A dog owner who gave up her Chihuahua puppy with hopes of a getting her surgery says she was deceived.
The woman says she surrendered the dog to a Waterbury animal rescue, the Rose Hope Animal Refuge, but claims they aren't giving the dog the care they agreed to.
Zoey, the 15-week-old Chihuahua mix, broke her right femur about one week ago. The dog owner Sarah said she took Zoey to a local veterinarian.
Paperwork shows the emergency consultation and x-rays that were taken cost more than $550, but the vet recommended the dog to have surgery.
Sarah said it would cost $6,000, which is money she doesn't have.
“A lot of them weren't able to do payment plans. So I started researching adoption agencies because I felt that was in the best interest of the dog,” Sarah said.
She reached out to a handful of local rescues organizations with the hopes if she gave Zoey up, the rescue would take on the cost of getting her the surgery.
She says that's when she got in touch with Rose Hope Animal Refuge out of Waterbury.
“Immediately said ‘I’ll take the dog and meet me in Petco in Waterbury at this time and we will get things going’,” Sarah said.
Rose Hope Animal Refuge works out of the Petco store in Waterbury doing adoption events, but is not associated with the store.
Sarah signed paperwork, surrendering the dog. The paperwork shows she can't get the dog back.
“The only reason I was looking into adoption was because I could not afford the surgery for Zoey,” Sarah said.
She said she called the next day because she forgot to give them so important information, and she said the organization told her Zoey wasn't getting the surgery.
“That her leg was going to heal after being kept in a cage for a month on cage rest, so that made me upset and I contacted numerous vets and no one had that type of information,” Sarah said.
While this was all happening, some rescues contacted Sarah saying they'll help, as they have a grant that could get Zoey the surgery at no cost to her.
Eyewitness News went to talk with an official with Rose Hope Animal Refuge, but was told she wasn’t home.
Then, an hour-and-a-half later, an email from someone at Rose Hope Animal Refuge said the veterinarian they work with claims the dog doesn’t need surgery saying “we were told by Dr. Saria, the right fractured femur should heal on its own providing Zoey is given rest, and weight bearing restrictions.”
The email went on to say "Zoey has been provided in addition good care, nutrition and a quiet, nurturing environment under the care of rose hope animal refuge."
The email goes on to say they were "concerned that if the dog should need future care that Sarah may not have the funds to care for Zoey.”
Sarah says Rose Hope Animal Refuge refuses to give her the dog back, even though Sarah said they signed a form saying they would meet her with Zoey but never showed up with the dog.
“Why not just release her back to the original owners who have the money now to get the surgery that love her and care for her, who are literally going to the end of the world to try to get her back and get the proper care she needs,” Sarah said.
Eyewitness News reached out to Rose Hope Animal Refuge to get more questions after their email, but they haven't returned calls or emails.
Eyewitness News also reached out to the vet who claims Zoey doesn’t need surgery. She hung up the phone when the station called, and also hasn't returned calls.
An attorney says Sarah might have a strong case to get her dog back because it is breach of contract.
Rose Hope Animal Refuge gave the dog back to the owner on Tuesday morning. Sarah shared photos of the reunion with Eyewitness News.
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