DENVER — Five-month-old Lee Lu was all Sara Bredengerd hoped for when she found the mixed-breed dog through the Colorado Rescue Tails adoption website.
“Just look at that face,” Bredengerd said.
She paid a $350 adoption fee, which is supposed to cover deworming, spay or neuter, a microchip and the last round of shots.
When the new dog owner showed up at the rescue’s designated veterinarian, Bredengerd got a surprise. She said the veterinarian was no longer making appointments through Colorado Rescue Tails, as the rescue was no longer covering services.
Bredengerd told the FOX31 Problem Solvers she was stunned. However, we learned Bredengerd was not the only disappointed dog owner.
Jennifer Flores also adopted her dog Cooper from Colorado Rescue Tails. She received documents with Cooper claiming he had a clean bill of health and was microchipped.
“That was not the case,” Jennifer said.
Flores told the Problem Solvers her vet could not find a chip and diagnosed the dog with heart worms.
“I feel concerned as to what the outcome is going to be for him,” Flores said.
Documents show the rescue was tied to three metro-area addresses, including a high-rise in downtown Denver and two homes: one in Westminster and one in Thornton.
State investigators say the rescue accepted 32 dogs from Texas and used foster homes to house the dogs.
In March, a state inspector found 12 violations at the rescue involving a lack of paperwork on the dogs’ health, adoptions and foster homes.
FOX31 could not find Brianna Stephens, the owner of the rescue, for comment. State inspectors do say Stephens was fined $500 and voluntarily turned in her license.
Flores said she plans on lovingly nursing Cooper back to health and has one thing to say to Colorado Rescue Tails.
“I wish you would do better for the animals,” she said.
The Colorado Department of Agriculture maintains a database of active licensed animal shelters and rescues.