As some of you know, I recently purchased a puppy, Madison, from the state of Ohio (I am in Pennsylvania). When I recieved her, she was in horrible condition. Her hair was in balls of mats, she was dirty and had poop chunked in her fur, and worst of all she was unhealthy. She has a severe upper respitory infections and now is on shots and medicines and will have to go for numerous doctor check-ups. The vet said it is also contagious to my other puppy. It will cost us a bundle (a bundle that we barely have) to get them healthy, but much worse- there is so much stress that this has caused us parents and especially these dear puppies.
I hate to complain. I did not want to confront the breeder at all. I was just going to take Madison home and get her cleaned up and leave it at that. But once we found out she was sick, something had to be done.
When I called the breeder to let her know what was wrong with our new puppy, she brushed it off and basically said it wasn't her problem. Madison did come with a health garuntee, but I guess it was not specific enough. The breeder said that because she had her Bordetella vaccines, it was not her responsibilty. She did not give us any proof that Madison had actually had this vacc. I had a lengthy discussion with our vet, and she was appalled to hear what the breeder was saying. She assured me that Bordetella has to do with kennel cough and that is not what Madison has. Regardless, the vet said that the breeder should know that all vaccinations are not 100%, and the breeder should take responsibility for selling us a sick puppy.
When I mentioned the condition that we recieved Madison in, the breeer denied it and claimed that she bathed and brushed her out before we got there and she looked beautiful. I could not believe my ears- my whole family is stunned. She was a COMPLETE MESS. I have many who can witness to that.
Yes, it would be nice for her to reemberse us for the finances involved in this problem. But I am more concerned about these poor puppies she is selling. It is located on a small farm- she would not let us go back and see where she keeps the puppies. We heard so much barking there could have been hundreds of dogs back there. She does not care about these dogs or where they are going to- and she needs to be shut down. I do not know the laws in Ohio, and I was wondering if anyone could direct me on what to do next.
I hope no one considers this breeder bashing. I know there are many healthy and careful breeders out there. I am just worried for these dear dogs and I don't know what steps to take. I am just glad that we could at least get one dog out of there- who knows what she does to ones who do not sell.
Thanks for listening, for your help and your advice. Rachel.
She is a three month old Yorkshire Terrior and Toy Poodle mix. She is obviously not registered. We did sign a contract- but like I said, the breeder is claiming that because our dog got the Bordetella vaccination, it is not her problem. She will not stand by her contract because of this reason. I do not even care about the money- I care about these poor puppies.
I would start with her local authorities, and the Better Business Bureau.
Then I would write an editorial letter to her local paper, or all of them if there are more than one.
And this is what I mean when I say that, IN MY OPINION, if you go looking to purchase a mixed breed puppy from someone intentionally creating them, you might be hooking up with someone who does not have the greatest breeding and sales ethics in the world.
In some states, puppies are covered by lemon laws, so you might want to check into the lemon laws in the breeder's state.
You could also try calling animal control for the breeder's area and tell them about the noise and the condition of your puppy. Even if that isn't enough information for AC to pay a visit to the breeder, the phone call will at least put the breeder on AC's radar. In some places, AC works very hard to make sure that animals are okay; in some places, AC is practically worthless. Either way, it won't hurt to call. Animal contol won't be able to help you get your money back, but it might be able to help out the pups on the breeder's property.
I am very sorry about what happened to you. If you ever purchase a puppy in the future and they do not allow you to see where the dogs are kept, the parents or things of that sort do not purchase the puppy, it will usually just end in heartache.
Do a search for puppy lemon laws, you will find something that may help you out. I agree to calling Animal Control, it may not help but you never know.
You might also consider having your puppy titer tested to see just what antibodies he/she has. Wouldn't surprise me one bit if the puppy had been given little to no vaccinations. Obviously though, if you've had vaccs given then it would be pointless. Titer testing is a bit more expensive, but if you could prove that she had not given the bordatella (or others), you might have some type of legal recourse in a small claims court. But then you also have the problem of you being in PA and her in OH, but you might get lucky and scare her. I would also bet that your contract states you would have to return the sick puppy and get a replacement puppy from her...which in all likelihood will be unhealthy as well.
It really is a vicious cycle and sadly, it's a buyer beware "market" out there.
