Dog eats woman's inheritance check

September 14, 2011 7:39:51 PM PDT
You've heard the classic excuse "the dog ate my homework," however in this case, the dog ate $49,000! 7 On Your Side stepped in to help get that money back.

It caused a little indigestion too, for the dog and his owner, when two checks worth $49,000 wound up as kibble and they couldn't get that money back.

Jack is like any normal puppy; he loves to play, romp, and chew.

"He ate all the paper that was in the house that he could get his teeth on," said Roberta Kemnitz.

That's what got him into trouble back in March. It started when Jack's owner, Roberta, inherited part of her mother's estate. That included two accounts at Bank of America worth $49,000.

"I got the checks in March and they vanished," said Roberta.

She received two checks and left them on a table with the rest of the mail.

"Unfortunately, we have a very young and very precautious puppy that decided to taste them," said Dan Kemnitz, Roberta's son.

Dan says he's pretty sure what happened. Their Scottish terrier was just a puppy and full of mischief. Dan was finding chewed up cables, wires, and paper all over the house. So when the checks went missing, all eyes turned to the little guy.

"Seriously, Jack ate the checks," said Roberta.

"We're not sure if he completely ate them, but I did find scraps of BofA material all over," said Dan.

Roberta contacted the bank. She was embarrassed to say the checks were in a dog's belly, so instead, she reported them lost. The bank confirmed no one had cashed those checks. However, it would not replace them for 90 days, just to make sure. Roberta knew the checks were in no shape for cashing, but she waited the 90 days anyway, and then waited even longer. But still, there were no checks.

"I talked to eight different people in eight different call centers and they all promised to send me the money," said Roberta. "They didn't send me the money. It just went on and on."

"We were getting so frustrated, we didn't know what to do," said Dan.

Roberta couldn't get the bank to reissue the checks. Two months later, she contacted 7 On Your Side.

"Within an hour and a half, an executive at Bank of America called me. I was thrilled," said Roberta.

After our call, the bank promptly issued new checks. Dan picked them up and this time he did not bring them home.

"I did not want Jack to have a chance to eat them again," said Roberta.

Bank of America said there was a delay because the mother's account was maintained in a different state, and because Roberta was calling a toll free number instead of a bank manager. However, it said "Such a delay is not normal and we regret that it happened."

"Now, we can laugh about," said Dan.

"I was mad at him, but what can you do? He's a baby boy," said Roberta.

If you lose a check, a bank won't replace it until the check expires and typically that's a 90-day period. Just to avoid future problems, Roberta has now trained her puppy to chew on real kibble.


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