I agree with Carrott on this. I think it is a bad idea. I understand reputable breeders have websites. And, yes, they advertise they may have litters. But a reputable breeder screens their buyers, checks them out, picks puppies for their buyers, and fits the puppy to the family. I have no problem with that. A reputable breeder is listed with their parent club, has recommendations from other breeders, and is breeding for the love of the breed. How are the breeders using the puppy escrow being checked out? Are they being checked out? There are a lot of questions a first time buyer should ask and the breeder will be a valuable resource. Minniyar spoke of giving this a chance. I just see problems. Buyers and breeders should talk and communicate with each other.
I should have clarified--they should communicate for the life of the dog, cat, whatever. What background checks are the ADMIN doing? How can you protect from puppy millers if you are not checking out the kennel? To protect from fraud, why not give advice such as a questionarie and what every buyer should look for? I don't think an escrow account will help. Perhaps if every breeder was required to list references, buy contracts, and the ADMIN checked and inspected every kennel, yes. Since they can not, there is no real protection. If my dog gets health problems down the road, I can go back to my reputable breeder and get help. Will that escrow breeder do so? Probably not--they have their money. That's the problem. Perhaps ADMIN can direct people to the correct site of parent clubs and not list breeders themselves.
Ok now Cmacain (or how you spell it I am not the best speller at times), there's something we agree on. ADMIN, what do you think about posting a list of questions that both breeders and buyers should ask when they are calling or recieving calls about puppies. Many times new puppy buyers don't realize that they also should be doing an interview of their own. And asking for references from veterinarians, so they can call and verify that dogs have gotten a check up.
I've just replied to carrott's "Breeders Only Please" thread then breezed through the Puppy Escrow thread which probably inspired the other topic. It seems to me that Puppy Escrow provides minimal benefit: they guarantee that the seller gets their money and the buyer gets their puppy. I just don't see alot of responsible breeders using this service. We already screen our homes very carefully and most of my puppies' families are equally careful about who they get their puppy from. I don't need a middle man. I think that Puppy Escrow will most likely attract backyard breeders and puppy mills - enabling those who produce and those who provide a market for poorly bred dogs. Does Puppy Escrow provide any protection if the dog develops a problem later on? I learned my puppy mill lesson years ago when I bought a Westie puppy through an ad in a newspaper. The puppy was fine when I got him but 6 months later he was a bloody mess when allergies kicked in and he nearly chewed himself to death. His paperwork arrived around that time and it became apparent that this was a puppy mill puppy and not what the "breeder", who I met in person, represented. If Puppy Escrow helps it's clients to find and identify responsible breeders and if they refuse to do business with those who receive negative feedback, those who do "volume" business or those who deal in multiple breeds, then perhaps there could be some benefit to their service. It's not, however, a service that I would use.
Minniyar: I looked at 5 advertisements on the site and also looked at their links. I chose these randomly. Huskies; -the pups were put on contract to be returned if things didn't work out -contract for spay/neutering unless the dog was for show and this did not have to be fulfilled -NO health testing mentioned (if they're reputable they'd be clearing this) Not too bad Old English Sheepdog -boast that they have puppies available year round (what does this indicate? they're churning out dogs) -they're USDA registered (you can figure out what this means I hope!) -they guarantee their puppies only against hip dysplasia and red mange for one year -they are not responsible for puppies once they're left the home (then how do they comply to their guarantee against the aforementioned claims?) BAD Chinese Crested: -$200, they're not full blood -no mention of health testing Not too bad only because they're not overcharging for their dogs. Dogue de Bordeaux -litter from December, expecting a litter in March (that's a lot of breeding) -some titled dogs -no mention of health testing Seems like they're on the fringe of mass-producing these guys. Pomeranians: -boasts breeding the "tiniest representation of the breed" or rare colours (although they don't mention teacup they're hinting at it and there's no such thing) (the colour thing is also scary, ever heard of a 'rare' albino dobe) -won't ship them until the end of march due to their size (ouch) -no mention of health testing Everything I wrote on the above is my opinion only. The two links I went to still did not mention health testing. Now I'm hoping that when 'customers' get in touch with these people they will elaborate on health testing, lifetime