Rotten Rottie Rescue, a Rottweiler dog rescue, received a call from a woman who identified herself as Sylvia Shoen. Shoen stated that she had cancer and could no longer care for seven of her 10 rottweilers and wanted to surrender the animals to the charity. Shelly Froehlich, who operates the rescue, stepped up to help.
Taking in the dogs would be a challenge based sheerly on the numbers. However, revelations about the health of the rottweilers only came later.
When a family assistant dropped off the dogs, information about the pedigrees of the animals, a mother and six puppies, was provided. Details about their medical history were missing as well as the surrender sheet which includes spaces to provide information about their health.
It wasn’t until after receiving the animals that Froehlich learned the full extent of their condition, including one that required IV fluids for dehydration and another with a parasitic infection.
During follow up calls, Froehlich learned more about the history of the dogs, including previous diagnoses for giardia, roundworm, and mange, as well as lacerations from being struck by a vehicle.
It was also discovered that the 9-week-old puppies did not receive their initial vaccinations and that two suffered from a genetic disorder which is often made worse by inbreeding.
Typically, certain costs are covered by a surrender fee, such as vaccinations and spaying or neutering. Froehlich originally waved the fees, assuming the cancer diagnosis created a financial burden.
However, when she learned who Shoen was, she attempted to get assistance from the original owners.
Shoen is the wife of Joe Shoen. Together, the couple, who founded U-Haul, are billionaires.
After discovering who Shoen was, Froehlich reached out to the couple for assistance in managing the costs associated with the care of the surrendered animals.
The resulting conflict led to profanity-laced insults being hurled and accusations of animal neglect. Demands for thousands of dollars to assist in the care of the rottweilers also occurred, largely because, according to Froehlich, of the animal rescue had limited resources.
Froehlich threatened to take the incident public while Shoen stated in a message that, “This B**** will never see a copper penny!”
While, according to a report by AZ Central, Froehlich didn’t want to escalate the situation, she felt that she had no other choice than to pressure them into stepping up.
Froehlich stated, “I did [Sylvia] a very big favor.”
“She dumped seven dogs on me at the last minute,” she continued. “I used social media to shame them into doing the right thing. They changed their tune pretty quickly.”
Joe viewed the situation differently, stating that Froehlich attacked his family even as he worked to quell the resulting feud. He attempted to retrieve the dogs, but Froehlich changed her mind and refused to give them backing, citing concerns about the living conditions.
“How my wife and this woman got off on such poor footing, I will never know,” said Joe. “And I will not waste my time figuring out who did what, when.”
“They are both at least 40 years old, and they ought to act like adults.”
Others who learned about the situation on social media also jumped in, some of whom called Shoen.
“This woman encouraged people to act in a vile manner,” he said. “I’ve apologized to her several times. I have no intention of hurting anyone’s feelings. … It’s not our way to be rude to people on purpose.”
Ultimately, Joe agreed to pay for $15,300 in medical expenses.