DAVENPORT, Ia. (KWQC) – A Davenport couple is warning others about buying a pet from a store without doing prior research. Michael Namoski and Alexis Farnum fell in love with Scarlet while looking for a French Bulldog at Pet Mart in Davenport. They’re paying nearly $3,800 for her. While Scarlet became an immediate member of the family, they are now taking Pet Mart to court. The reason, according to their petition in small claims court, they didn’t get a purebred French bulldog like they were told.
“That’s what we wanted was a full blooded French Bulldog and we were trusting him [Kevin Frankenberger] and trusting his advertising that she was,” says Alexis Farnum.
The couple was willing to pay the price for Scarlet thinking she was purebred. When the couple took Scarlet to the veterinarian for the first time, questions were raised.
“The veterinary assistant was questioning her dog breed,” says Michael Namoski.
So they performed an at home DNA test at the vet’s office.
“I actually went back to White Haven and had them do that and had them take pictures and everything so it wasn’t like I was doing it in my basement with different dogs,” says Michael.
Here are the results of this test. Scarlet is mostly French Bulldog, but also twelve and a half Boston Terrier coming from one of Scarlet’s grandparents.
Scarlet was registered through the American Canine Association. The paperwork lists her breed as French Bulldog. It has the dog’s registration number as well as her parents’ names and registration numbers.
TV-6 reached out to Kevin Frankenberger, the owner of Pet Mart where Scarlet was sold. We asked for an on-camera interview, but he told TV-6 he would only do a phone interview.
He still holds to what he told the couple.
“It’s never been determined that it’s not purebred. They did an at home DNA test, over Wisdom Panel you can buy off the internet, the kennel clubs don’t recognize these as accurate.”
TV-6 reached out to the American Kennel Club which says these tests are accurate; but a lot of factors play into what makes a purebred animal.
The couple alerted Pet mart’s Owner of the DNA test results. Now, they want most of their money back; $3,200. Alexis saying, “she’s already became a part of our family.”
But Kevin Frankenberger won’t agree to those terms.
“I think we should take the pet back and give them their money back.”
The couple says that’s not an option they’re willing to consider. They’re still willing to pay for Scarlet, but not the full purebred price. “It was just a big mess so that’s when I decided to just take him to small claims court,” Alexis says.
Kevin wishes it didn’t have to go to court.
“It would be great to speak with the purchaser but if we have to do it through a court system, we’re certainly willing to do that hopefully an outcome arises where everyone’s happy. That’s what I tried to transmit to the purchaser.”
TV-6 is not saying which party is correct in this case. No matter what comes of the now-legal fight, Michael and Alexis say they’ve learned a few lessons along the way. They say they’re not only angry and frustrated with Pet Mart, but also themselves.
Just like any big purchase, you should do some homework. Before you decide to purchase your next pet, research the store you’re buying from. Make sure you know where the pet is bred and if the breeding site has good ratings with the USDA, The Humane Society of the United States, and American Kennel Club. Ask for the pet’s registration papers which will include their registration numbers.
You can check below (app users) or on the side of this screen (web users) for more resources on buying a pet.