NewsProblem Solvers


Renovations halted for doggy daycare, owner regrets hiring contractor

Posted at 10:29 PM, Oct 06, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-06 22:29:17-04

HOLLAND, Mich. -- A woman from Holland said she was starting the business of her dreams when the contractor she hired to make some renovations backed out of the job before the work was complete.

April Shafer said she hired Sam Haddad with Cubeco Homes to remodel the former Canine Antics, which she purchased in August.

"I thought it was a great opportunity to come in, basically gut it, clean it up, make it safe and fun," Shafer said.

Hoping to launch the daycare under its new name, Paws It Forward, it's a doggy daycare that's hardly suitable for a four-legged family member.

"All of the play areas, as you can see, aren't finished," she said. "No gates, no hardware--there's just so much work to be done."

She said upon hiring Haddad she asked him if she would need a permit.

"He said, 'no, absolutely not--we're not doing anything structurally,'" she said.

That's when Shafer said she paid Haddad $5,000 to start the job. Receipts show she paid him $10,000 total, only to later learn she did in fact need a permit.

"The building inspector from Holland Township came in and shut it down, rightfully so," Shafer said.

After learning more would need to be done to complete her business, Shafer said Haddad began drawing up a new plan. After that is when she said he no longer wanted to complete the job she initially hired him for. It's something she learned in an email from Haddad this week.

"All of the money that I had paid him had been absorbed and all the work has been done and that he's actually going to be invoicing me for additional time," Shafer said.

The email from Haddad states he's not completing the job because the money she paid him went toward the extra plans he created for the township.

FOX 17 stopped by the address for Haddad to get his side of the story but we got no answer. We also reached out to him by phone but didn't get a call back by 10:30 p.m. Monday night.

"I have clients who are calling on a daily basis and frustrated and rightfully so," Shafer said. "Their dogs are home for eight hours because they're teachers and they can't get home to take care of them."

While Shafer said it's clear the job wasn't complete, she admits she made some mistakes during the hiring process, including not getting what she was paying for in writing.

"Getting a copy of the license, getting the scope of work, not being so trustworthy, giving such large amounts," Shafer said. "Maybe paying day by day or paying upon completion--that's my fault completely and I take full responsibility for that. It's hurting my reputation--it's hurting my livelihood. It has been an uphill battle and it's extremely discouraging."