As most of you know, I found it best to find a new home for my Australian Shepherd. I told the breeder I was selling her and she offered to help me find her a home. There was an agility prospect home and a junior handler that was interested in her as well. I took her to the breeder's before anyone had stated they were interested in her. I signed over the registration papers to the breeder, trusting her. We agreed $800 was the price to be paid to me by whoever bought her. I originally paid $1500 for her. I trained her for a year in agility and I earned 10 points on her toward her championship in the time that I owned her so this is not a dog that you just give away. Anyway, the breeder had told me the junior handler wanted her. I was happy to know she had found a good home. Well, it has been one month and I have not gotten my money and the breeder will not answer my phone calls or emails. I thought this breeder was an ethical breeder. She is a good breeder, she does all the tests, takes good care of her dogs, her place is impeccable. How could she do this to me. I am so hurt and upset over this. She is also a big wig in the Aussie show world. I don't care how big of a wig she is you don't screw people like that. Sometimes the people you consider to be the little people might be the person you shouldn't have messed with.
***Edited By: ln on 5/9/2005 4:48:20 PM*** Reason: fgh
Well, of course you'd expect me to say 'no' as I am a breeder and I would hope no one would ever say that about me. But funny thing you should post this. I've been reading on other boards and you wouldn't believe the amount of scandals involved with Australian Shepards. It's like no one like so and so, they turn each other in, blah, blah. I have never, ever seen a group of breeders or enthusiasts just go at each other the way I have with this breed. Not even with the rare breeds. Kind of makes you wonder.
I have a huge guilt issue. If someone calls and I can't get them called back that day, I'm sure to do it first thing in the morning. I guess it is so easy to have a reputation ruined and personally I would never want anyone disappointed in me or my dogs. I would never avoid calling anyone, especially a person that I was in a transaction with-either about a problem, a compliment, anything. If a person can't deal with finishing the business end, they maybe should look at another profession. Granted the dogs are the top priority, but you should be able to balance that with the office work as well. Record keeping, good business practices, physical research and good public relations are all keys to success-unfortunately sometimes success goes to people's head and they feel they don't have to deal with it since they are sooo successful!
Did you have a written contract with her? Did it specify how long she has to find her a new home? Did it specify what happen to the dog if she is unable to find a home for her?
If not, you just gave her a $1,500 present. Since you signed the paper and gave her full ownership, you basically gave up any legal right to her. As you said, this is not a dog you just give away. She will probably keep her for herself to breed and make even more money of you.
Just a question for you. Did you have her microchipped and registered in your name? Then you may be able to report her as stolen, since no money actually changed hands-just a thought. Would serve her right! Really, what a bummer!
***Edited By: myshadow on 5/9/2005 2:32:55 PM*** Reason: add
If dog theft doesn't work which I dout it would because you already signed the papers over to her.....what about theft of service? She promised you something that you did not receive. It's just a thought.........
I agree with Myshadow on basically everything said. I too would also like to say "no" to your question but I have run into some real creeps that are breeding as well. One of the reasons I run my "breeding program" the way I do is because I got screwed so many times. Everytime I hear a horror story from someone else, or I experience something with a breeder that annoys or disgusts me, I modify my practices a little so that I can get as far away from what they are doing as possible.
To start with, there was no reason for you to have to sign over the registration papers to the breeder. She should have allowed you to be part of the process of placing the dog in the new home for many reason. I recently had a puppy go to a family that about 3 months after they got him discovered they were pregnant and the wife would be on bed rest for the entirety of the pregnancy. They didn't want their 5 month old puppy to suffer because of this and let me know they couldn't keep him. I have a "take back" policy in my contract that states we have 1st option to the dog and if we chose to let them "sell" or place the puppy elsewhere we have to approve the home. We had a family on our waiting list that had actually adopted one of his brothers and had decided they wanted a second puppy already and after contacting them they jumped at the chance to adopt him.
