I Aug, I drove 7.5 hours from VA to TN to buy a white, pekingese puppy from who I thought was a reputable breeder. I found her on the Internet and she was affiliated with the BBB. I conversed several times with the breeder about the puppy and decided to put a down payment on her. The total price was $450.00, which is the most reasonable I had found. So, I sent $100 to her through PayPal with the balance to be paid at time of pick-up. So, my husband and I drove down to pick her up and the breeder had left that morning to go on vacation so her daughter was there to give us the puppy. I had told the breeder we would be there between 10 and 11am. We arrived at 10:30 and the daughter looked at us weird and said, "I didn't think you all were coming until 11". She said it kind of smart like and immediately turned around to go back through the house without saying anything more to us. We were left on the front porch wondering what to do. About 3 minutes later, she comes out with the puppy. The puppy was very un-kept and had never been brushed. She smelled bad also. We were never asked if we would like to see the mother or where the puppy had been staying. It's almost like they didn't want us back there. So, we went back in and she went through a contract with me stating that the puppy had been seen by their vet and it was healthy. I paid the remaining money and we headed home. Three days later I took her to my vet and found she had an umbilical hernia and a tumor on her right front leg. It was benign, but had to be removed. She also had deep, live ear mites. I contacted the breeder about this and was told to send her an estimate of the surgery. I faxed it to her and never heard anything back. Here a few weeks ago, my Mom called her and asked if she would reimburse us for the cost of the hernia. She got very hateful with my mother and called me at 10pm and finally agreed that she knew about the hernia, but had forgotten to tell me. She would reimburse us if I could supply her with an estimate. She claimed she never got the first one I sent. So, I sent it to her again and she told me she would give it to her "attorney". My puppy had her surgery Oct. 9th and I was told to fax her a copy of the bill. The bill shows my maiden name (I got married in May this year) and my old address. She is now saying she cannot reimburse me because the names and addresses don't match!! I have to provide her documentation as to what my name was before and my former address.
Sorry this is so long, but I just wanted to get anyone's opinion on what they would do in this situation. Thanks for any advice.
Honestly, short of taking her to court, there isn't anything you can do. And I know in my state, small claims court requires the cost of the disputed "item" to be more than $600.
Reasonable prices aren't always reasonable - they are often a sign that a breeder is great at cutting corners. You tend to pay for what you get. The better breeders sink more money into maintaining the health and well being of their dogs and insuring what they are breeding is sound and good quality. That costs them money, and in return they have to ask more for their puppies to break even.
A lot of people see Puppy Sales as "easy money". In truth, if done right, breeding is expensive and when we sell 3-4 puppies for $600-800 we're often lucky if we pay for everything we put into getting the litter here (testing on parents, cost of the parents, food and vet care for litter and parents... that's just the tip of the iceberg).
It's only easy money if you feed cheap food, breed dogs you bought out of the paper for a couple hundred dollars, barely use a vet, and don't do anything you don't have to do to keep the puppies alive.
The BBB doesn't mean that a breeder is a good breeder. It just means their business practices have drawn red flags. What does the BBB consider to be a responsible breeder? Probably one who gives you the "product" you bought. That happened. It's alive. You have it. Done with story.
It's up to you to research the quality and ethics of the breeder. What you found was a breeder who probably bought a couple of dogs out of a Puppymill for $200-300 (probably less that YOU paid for your puppy). I guarantee you those dogs are never groomed, never trained, never really interact with people. They are a way for them to make some sideline cash. That hernia is the least of your concerns. Because you have a baby still. Inherited health problems usually show up between 12-24 months... You're not out of the woods yet. And I bet you have a 12 month guarantee that you can only use if you give the dog back and it needs to be put to sleep. There are a lot of defects that aren't life threatening that require expensive treatment to allow the dog to live a normal life.
Your breeder clearly doesn't care about health or quality. They are just breeding a litter every time a female comes into season. Then they sell them to the first person they can hook. I bet they didn't ask you a lot of questions?
If you drove all the way out there, I would have asked to see the parents. And I wouldn't have taken home a puppy that looked or smelled the way you described. You knew, in your heart, at that moment, this was going to be trouble. If they can't bother to bathe and groom him before you take him home... imagine what their standards on other levels are (starting with making sure they are breeding two healthy, sound dogs together). Imagine what their adults look like... That's a BIG red flag.
If you signed a contract and it doesn't state they pay vet bills... you're out of luck anyway. If their guarantee doesn't state that... then it won't hold up in court anyway unless you have a state lemon law that says differently.
I wish I had better news for you... but this is how Puppymills and BYB's stay in business.
Good luck and I hope your puppy lives a healthy, happy life.
Hi there from TX. So sorry that you had to go through this bad exp., but it happens every single day. People don't research, and ask the right questions to find out about a pet that they are looking into buying. There are so many ways to find out the right questions too. Go to the AKC website, find a reputable breeder and find out what the questions are before making any financial commentment. Even so, after putting a dep. down, you can back out. I learned the hard way too. I put a small deposit on a pup from MO ( not knowing that most breeders in MO are BYB's )and never completed the purchase. I have sense found out alot more and have done a ton of research on breeders and it has helped me tremendously. All the info. in the world is out there, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS FIND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I breed Newfoundlands and first of all, if you ever go to pick up a puppy and they wont let you see the parents and where the puppies are raised, even if you have paid your deposit, DO NOT take the puppy. Just cut your losses and run. Secondly, always see the vet exam report yourself. I always send a copy of it with my puppies to their new home. Also, always trying to go for the best price puppy is usually a bad idea, not always but usually. Most people who are selling them for the right reasons know what they are worth and feel it an injustice to the dog to go for less. Cheap fast sales are usually suspicious. Sorry to hear you got burned. Better luck next time.If you are in a different state than the breeder it will be difficult to pursue any course of action against them for that amount of money anyway