support, pedigrees etc. However, these would be claims I would be boasting first, if I were to list a litter on the site because it would demonstrate my commitment to improving lines and the time I spend on my dogs. Like I said though maybe more of this takes place when they've contacted the breeder. Listing a litter in this way is similar to a pet store, the dogs just aren't in a physical area. Most of the dogs being advertised here are classified by looks (cuteness not standard), there's no mention of temperament, conformation, breed standard. Unless you develop a good relationship with a breeder from one of these links you really don't know much of the background on an animal. AND, where do pet store dogs come from? Puppy mills. There wasn't one of these posts that didn't set up a red flag to me. "puppy escrow" is only ensuring that the monetary transaction runs smoothly. They have no regard to the background of these dogs or the generations to come (I'm referring to abuse, constant breeding, environment) Generally, reputable breeders often have loooong waiting lists (which arise from shows, word of mouth, other breeders) and would not resort to selling their dogs in such a manner. They would also boast their screenings, lines, titles etc. I'm not speaking for every breeder here but for a lot of them. I also do not think it's wrong to have a personal website to advertise and show off your dogs as many breeders do. I also do not think that every breeder who lists their litters on terrificpets.com is a BYB or puppy mill, which you are trying to imply, some respectable, ethical breeders will list here. I am not bashing anyone who has ever bought an animal online because some people are searching for rare breeds, a dog with specific lines. People's defintions of what is is to be a responsible, ethical breeder will vary drastically but the more educated you get on the topic the more your standards will go up. IMO 'puppy escrow' is a quick money making fix, that does not look into the buyers (and their sellers) and does not protect the animals themselves which is my primary concern. "The site merely provides a connection from the sellers to the buyers." The buyers could potentially be funding BYB and puppymillers by buying these puppies (though not all of them are disrespectful for the 80th time). "If someone advertises they have a dog for sale in a newspaper classifieds does that maen that the newspaper is selling the dog? No, of course not." If a convenience store stocks cigarettes and alcohol should they be responsible in checking I.D? Of course. We're definately not seeing eye to eye on this one. Yeah it's great they're protecting everyone financially but what about the animals who cannot speak for themselves???????????????
Minniyar: I see where I'm getting some flak here. In other posts of this discussion I said that no respectable breeder would sell their dogs online. That was a sweeping statement and I only realized it now. I've changed it to not many because I know that some will advertise that way and they do get the customers out of it. That was a "my bad" Sorry if I offended anyone else out there, especially the GOOD breeders! I set up an advertising account and as far as I can tell there were no verifications on background of any kind. SCARY
carrott: I think you bring up alot of valid points in your posts and I applaude you for that! :) As a responsible breeder who does use the internet to advertise, I would say that nearly all of my puppy families have found me through the internet. I'm VERY accesssible at dog shows but I'm rarely approached by someone who is looking for a puppy. I get lots of requests to "pet your dog?" but I just don't get alot of puppy inquiries at the shows. I have a litter due April 9th and I already have enough fully screened and inspected homes to cover the entire litter. All of these homes have found me through the internet. I get plenty of "I want to buy the puppy in the picture, where do I sent the check?" e-mail, but I look at these inquiries as a way to educate buyers about buying a puppy responsibly. Most of these people I never hear from again but perhaps I can play a small part in teaching them about responsible pet ownership.
LOL! Oh Dear! After rereading my previous post, I feel that I should point out that the reason that I don't hear from these people again is not because I reply in a preachy or judgmental way. :) I treat everyone that contacts me as if they are doing so with best intentions in mind. I reply with information about my litter and about the process that we go through before placing any of our dogs in a new home. I suspect that some people simply aren't looking for a responsible breeder and I don't hear from them again. Many have never communicated with a responsible breeder before and they appreciate the care and concern that we have for the welfare of our dogs. They may not get a puppy from us but they have learned something. The internet is a great vehicle for puppy mills and backyard breeders to sell their "product". I think that the more visible that responsible breeders can be on the internet, the more likely it is that we will have an impact on the market for for poorly bred dogs.