We gave both parties the others phone number, allowed them to get to know one another to make sure that not only was the original owner comfortable with where the dog was going BUT the party adopting him was also comfortable with where he had spent the last 3 months. This makes a difference. They got to discuss where he was at training wise, what his likes and dislikes are, and where his socialization was at. I felt it was important that since we hadn't had the puppy in our possession for 3 months that the adopting family have a chance to speak with the person that did. They arranged the transportation, they did the registration transfer, and they made their own contract between one another. We had to approve everything and required that we stay in the loop regarding all of it. They both also signed a contract with us as we agreed to transfer the health guarantee to the second party, and they agreed to honor the neuter agreement. The puppy was sold for half of what the originally party paid for it - and we okayed the amount they were asking (I refuse to let people ask MORE for one of our puppies if they need to rehome it - we had this happen before we put the clause in our contract).
I agree with Myshadow that if a breeder can't handle the paperwork and communicating with their "families" then they shouldn't be breeding. period. The dogs are the first priority, but how can you expect to draw good quality homes to your "business" if you don't have good people skills and relationships with your "customers". I will answer every single phone call or e-mail I receive regardless of whether it is someone who wants to brag about how great their dog is doing, or it is someone with a complaint about something. You have to deal with both the good and the bad and it is impossible to please everyone.
So no, not all breeders are cheaters. Some just have really poor relationships with their customers. I am planning on breeding Aussies (I have 1 male and 2 females that all under 2 years so I have to get testing done and such first). I have been breeding Shelties for 5 years. Both are breeds that it seems like you either have the snooty breeders that know everything but won't deal with people or you have the Puppy Mills. It's hard to find good breeders period. I do know an Aussie breeder that I would recommend to anyone at anytime as she is wonderful.
I would continue to hound the breeder UNLESS (and you should probably find your original contract that you signed with them) they have a clause similar to the one I have in my contract. Mine states that if we opt to take the dog back we don't HAVE to give them any money. This is something we do to protect ourselves as we did previously end up buying a dog back for almost double what the family paid for it in order to get it back (so I could get some sleep as I was really worried about her). We don't usually excerise this clause as I don't think it is always fair, but in the case where we felt the dog had been mistreated and may require us to spend a big chunk of money to get it healthy we don't want to have to shell out money to buy it back so we can turn around and spend money to get it healthy and then turn around and sell it for 1/4 of what we put into it. That's not smart on our part. If your breeder's contract has a clause similar to this then you are kind of screwed. I wouldn't have turned the dog over to her unless you had something in writing stating that you got X amount of dollars on a sale.
Well, I trusted her so I that is why I went ahead and signed the papers over. I would go to her house but she lives four hours away and her driveway is gated. I have called many times and she does not answer, I leave messages but they are not returned. The dog is microchipped but the breeder changed it over to her name right away, like the day after I took her there. We discussed the price of the dog before I took her there. I know one thing, I will never trust anyone ever again. I will be sure to always cross my t's and dot my i's from now on. I talked to a lawyer I know and he said I don't need to have proof of our verbal contract to take her to small claims court. Just showing records that the dog once belonged to me and the value of the dog knowing that a dog like that is just not given away may be enough. Also, if she doesn't show up I automatically win and if she doesn't pay, they can garnish wages, property, etc. I don't know if it's even worth pursuing or not. I just think it's really rotten that just because you are a big wig in the dog world you think you can treat the people you think are insignificant any way you want. One never knows when they just may need that "little person" at some point in their life and they will remember how they were treated.
LN...I would not do that to another..But I have have had some shady practices pulled on me in the past too...That is why I try very hard to be as scrupulus as i can...I want to be able to look my self in the mirror each day...and not have to duck and dodge people or phone calles..i wish you all the luck ...and dont just give up...ride the wave out..you never know aht will happen..Good Luck...
I have a 4 page puppy contract that protects the buyer, myself and most of all the puppy. MOST situations are clearly defined. If someone HAS to give back a puppy they are allowed to drop it off 'no questions asked'-- with no money exchanged and I will re-place it in a pet home. OR I can choose to buy it back myself for the purchase price (if I want to keep it for myself), or I can TRY to help them find a home for the price that they are asking.
Not to blame you, because the breeder CLEARLY needs to contact you concerning the status of your dog, but maybe you should have cleared up the specifics of the money before you left the dog with her. It really sounds like it stinks for both of you have soured a decent relationship over money issues.
I did talk about specifics with her. She wanted to know what I was asking and I told her the price and she said she had told the person interested and they said okay. We have been friends for three years and always in contact. I really trusted her. She was my mentor. She was the nicest person. This to me is totally out of character of her. I just don't understand.