A Glasgow woman was left waiting eight months for a response to a complaint that she submitted to her housing association after the death of her dog.

Irene McGhee, from Drumchapel,  was told by Pineview Housing Association (PHA) in October that they would be putting in a stage two complaint, which requires investigation, against themselves on her behalf.

The complaint highlighted various issues that she was unhappy with including delays in carrying out drainage works at her home, some of the information provided by PHA, the re-turfing of her garden, and delays in providing a response to her complaint.

Glasgow Times: Mr Chase Mr Chase (Image: Colin Mearns)It came after the death of Irene's dog Chase in September, which Pineview do not accept liability for. 

Chase, a seven-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier cross, had started showing symptoms of a bacterial infection in early 2023 when he developed a skin rash.

Irene had taken him to the vet in April where it was confirmed that he had picked up an infection, reportedly from coming into contact with dirty water.

The mother-of-three believed a drainage issue at her Dewar Drive home was the cause. She then claims that she immediately contacted PHA to report her concerns about the possible presence of this bacteria in her garden. 

Prior to this, Irene had been reporting the drainage issues from November 2022 to June 2023 when it was resolved. 

Glasgow Times: Mr Chase's pawprint in the mud at Irene's homeMr Chase's pawprint in the mud at Irene's home (Image: Colin Mearns)Two weeks after his initial diagnosis the infection had progressed and Chase was found to have E. Coli in his system which eventually went into his lungs.

Chase, who Irene and her family rescued, sadly died in September.  

Glasgow Times: Some of Mr Chase's vet bills from 2023 totalling more than £700Some of Mr Chase's vet bills from 2023 totalling more than £700 (Image: Irene McGhee)She said: “Last year when my dog passed away with E. Coli I put in a massive complaint because I think the time that they [PHA] took was far too long [to resolve the drainage issue].

“I told them [over the phone] that I think this is a disgrace and they said ‘we’ve put a complaint in for you’, that was in October.

“Now I’m thinking to myself ‘If you guys put the complaint in you’d think you’d deal with it quicker’. I’ve been emailing the housing officer constantly asking what’s happening with it.

“All I ever hear is ‘this time next week’. I’m fed up of it. There’s been no movement on it at all. They told me I was to get my money back for the vet bills and then the next thing I heard was they had to go through the insurers.

“They phoned and asked me if it was alright to give the insurance company my details so they could contact me but I never heard from them.

“Next thing I hear is that the insurance company wouldn’t be paying it. It feels like everything’s getting done behind closed doors and I’m getting told nothing.

“Until last week I didn’t know what stage the complaint was at or what was going on.”

Glasgow Times: Irene and a picture of Mr ChaseIrene and a picture of Mr Chase (Image: Colin Mearns)According to documents published on PHA’s complaints handling procedure a response to a stage two complaint should be issued within 20 working days.

If the investigation takes longer than this the complainer is to be kept informed on its progress.

Irene claims this was not the case and PHA has now issued an apology for the “excessive” waiting time after the Glasgow Times stepped in.

Glasgow Times: Irene's back garden in September 2023 before it was re-turfed by PHAIrene's back garden in September 2023 before it was re-turfed by PHA (Image: Colin Mearns)A PHA spokesperson said: “We confirm that we have now responded to Ms McGhee’s complaint.”

Part of Irene's complaint was about the vet bills incurred during Chase's illness which reportedly totalled more than £1,000. 

She claimed she was told in person by a member of staff from PHA that if she submitted receipts for these bills then she could be compensated for them. 

PHA denied this in the response sent to Irene and her family. 

The housing association did however apologise for the length of time it took them to reply to her complaint and for taking too long to carry out work at her home.

PHA went on to add: “We do not accept any liability for the unfortunate illness and passing of your dog”.

Housing bosses then offered Irene a £300 ex-gratia payment which she has not accepted.

The heartbroken Drumchapel woman told the Glasgow Times she also doesn’t accept PHA’s response.

She said: “It just makes me feel really, really angry. No one from the housing association even came and faced me after Chase died.

“It’s been so stressful. A dog is part of your family and our hearts were broken when Chase passed away.

“I still cry about him and have his ashes beside my bed. At night I think ‘I’ll get justice for you wee man, I will get justice one day’.

“We rescued that poor dog to give him a good life and it just feels as though the end of his life was crap.”