Thank you davis85. After rereading some of my previous posts I realized that I had made some sweeping claims. I didn't mean that no responsible breeder would sell their dogs online, I was referring more to these secondary advertisements outside of their personal websites. (though breeders will link with other breeders if they co-own animals) I volunteer for a humane society, several breed rescues and am somewhat of an animal activist (not extremist though) and I just find this "puppy escrow" thing a little dangerous for the breeders who have only money in mind. Customers are always trying to save money and I'm fearful that if they see a dog listed for a low price they'll buy it without thinking. A few months later (even days) they notice the dog gets sick, has genetic problems etc. and the vet bills soar, is 'puppy escrow' going to be there for them? I doubt it, they only ensure the initial financial transaction and some of the breeders I looked up say they won't guarantee their puppies once they've left their home. Their motto is "guaranteeing a safe puppy transaction" not guaranteeing a healthy puppy. I tried to find out if they have a website to see what their policies really are but I couldn't find one. It's great to hear from breeders like yourself who carefully screen their buyers, if there were more people like you then maybe some of our animal overpopulation issues would diminish. It's even better to hear that even though people may not necessarily purchase an animal from you they leave better educated. I too have searched for breeders online and finally found a great one. Like you she screens very carefully (I'm still hoping I'll be a candidate!) and has been very informative every time I've spoke to her. We need more breeders like you and her in this world. I really don't think we should be supporting anything less.
--->"ADMIN, what do you think about posting a list of questions that both breeders and buyers should ask when they are calling or receiving calls about puppies." I just started two topics on this. Thanks Minnyiar http://www.terrificpets.com/forum/1260.asp http://www.terrificpets.com/forum/1261.asp --->"What background checks are the ADMIN doing? How can you protect from puppy millers if you are not checking out the kennel?" We have had over 5000 breeders who signed up to advertise within the last 6 months. We have a staff of 3 people that run over 10 websites (only one pet website). It is not possible to screen every breeder. We do however listen to feedback on breeders and take action accordingly. --->"If my dog gets health problems down the road, I can go back to my reputable breeder and get help. Will that escrow breeder do so?" I'm not speaking for directly "Puppy Escrow", but I do know that once the transaction is final "Puppy Escrow" is complete with that transaction. The long term health guarantee should be in the contract between the breeder and buyer. "Puppy Escrow" main goal is to protect the buyer and seller from scams. Not to research every breeder, that should be done by the buyer. They do offer a health inspection period in one of their escrow agreements. --->"some people have bad experiences buying dogs off your website primarily due to health reasons (but some fraudulent as well) " Actually, frauds are the biggest thing happening right now. We have received ONE email about a breeder selling a puppy with health problems and over a HUNDRED about breeders and buyers being scammed or an attempted scam. If "Puppy Escrow"was used it would eliminate these scams. --->"your site gets a bad name because you allow people to post litters" So every newspaper and magazines will have a bad name? TerrificPets.com is actually a lot better then other types of advertising because we do care about protecting our breeders and visitors. Is there room for improvement? Of Course. That is why we allowed "Puppy Escrow" to sponsor. We have also made a big change in the way our "Dogs for Sale" section works over the weekend. Now all visitors must use a contact form on each ad to email the breeder. The breeder email addresses are no longer displayed. This allows our system to help filter inquiries and send fraud warnings with inquiries to the breeders email address. We also store IP Addresses and Host Information with each inquiry. Not displaying the emails also stops "Email Harvesters" from taking and spamming them. I think we got off track of the original topic. "Will it be the key to help stopping puppy fraud?". Which means the scams, I would have to say YES. Will "Puppy Escrow" be the key to stopping bad breeders? Probably Not. The health inspection escrow agreement only covers receiving the puppy sickly. The long term health should be in the contract between the breeder and buyer. Also "Puppy Escrow" ONLY handles the escrow agreement that guarantees that the puppy arrives safely and healthy to the buyer and the breeder gets there money. All other agreements (long term health) or other deals is between the breeder and buyer not "Puppy Escrow".