Purchased and given paperwork for a shi-poo and was advised by Vet to get a DNA test as they did not believe it was a shi-poo. DNA test confirmed that it was not a shi-poo but a shi-chon. the owner offered us a full refund with return of the dog that we have had for 7 months ( mind you we have 4 kids age 3, 6, 8, and 12. We are not giving back a dog we fell in love with but think we should be compensated in some way. My thought we return the dog they win because dog spayed and has all shots we paid for which we would not get compensated for. I asked if we were to buy another dog and return this one would they be paying for vet bills. They laughed at us. They know we have no intention of returning dog and they are counting on it. Please assist us in anyway .
Unless you received some guaranty of the purity of the dog's breed when you purchased her it is unlikely that you can recover any damages.
The above constitutes general information only and should not be considered legal advice.
The difficulty your situation presents is that you seem to be happy with the product you've purchased. If the purity of the dog's breed had some further financial implication for you (i.e. you intended to use it for breeding) then perhaps you'd have some cognizable damages. I certainly do not see this as a situation where it would be smart to spend money going to court. If anything, perhaps seek out a strongly worded letter from an attorney demanding a partial refund. If this breeder is a member of a professional association perhaps the threat of registering a well documented complaint with that association would be incentive for the breeder to give a refund of some amount.
This response contains general legal information and is not intended to serve as specific legal advice for your situation and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to contact an attorney in order to have a thorough and confidential consultation in order to obtain specific legal advice for your matter.
I agree with Messrs. Bianchi and Baily that this case is not one worth going to court over. Unless you can show that the owner deliberately tried to defraud you (which is going to be EXTREMELY difficult for you to prove, given that he offered you the remedy of rescission (a/k/a the "undoing" of the transaction), plus did not insist upon a discount for the seven months of value/benefit that you had from owning the dog (or which some might consider the depreciation of the dog's value since it has aged since you bought it, which is significant in dog years)), you will be wasting your time in litigation.
From a contracts perspective, a court would most likely award the remedy that the owner proposed--rescission--based on a theory of mistake. Calculating any sort of expectation damages--unless it can be shown that shi-chons have a much shorter lifespan (see http://dogs.petbreeds.com/compare/681-687/Shichon-vs-Shih-Poo - their lifespan is shorter but only by about two years) or are otherwise prone to more health problems as compared to a shi-poo--will be practically impossible in this case, especially since you admit that your family is fond of the dog. Thus, if you go to court and somehow end up winning after at least six months in litigation (and that's really quick), you'll only get what the owner proposed in the first place.
As for "court of public opinion" remedies such as by lodging a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or by registering a complaint with a breeders' association, these are certainly options but they also come with danger, namely the possibility of a retaliatory defamation or tortious interference with contract/business relations suit (although the risk of the owner suing you in this regard is not exactly high - hopefully, he or she has better things to do with his or her life than to engage in litigation over a mud-slinging contest).
Nonetheless, I'm sure that you feel livid over having not received (albeit probably unintentionally or negligently) the dog that you and your family wanted in the first place. In addition, since the life expectancy of a shi-poo is indeed about two years' shorter on average than that of a shi-chon, I would propose the following compromise to the owner:
1) You keep the dog;
2) He or she agrees over the next two years to pay in periodic installments for the cost of the spaying and shots that you incurred on account of your shi-chon having a shorter life expectancy (again, though, not by much); and
3) You agree that when the dog unfortunately but inevitably passes away, you will look to the owner again first to purchase your next dog, should you decide to get one at that time.
A compromise like this one is collaborative in nature in that it compensates you (albeit not in a great measure) for not having gotten the dog you intended to purchase but also preserves your relationship with the owner for the future. Yes, you probably now feel that you do not want to deal with him or her in the future on account of the DNA test and this entire episode, but if you consider that your family is otherwise satisfied with the shi-chon and have grown fond of it, there also is the fact that the owner did provide you with a quality pet. A bridge to a person who can do that in today's world is not one that should be burned summarily.
Thus, in short, I would not throw out the baby with the bathwater here or burn a bridge unnecessarily. See if the owner will at least consider what I have outlined above before resorting to more adversarial tactics.
Please be advised that this answer is only provided for educational/informational purposes only such that no attorney-client relationship should be inferred from it being provided. Any such relationship is explicitly disclaimed, and the questioner is advised to consult with his, her, or its attorney for further advice and guidance.
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