his dose. I notified her the rest of the conditions and she sent one bottle of a supplement which I appreciate but don't feel the matches the severity of the situation. What course of action can I take here? My current thought is to politely ask for compensation for all the medical bills out of good faith. If this request is denied by the breeder, am I able to file complaints anywhere that would actually do anything? The breeder is registered with TICA whom I know has a complaint form.

 

StefanZ

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Politely asking for recompensating vet costs (you do have receipts and vet info it was the said kitten) is of course in order... These costs are probably not higher than the tickets for flying??
And a wise breeder do accomply... Because the fault is really his; having an outgoing cat in contact with his purebreds is to ask for problems...
I suppose his own cats did become infected too...
BUT: If his own cats nor the other kittens didnt become infected, he will of course become suspicious to your demands...

I myself dont know much about the legalities, but its of course not unheard of, an unhappy customer does the problem be known.
 

sivyaleah

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Unfortunately if you have a contract signed by both parties stating no compensation, you won't have a leg to stand on in any legal proceeding. And it will cost much more to do this than the costs laid out for medical treatment. While the situation does suck and the breeder clearly wasn't as good as you thought, there's no point in continuing to hope they will help any further. Having 4 different health issues upon arrival is not normal. Sometimes kittens will develop a minor URI from the stress of the move. Also coccidia is sadly rampant in nearly all cat communities whether well cared for or not. My girl was non-symptomatic for it but had to be treated anyway. I called her breeder just to let her know so she could treat the rest of the litter but expected nothing from her since it is so common plus she had come to us with a free month of health insurance from the breeder so it cost us very little to treat.

If your kittens litter was registered and you have the proof of such you might try to report the breeder to whatever organization they are affiliated with (CFA, TICA in the US for instance). If you have no proof, the breeder is not reputable and there really will be no recourse.
 

Caspers Human

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Unfortunately if you have a contract signed by both parties stating no compensation, you won't have a leg to stand on in any legal proceeding.
I suggest speaking to a lawyer because such wavers in contracts can have exceptions.

In an ordinary contract for sale, there is a reasonable expectation of fitness. If it can be shown that the seller knew or should have known that there could be a problem with the goods being sold, he could be held liable to make good with the buyer.

For example, if you buy a car you have the right to expect that the engine will run and the car will be drivable. If you get the car home and find that the underside is so rusty that the car isn't legal to drive, the dealer can be held responsible. The theory is that the buyer has a reasonable expectation of fitness.

Take the cat. It has ringworm and coccidia. Both of these diseases can be transmissible to humans. Fleas can also transmit diseases to humans and, even if they don't, they are a huge nuisance to deal with. These are all relatively easy diseases to detect and any decent breeder should have checked for them before the sale. The buyer does have an expectation that the cat will be disease free.

I'm not saying that it will be a cut-and-dried case but I do think you have a case and I think a lawyer would agree. You should call a lawyer and speak to them by phone to tell them your case. If they agree that you have a case, they will probably give you a 30-minute consultation for little or no fee.

You should call a lawyer and assuming they agree, you can have them send the breeder a letter demanding compensation and detailing the reasons why. If the breeder is willing to play ball with you and give you, at least, partial compensation for your vet bills, you can let bygones be bygones. If they breeder ignores your request or gives you a hassle, you can decide whether to pursue the case in court.
 

Alldara

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:yeah: when it comes to law you need a lawyer. There are nuances to law and certain rights that cannot be contracted away, even if someone tries to. A lawyer will know if that falls under this type of thing.

Before a consultation ask if they have experience with animal purchase cases AND/OR if they have experience with cases that are inter-state or inter-country if either situation applies to you.
 

Caspers Human

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The recent disaster with the sub that imploded when it went down to explore the wreck of the Titanic is a good example.

The passengers all signed waivers that had the phrase, “Risk of death,” in big, bold letters but the courts have held that such waivers aren’t valid because no reasonable company should have offered such a thing in the first place. The craft was obviously not seaworthy but the company, Ocean Gate, still claimed it was.

In the end, a million-dollar company was ruined!

The situation with your cat, obviously, is not as grave as the Ocean Gate case but the principle is the same.

Any reasonable person would assume that the goods (your cat) or services (a trip in a submarine) are fit for the purpose they were held out to be.

If that turns out to be untrue, waivers be damned, the seller can be held liable.
 

annabee

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I purchased a ragdoll kitten from what I thought was a reputable breeder as they are very transparent with their queen/king pedigrees and their kitten raising process. However, two days after bringing the kitten home we found two fleas on him. The breeder admitted they have an outdoor kitten whom they found fleas on after I notified them. We brought him to the vet to get flea medicine and after acquiring it later found ringworm on his paw. If that wasn't enough, his fecal results came back and he tested positive for coccidia. All the while, he developed a bad URI that we had to put him on antibiotics for. I also have a resident cat at home who is now potentially infected with all of these things. All in all the vet costs have totaled to over $500, but the real burden is on our mental health, time spent cleaning, nonstop researching, and going back and forth to the vet so many times. Thankfully he has majority recovered from the URI at this point and no more fleas so we are only dealing with ringworm and coccidia now.

According to the contract we could've returned him after finding fleas and URI, but I picked him up from across the country and didn't want to stress him with a flight back on top of all his current conditions as he likely would have suffered even more from the stress (plus I already love him). The contract states no compensation will be made for vet costs after purchase but legality aside, what we're going through now seems simply unacceptable from an ethics standpoint. I originally asked for flea medicine compensated for just his share (my resident cat needed it too as advised by the vet but I was willing to pay for that myself) and she only wanted to pay half of his dose. I notified her the rest of the conditions and she sent one bottle of a supplement which I appreciate but don't feel the matches the severity of the situation. What course of action can I take here? My current thought is to politely ask for compensation for all the medical bills out of good faith. If this request is denied by the breeder, am I able to file complaints anywhere that would actually do anything? The breeder is registered with TICA whom I know has a complaint form.

Oof. That sounds about as bad as the 2 week old orphaned, half-alive kittens I've rescued. What a mess.

The kitten's health is first and foremost here. Is the kitten on medication for treating coccidia such as Toltrazuril or Ponazuril? It's a nasty parasite, so you'll want to have that cleared up first and foremost. As for the ringworm, I've had a lot of luck with Nizoral shampoo [Amazon] alone. You can also buy it from the pharmacy counter (no Rx required) at Walmart if that's around you. However, you may need to do lime-sulfur dips as well,


but I'd recommend trying the shampoo alone first (a bath every few days).

If an animal in your home has any bacteria/virus/parasites (e.g. ringworm) of concern, you'll want to get REScue spray [Amazon]. This stuff is the holy grail of safe disinfectants (of any disinfectants, really, but it's way safer, too). Spray it everywhere and anywhere the kitten may have touched. It's safe for the kitten to interact with sprayed items (unlike bleach). When ringworm hit our house, I was very generous with REScue spray, and there was nothing it stained (but test if you're worried).

Now, as for the legal matters at hand, I agree with consulting an attorney before taking any action. Otherwise, file your complaints and leave your bad reviews and cut your losses.

I hope the kitty heals up soon. :hearthrob:
 
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