(WSVN) - She hired a trainer who used an electronic collar on her small dog. Instead of teaching him, she says it left her with an enormous vet bill. Does the trainer have to pay it? Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser has a story all pet owners will want to watch.

Chewy is a shipoo. Thats right, a shipoo.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “He’s a mixed shipoo. It’s a Shih Tzu mixed with a poodle.”

An adorable puppy whose hair color changed as he grew into a cute dog … most of the time…

Rebeca Rodriguez: “He’s the cutest little fur ball until he’s not happy.”

And when Chewy is not happy, his teeth come out.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “He was starting to get a little bit on the aggressive side … It’s not that much of play biting. It’s more of an aggressive bite.”

A vet reccommened a trainer who advertises on youtube.

Rebeca paid him $2600 for 25 lessons…

Rebeca Rodriguez: “Though he did mention that he didn’t guarantee ridding him of all the aggression, probably about eighty-five percent.”

The contract Rebeca signed, said the trainer would use an e-collar, where you shock the animal at various levels when they misbehave.

Watching the trainer use it shocked Rebeca.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “He would hit him in the face … It wasn’t a hard slap, but it was enough to — over and over and over — to aggravate him … and then whenever he’ll get mad, he’ll shock them, and the yelps hurt to hear him cry.”

Rebeca’s son was frightened by the training. Rebeca didn’t know what to do.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “And I’m thinking he’s a professional. He must know what he’s doing.”

The trainer wrote it was touch therapy. Then the next day came.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “The dog starts pooping blood. A couple of minutes later, he poops. It was just blood, constant.”

Rebeca took the dog to the vet’s office where the bill was $1800.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “They agreed that it could have been from the shock.”

She then called the dog trainer and said she was done with him and wanted a refund for the seven unused lessons and the money for her vet bill.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “Absolutely not, was his answer. He said, you signed a contract That was it. Washed his hands, and that was all.”

Rebeca expected to spend the money on the training.

She never thought that would also create an unexpected vet bill.

Well, Howard, where does Rebeca stand?

Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Even though Rebeca agreed to allow the trainer to use the electronic collar, they broke the contract when the shocked the dog so badly, it caused physical harm. As a result, not only do they have to return the money for the unused lessons, they also have the pay the $1800 vet bill.”

I contacted the owner of Elite Dog Training.

I asked Lazaro Sotolongo to return the money for the unused lessons and pay the vet bill.

He said no, that Rebeca didn’t read the contract that says he doesn’t give money back.

When I told him Howard disagreed, he said his lawyer would call me. I am still waiting.

Howard Finkelstein: “It doesn’t matter what the contract says, the trainer broke it by damaging the dog. Rebeca’s best course now, take them to small claims court where she will probably win.”

Rebeca Rodriguez: “Oh, I adore my little fur ball.”

Chewy recovered from the trauma but the shocks from the e-collar didn’t calm him down. They made him more aggressive.

Rebeca Rodriguez: “And after that day, you can’t touch him in the face. He’ll bite you because now he feels threatened.”

Many trainers won’t use shock collars because they consider them cruel.

I spoke to a well-respected South Florida trainer who teaches police dogs. He told me he would work with Rebeca’s dog for free to help Chewy, but Rebeca is still stuck with that $1800 vet bill.

Got a problem dogging you? Ready to unleash some help? Call us. It will be a treat for us to collar a solution for you.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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