Here's a website that has the puppy lemon laws... http://malteseonly.com/lemon.html I hope it isn't a problem that I've posted it-I have no personal interest in this site-in fact dont' even have a maltese. That would be the first place to start. Many don't know these laws exist. If your state isn't listed, then it may be considered under a general commerce law. Good luck
Before you get too anxious CAREFULLY read your guarantee again. Does is say that the breeder guarantees that the puppy was HEALTHY at the time of purchase? Do they have any stipulations like "Puppy was seen by our veterinarian and received a health certificate which we consider as proof that the puppy was healthy at time of purchase? Were you required to have the puppy seen within so many hours of the purchase to validate the health guarantee? When was the puppy first seen by the vet and can you get your vet to sign a statement verifying that the puppy was not healthy at the time?
Get all your ducks in a row if you plan to pursue this.
My next question - how much did you pay for the puppy? I know in my state the purchase price has to be above $600 in order to go to small claims court.
You may be able to hold the breeder to the "healthy at time of purchase" thing - but it might be it. I got a puppy from a breeder about a year ago that had a SEVERE case of Giardia. I did get them to give me a replacement puppy (which after I verified she was healthy I resold/placed as I wasn't going to even attempt to breed her. I also placed the puppy that had Giardia after I got her cleaned up - I put $800 in vet bills into her, paid $400 for her, and sold her for $200 - now that is a spendy lesson). I had to hound them for weeks to get through to them that when you say the puppy is healthy it had better be healthy - and unless they say "apparently healthy" they mean that the dog has no internal problems either.
This is tricky and heart breaking and the reason I hate cruddy breeders.
I agree with redyre here - this is a great example of why I veer away from mixed breed breeders - but over all, please read your health guarantee. If it looks like there is a way the breeder can get around having to be responsible for the health of their puppies, run away. My guarantee says I guarantee the puppy is 100% healthy. i give my families 72 hours to have the puppy checked by their vet to verify this and if anything is discovered I take the puppy back and give them a refund or replacement puppy - their choice. I never worry because both of my vets are obsessively thorough (any problem I've run into, my vet caught before the puppy left me, so I could fix it before the puppy left) and I run a full fecal panel on every litter to verify that everything I can check is healthy.
To the OP - I'm serious - study that contract like no bodies business and see where the interpretation is in your favor.
You can try calling AC, but if the kennel is state licensed, & USDA licensed they probably do pass inspection (my giardia puppy came from a kennel that did). I know in states like Minnesota and Flordia that AC can't do anything unless the dog has water (doesn't have to be clean) and they aren't LAYING in their own feces. That's pretty lenient.
Your best bet - get the word out, and help educate others about what to look for in a questionable breeder. If you can help get people not to buy from breeders like that then you can help put them out of business.
Call the Animal Control in her state. Even if they don't do anything today, she'll be on their books and another complaint could start the ball rolling.
File a police report in her state. This way, if you do decide to pursue anything, there's a record.
www.bbb.org This is the Better Business Bureau. They will take complaints online. Odds are she isn't a member, but it will still show up as a complaint against her if anyone else ever searches.
www.thesqueakywheel.com Another place to file a complaint.
Where did you learn about her puppies for sale? If it was an online ad, contact that place and let them know what happened...they might pull the ad.
Tom Martino has a radio talk show where he helps the general public with problems such as this. He's got lawyers and everything and sometimes will offer tons of help. His phone number is 1-866-966-HELP. His website is www.troubleshooter.com
Most states have a Consumer Protection Agency. Call the one in her state.
You can also look up breed rescues for the two breeds in her state and call them. Inform them of what's going on and they may be able to at least look into it.
These are all ideas to help you at least put them on the radar to help the dogs. I don't know what you'll have to do to get your money back....I've done all the things above to get our "bad breeder's" name out there and make people aware...but I haven't seen my money. I don't care though, as long as no one else has that experience with them. Hope something here helps you.
I'm sorry you are having such a hard time with your puppy. It must be very hard. I would report her to the USDA and maybe find her local SPCA and call them. They may have a Humane Law Division that would check her out for cruelty and neglect. I think that would be your best bet. Be sure to take pictures and keep record of everything that you do for that pup. I hope she feels better.
Quote Yes, it would be nice for her to reemberse us for the finances involved in this problem. But I am more concerned about these poor puppies she is selling. It is located on a small farm- she would not let us go back and see where she keeps the puppies. We heard so much barking there could have been hundreds of dogs back there. She does not care about these dogs or where they are going to- and she needs to be shut down. I do not know the laws in Ohio, and I was wondering if anyone could direct me on what to do next. Quote
I find it curious that you knew the conditions and still paid for the dog. And why you waited so long to worry about the others left behind.
