When we brought home a new pup from a local rescue organization three months ago, we had no idea we were getting involved with a Crazy Lady. The adoption STILL isn't finalized and we really want to make it official and never deal with them again. Help me understand if their requests are reasonable and officially adopt my dog!
So, we brought home our darling Maggie from a small local animal rescue in mid-October 2013. The foster mom reviewed our application then said, "Give her a week or so in your house, and if it works out, we will complete all the paperwork and you can provide your $300 donation." Cool! After a few days, we know that everything is great with Maggie
(she is basically the best decision I ever made) - it's the people who I have an issue with.
I wrote out a long explanation of what happened in November/December 2013 and January 2014, but it boils down to: They are too inept to finalize the adoption in a reasonable amount of time, and now I'm not sure I want to formalize it under their conditions. I have been proactively and repeatedly requesting a copy of their adoption contract so that I can sign it and provide payment over the past three months, but they SUCK at communication. If the coordinator responds to my requests, she says something like "great, we'll send it!" then she never sends the darn contract. I offer multiple times to just register the dog on my own, but she says that the contract needs to come first (then she doesn't send the contract, so I request it again, etc etc).
Finally, last night, I decide that after 3-almost-4 months I've had enough. I send them a nice email thanking them for saving her and stating that I plan to register the dog with the microchip companies and the city by myself. This morning at 8am, the coordinator calls me and basically accuses me of stealing the dog. She accuses me of willfully ignoring the contract that she "sent" (NOPE!), tells me she's going to tell the microchip companies not to release the dog, and accuses me of trying to get out of the adoption fee. Gah! Exactly the opposite of everything I have ever said! She is extremely confrontational during this call, and it's also just super, super, super frustrating.
She finally sends me the contract this time, but when I open it, it contains a number of clauses that I think are crazy
. Are they crazy? Actual excerpts below:
1) [Rescue Org] will be the primary guardian of the animal for life. You agree to provide at least two contact numbers to [Rescue Org] and you will maintain current information with [rescue org] and Avid for the Dog's life.
2) You agree not to abandon, give away, sell or dispose of the dog in any way and to notify us immediately if you no longer want to, or no longer can, keep the dog. You will be responsible for transportation of the dog back to Los Angeles [or LAX] in the case of a return and to work with us financially to board the dog. You agree that you may never surrender the dog to ... any other rescue/shelter/sanctuary entity other than [rescue org]. ... Without waiving any of our rights under this agreement, if any portion of this clause is violated, you will owe us a payment in the amount of $7,500.00 agreed between us as just and reasonable liquidated damages to compensate us for our costs and expenses in connection with your breach of this agreement.
3) In the event that you do not comply with the terms of this agreement, or the dog is abused or neglected, one of our remedies will be to recover the dog from you upon demand. ... in addition, without waiving any of our rights under this agreement, if you do not surrender the dog to us, you will owe us a payment in the amount of $7,000.00 agreed between us as just and reasonable damages ... and we reserve the right to reacquire the dog.
4) You agree to notify [rescue org] immediately if you have any change of home or business telephone numbers and addresses.
5) No liability. The charity and any individuals you work with the charity on not liable for any claims, legal actions, losses, injuries, damages, costs, expenses or liabilities whatsoever in connection with your adoption or ownership of the dog. [This only seems crazy in light of the above.]
We LOVE this dog, she is part of our family, and we will never mistreat, abandon, or otherwise breach the elements of this contract relating to the care of the dog. But after my conversation with this woman today, my preference is to never, ever communicate with her again. SO, questions!
A) Is this contract crazy?
B) If so... what do I do? What are my risks if I don't sign the contract? Can she really prevent the microchip companies from registering me as the dog's owner? My preference is a solution that means I send her a final email detailing how I have handled this, then never talk to her again, while I maintain ownership of my dog.
C) I don't want to give this woman any money if I don't have to. But, I was thinking I could donate the money to the foster mom, or maybe to the LA animal shelter - I'm not trying to escape the cost, just the crazy.
I am located in Los Angeles, CA. The dog was rescued by [Rescue Org] from Downey, the LA County shelter. Finally, and I only found this out today, apparently this rescue has only 2.5 stars on Yelp after 16 reviews, with all of the negative reviews being about this person in particular, and the positive reviews primarily from foster parents. Sigh.