CHICAGO (CBS) — A puppy switch-up – a local family said they were expecting a Rottweiler, but they were sold a different dog from a completely different breeder.
CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar on Thursday night continued to expose a suburban dog breeder accused of ripping families off. The story doesn’t end there.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Colder And Blustery Sunday Night
If getting the wrong dog wasn’t bad enough, this story takes what the family called a creepy twist – involving photos of their young daughter that were shared online.
The dispute is now in court.
“We were stepping out of one tragedy and into another one,” said Fonzell Pasquale. “It’s not what I bargained for.”
Losing Dutch, a 4-year-old Doberman, to cancer was tragedy number one for Pasquale and her family.
Daughter Gia took it hardest.
“Gia was holding on hope of having a new puppy in the house to get through dark time over loss of dog,” Pasquale said.
The family was soon sold on a new puppy from Chandra Klem of Rodsden Rottweilers. Klem’s grandmother has had a clean name in the business since the 1940s.
“She sent us pictures and updates,” Pasquale said.
A puppy seen in a photo with a green collar, later named Lucky, was supposed to come from a breeder in California.
“She told me at the time she didn’t have puppies, but a good friend in California did,” Pasquale said.
But when it was finally time to make the family whole again with a new Rottweiler, Pasquale said: “It came and went – no Chandra.”
Klem took the money with no problem, and days later, Pasquale said Klem finally showed up with a puppy.
“The puppy that she brought was not the puppy from photos,” Pasquale said. “Not only his size, but the puppy looked different than the puppy in the picture.”READ MORE: 5 Killed, 19 Wounded In Chicago Weekend Shootings
“He was way different,” Gia said.
A veterinarian agreed that Lucky was smaller than advertised, diagnosing him with a heart murmur and knee problems. Klem claimed she never received the proof of the medical issues.
“She still owes us a lot of money, and it’s still in ongoing litigation,” Pasquale said.
Pasquale has taken Klem to court in Kane County.
As for that dog breeder and so-called friend of Klem’s in California, they say Lucky didn’t come from them.
So where did Klem get the dog sold to Pasquale?
“I’ve cried a lot of tears,” Pasquale said.
Through Facebook, Pasquale connected with Lucky’s breeder. But this is where things take a turn.
“Chandra pretended to be me the whole time,” Pasquale said, “said she was buying it for her 11-year old daughter. She does not have an 11-year-old daughter.”
Messages from Klem to Lucky’s actual breeder show Klem trying to pass off Gia as her own child – sharing photos of the Pasquale’s daughter online.
“It’s very creepy that she pretended to be me and sent pictures of my daughter in her bed to some person I didn’t even know,” Pasquale said, adding that she felt “totally violated.”
Klem responded the following statement:
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“Fonzell received their puppy as contracted. They ‘claim’ there were health issues but have refused to provide me with any documentation of such. There is a suit and countersuit pending in Kane County.”