Start by telling her you will be contacting the attorney general in her state...do a research online and find out the AG name and give it to her..."I will be contacting attorney general Bob Smith about this issue". You can find info online and file a claim.... In turn they will contact her and although usually this accomplishis nothing..maybe it will scare her enough to stop what she is doing or refund your your money. Also, go to small claims court and file a claim on her.... Like you said, its no so much for the money but to be able to stop her from doing this again.
Were in Ohio did you get her? They are already trying to stop the ones in amish country but honestly there are mills all over. the best bet is to contact the nearest rescue adn see if they have info on her. From ther eyou could get a case together to get money back. They honestly won;t do anyhting if the dogs have food and water.But it doesn't hurt to try.
Also have the vet write a letter saying what was wrong and why her giving a vaccine,especially without doccumentation is no help. If you have a lawyer have them send it. It might scare her enough. I think it wa sosmeone on here who said they had a guy in a suit delive ra letter nad then they just gave the monwy back cuz they got scared:)
***Edited By: joce on 10/26/2005 3:41:37 PM*** Reason: h
I am curious about your puppy with Giardia. Chi-Ching had a bit of Giardia which my vet said is kind of common because he had gotten coccidia from the stress of the plane. My puppy had full fecal testing before he left the breeder and it showed nothing(my vet confirmed this), but we treated Chingy for Giardia for $12. He saw the vet yesterday and the coccidia and giardia are gone. He is still on meds for a week just to finish them off but I am just wondering if there was other things wrong with your puppy. Or if your vet just charges alot. We have one of the most expensive vets in our area, but we get what we pay for there. I am just curious.
Katz - My puppy didn't just have a BIT of Giardia. She had one heck of a nasty case that she had had for a LONG time. When we got her and got the diagnosis we put her on a round of metronidizole (10 days). You then have to wait 2 weeks to run the snap test (which is the only way that is really accurate to identify Giardia). When we ran the test she was still positive. So we did 10 more days of metronidizole (10 days). 2 weeks later STILL positive. So we discovered she was immune/resistant to the metronidizole (which isn't uncommon). We then did 6 days of Panacur. 2 weeks later we FINALLY got a negative on her.
Where did all the costs come from? Well, with the first 2 tests my vet didn't have an in house snap test and had to send out the lab work to have to done which was about $65 for each fecal test (two times). They finally got the equipment in to do the snap tests right before the 3rd test. So the 3rd & 4th tests were only $20 a test. I think the metronidazole was $25 a pop. The Panacur was $15.
So now we've hit the basics right - well she was also on special food because we were having trouble with her tummy. 3 months of the special food really adds up. We also had her on multivitamins which were $20 a bottle.
Okay, minor stuff right... Well, after we finally got the Giardia cleared up she still was DRASTICALLY undersize (she'd gained less than 3 lbs in 3 months - not much for a Sheltie). She had no coat and was still lethargic so our vet recommend doing some additional testing on her to check her kidney and liver functions. I don't remember how much they were, but they were spendy. They came back negative and were fine, but we had to then put her on a special food the vet recommended to help her gain weight/grow.
Okay, then I was looking at cleaner from the vet that would kill Giardia where the puppy had been - Giardia is super resistant and bleach doesn't kill it, a frost won't always kill it... so anywhere she had been had to be disenfected to prevent the other dogs from getting it - indoors and outdoors.
Then, (and this isn't directly related to her - but was part of the ordeal) I had to treat every one of my other dogs to insure they didn't have it. Panacur for 20 other dogs was close to $150.
She had one of the worst cases of Giardia that my vet had seen in years - and she volunteers at the Humane Society. This poor puppy was a mess and a ton of work to get cleared up. My vet is a bit more expensive than some in the area, but she is amazing, very thorough, and I can call her at 2 AM if I have a question and she doesn't mind. She met me at the emergency hospital one night with one of my Mom's and my vet had just had a baby a week earlier, and it was the babies first night home.
However, I know my vet is cheaper than say one in New York, or Florida, so she's not outrageous.
Hi guys. I thank you all sincerely for your replies, your links, websites, and other contacts.
abbylynne- The contract has a 100% health garuntee for one year and requires the puppy to be checked within two business days. She promises a replacement puppy of the same value. Madison was $500.00.
PixiedustPapillions- I was not going to leave that poor puppy there. Like I said, I thought we would just be able to give her a bath, comb her out and she would be fine. It wasn't until we were on our way home in the car that we noticed her coughing. Again, like I said, after realizing she was unhealthy, something had to be done. What do you mean waited so long? It has been two days.
Apparently, I am not the only one who has reported her. Her ad has been removed from the site we found it at "due to numerous complaints". Of course it's not enough to shut her down- but it is a start.