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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
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On the 10/04 we bought a puppy Daughter costing £600 from

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On the 10/04 we bought a puppy for my Daughter costing £600 from the Homes4Pets website. The 8 week old puppy required full time care, i.e. taken out every 2 hrs etc. Naturally, I intended to support my daughter in caring for the puppy as she also is a student. On the 19/04 I had a bad accident, splintering the bones in my right foot. I spent a week in hospital and was released with a cast making it impossible to continue with helping care for the dog. My daughter tried her best to do it on her own but after 2 weeks it became apparent that she was close to a breakdown - she simply could not combine her work with 24hr care of the dog. The puppy was a wolfhound and we would have been able to sell her without the slightest problem but as we all loved her, we thought the kindest thing for her would be to return her to her former owner. My husband drove her back on the 13 May. The seller did not give my husband a refund and has ignored my many attempts to contact her, requesting a refund (emails & calls). Could you please help me to get the money (or puppy) back, especially since the dog has already been resold to someone else, meaning the seller has collected £600 twice for the same dog. As she has not refunded me does this mean that I still have any rights over the puppy? I would very much appreciate your help in telling me how best to proceed. Yours sincerely, ***** *****
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.
Please can you tell me whether this was a private sale via the website or whether the website would have been involved in the sale at any point. Please can you also advise whether you had received any paperwork, guarantee or documents related to the sale of the puppy. Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben,I do not believe the website will take any issue. Unfortunately we do not have a receipt for the money which was paid in cash - mainly because we never intended to return the puppy. I do realise that this was a terrible mistake on my side in being too trusting. However, we do have numerous emails that passed between the seller and myself which easily confirm that the sale took place. She had a litter of 6 puppies all of whom were sold around the same time and same price.. The original ad on Pets4Homes is still up (in part)., Barbara
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Barbara. Thank you for your response. I will review the relevant information and laws and will get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It's okay if I go to the end of the queue as I have to leave for an appointment and won't be back until after 6:30 or7 pm
Thanks for your patience. Your rights to a refund would have depended on whether this was a private or business seller and also what the reasons for the return of the puppy were. Regardless of what led to the return the fact of the matter is that the seller accepted the return and as such they should have then refunded you the money you paid for it. They cannot take the puppy back, resell it to someone else and not refund you. Therefore, you have the right to take the matter further and seek compensation for the money owed. It would be difficult to try and prove ownership of the dog and to try and take that, especially if it has new owners, so the best thing is to go for the money you are owed instead. Whenever a dispute arises over money owed by one party to another, the debtor can be pursued through the civil courts for recovery of the debt. As legal action should always be seen as a last resort, there are certain actions that should be taken initially to try and resolve this matter informally and without having to involve the courts. It is recommended that the process follows these steps: 1. Reminder letter – if no reminders have been sent yet, one should be sent first to allow the debtor to voluntarily pay what is due. 2. Letter before action – if informal reminders have been sent but these have been ignored, the debtor must be sent a formal letter asking them to repay the debt, or at least make arrangements for its repayment, within a specified period of time. A reasonable period to demand a response by would be 10 days. They should be advised that if they fail to do contact you in order to resolve this matter, formal legal proceedings will be commenced to recover the debt. This letter serves as a ‘final warning’ and gives the other side the opportunity to resolve this matter without the need for legal action. 3. If they fail to pay or at least make contact to try and resolve this, formal legal proceedings can be initiated. A claim can be commenced online by going to Once the claim form is completed it will be sent to the debtor and they will have a limited time to defend it. If they are aware legal proceedings have commenced it could also prompt them to reconsider their position and perhaps force them to contact you to try and resolve this. Whatever correspondence is sent, it is always advisable to keep copies and use recorded delivery so that there is proof of delivery and a paper trail. The court may need to refer to these if it gets that far. I hope this has answered your query. I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating (3, 4 or 5 stars) as that is an important part of our process and recognises the time I have spent assisting you. If you need me to clarify anything before you go - please get back to me on here and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. If this has answered your question please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars from the top of the page. I spend a lot of time and effort answering individual queries and I am not credited for my time until you leave your rating. If you still need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Many thanks.
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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello Ben,Thank you and I will give you a 5 star rating, however, can you please answer a further two questions I have.
One, my daughter is obviously devastated by loosing her puppy and we would NEVER have returned it if we had been told that the healing of my injury would be much quicker and more successful as the doctors had first led me to believe, i.e. that I could never walk properly again. Now that I know that it is only a matter of about 2 months before I can resume most normal activities, taking the puppy back would be my most satisfactory option, especially since, night after night, I hear my daughter crying. She has gone through a terrible trauma herself recently which need not be mentioned here and the puppy was healing her mental wounds, slowly but surely. If, as you say, the puppies fee has to be returned to me, either willingly by the owner or by going through a trial - does that not imply that, legally, the ownership of the puppy must be clear in legal terms and these must, to some degree, indicate that, as the seller has refused to answer any of my numerous and polite requests for return of the puppy or the money, the puppy does not belong to her and she certainly had no right to sell it without contacting me. In fact, in all fairness the puppy belongs to me more than to anyone else at the moment. I would be willing to go far to get the puppy back, even if it cost me another £600. If you happen to be a parent yourself, you will understand that there is nothing worse then to see you child in such pain.
As I have written to the seller at least 3 or 4 times via email, do you still suggest that I send both letters you suggested via registered mail or leave the first 3 requests in email form and only send the letter giving a definite time limit via registered post. If you think both letters should be sent by registered post, especially since there has been no reply, I am perfectly willing to send both letters by registered post. Lastly, is there any way I could get the name and contact of the woman who has the puppy now - she may be willing to sell him back to me although I would still proceed to get the original £600 from the seller. However, if I had no legal right to do both, get the money back and pay the new owner the cost of the puppy, I would be willing to forget about getting back the initial £600 I paid to the original seller. Also, do you recommend that I show her a copy of your letter or leave her in the dark as to what steps I am taking? For an extra fee, would you be able and willing to write to her, as a letter from a lawyer would have far more impact than a letter from myself? I'm not sure if you know, but I have signed up with your online company for the highest support (about £70 plus) as there are other legal dilemmas I am dealing with that are far more complicated than this and so far, I have found your help very precise and useful.Yours sincerely,
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
PS Hi Ben, sorry that the other links I sent you of the ad did not paste properly but this link will take you to the original ad, even though most of the information has now been removed, the page for the ad plus the price are still up.
Hi there, none of the correspondence HAVE to be sent by letter, it is just a recommendation so you can keep track and prove it was delivered. You can however continue by email if needed. If you have already sent a few reminders then you could just proceed to the final letter before action. The issue with getting the details of the new owner are that the seller is not legally obliged to disclose these, especially as it would be a breach of data protection. They could contact them on your behalf and put up in touch if they consent for that to be done but if they have been unhelpful so far then I am not sure how willing they would be to go through all that. Still, worth a try I suppose. In terms of getting a lawyer to send a letter, sadly it I not something I can do – my involvement is limited to online help on here. However, any local High Str solicitor near you should be able to do that for a nominal fee so worth trying