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Thread: What to do next?

  1. #1

    Default What to do next?

    Hi

    I am looking for some help and guidance on what others feel I should do. Last year I purchased a breed of dog that is not common in Australia and costs a lot of money. I have always loved the breed and already own a non papered one. My non papered one is very healthy and happy, but was purchased from a BYB breeder. As I learnt more about the breed through different forums and got a better understanding of BYB and puppy farms I decided my next puppy would be purchased from a registered breeder.

    I met the breeder through a popular purebred dog website. This website listed the health issues as heart, luxating patella and hearing. In contacting my breeder about their pups I questioned them about their testing and they assured me that the pups were from health tested parents and were clear of any problems. The only other email I got regarding the pups health was that they were all very healthy and given a clear from the vet.

    Fast forward five months and my pup was diagnosed with a condition I had never heard of before. Upon investigating on the web I found out that this was actually a common problem in the breed and is listed on the inherited diseases database. I contacted the breeder and advised them that a specialist has said he needs to have an operation or this condition will worsen and shorten his life. He was also diagnosed at the time with a irregular heart beat, a small liver and chronic regurgitation. The breeder responded and said that they had heard of this but that it was just a characteristic of the breed and to let them know how he went.

    After the op things did not go well for my poor puppy and he continued to have many health problems. He was then later in the year diagnosed with another genetically inherited condition. This was another condition not known to me. I have had a genetic expert look into his condition and they along with his specialist have advised me that both conditions are inherited and he was born with them so there was no outside influence to cause these. One is simple enough to avoid by xraying the parents to ensure they do not have the condition and pass it on to the pups.

    So trying to keep a long story as short as possible, I again contacted the breeder and explained these two conditions and said I was happy to send all his reports to them. The breeder never responded to me so I tried again and this time asked if they could refund his purchase price as I hadn't bought a healthy puppy as was advised and I still had ongoing medical costs. This is where things went downhill fast

    After several conversations the breeder has advised me that they will only refund me his purchase price if I return him and they will up him to sleep (and there is no way they will let me keep my pup if i get a refund as that is hardly fair as then i got a pup for free) and if I contact them any further it is harassment. They have also denied that these problems are in any way genetic and all dogs of this type have it. He also said it was my fault that my medical expenses were so high as I didn't take out insurance on my dog.

    My husband and I don't have a lot of money, we saved to have enough to purchase the puppy and had a few thousand aside for vet emergencies that can happen with any dog and a credit card. Never did we think we would be up for $10000 in vet fees in six months.

    Now putting aside the great emotional attachment I have with this puppy, and looking at it purely from a monetary value. How on earth would I be "winning" if I keep my puppy and get a refund, considering that his medical expenses have cost me triple what his purchase price has? Add in the emotional factor that I love this pup dearly despite all his medical conditions and have fought the last six months to ensure I can give him as healthy happy a life as possible, how could I hand him back and let him die.

    So I am terrified that as the breeder refuses to accept any responsibility in this matter and his genetically inherited diseases and that they are already advertising plans for their next litter that another dog and owner may have to go through what I am going through. I can't afford to go through the legal system as I have no money left and am trying to refinance my house to clear my credit card. I can't even afford the $150 to complain to DogsNSW.

    I feel like a fool in many ways, one trusting that a breeder is reputable as they are registered, two not going on the inherited disease database (which unfortunately I didn't even know about before my problems) assuming that the breed was healthy and robust due to my other dog of the same breed. Do I just walk away and pray that someone else doesn't have this happen to them, is there some way I can let people know about my story and name the breeder with evidence and not be liable for defamation? I am completely deflated in my experience of buying from a breeder . I have had several reactions from other breeders, some have just said chalk it up to experience and buyer beware and others have been very supportive and not at all happy with the reactions of this breeder. How do the general public know who is and who isn't a responsible breeder, even when you ask the right questions. And who makes these breeders responsible for at least advising their buyers of all possible known health problems in the breed and trying to take reasonable steps (such as an X-ray of the parents) to eliminate them from the breed.

    Sorry for the long post but I just don't know where to go next.

  2. #2
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    Your vet can report the genetic health problems to the NSW LIDA inherited diseases database. You don't need the breeder's permission to do this if you have the papers listing the dog's ancestry.

    This will help other breeders and vets - if they ask for a search on the database before deciding which dogs to breed.

    LIDA Dogs - LIDA Dogs - Faculty of Veterinary Science - The University of Sydney

    If you bought the dog from an Australian Breeder - you might be able to complain to the office of consumer affairs in your state or the state where the breeder is - because you did not get what you paid for. The consumer rights people are paying more attention to the kinds of scams and breeder fails being done in Australia.

    You could also take your case to civil claims court to get your vet bills back. I'm not sure how successful that would be and it would definitely be expensive.

    You may also be able to get some help from another breeder of the same breed. Note they all know each other and are likely to be friends - so maybe contact one in another state - they may still be friends with your breeder but they may be able to make some useful suggestions. Especially if you don't mention first breeder's name (or what state you're in) until you work out how the second breeder feels about your situation. I would do this over the phone not by email.

    Unfortunately ANKC is no guarantee you get a breeder doing the responsible things by their breed. But it should provide you an avenue of complaint and redress.

    The breeder has offered a full refund if you return the dog. They are right about PTS - or at least a desex op. That's the usual way to eliminate genetic problems from the pool. So they have half offered to do the right thing. It would have been better if you had returned the puppy as soon as you'd known about the problems - then you would have spent less money. But I can understand your dilemma with dealing with a living creature that is part of your family now.

    Unfortunately as far as civil courts go - I don't think they will let you get back the money you spent because you are (understandably) emotionally attached to your puppy.

    Sometimes - even with human members of the family, hard decisions need to be made about whether further medical treatment is worth the pain it causes. Ie will it get back any quality of life.
    all dogs of this type have it
    I think this is the definition of "genetic" ie it's genetic that all dogs have two ears and four legs and two eyes and big teeth.

  3. #3
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    that's so sad.....

    hya has pretty much nailed it...... im no lawyer, but if what youre saying is factual, then you can name the breeder...... as youre only stating your dealings with them
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I love 2 things in this world. Spandex and reyzor... not necessarily in that order.

  4. #4
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    if what youre saying is factual, then you can name the breeder
    Only in private message to Reyzor.

    Reyzor - are you prepared to pay the legal costs to defend a defamation case? cos even if you're right - it's still expensive.

    I think it is difficult with things like this. I get really pissed at my GP(s) when they offer me a bunch of treatment for whatever and none of it works and then they want me to keep going back and trying different things - some of which have NASTY side effects and are expensive, and pay every time I go back for treatment that doesn't $*&#$$*!! work. I don't think I'd pay the car mechanic if he (mine's a he) proposed some fix and it didn't work. In fact if he does something and it breaks something else (nasty side effect) I get the problem fixed and my money back. Not so with GPs, dentists or vets and sometimes Lawyers, and often Real Estate Agents. I don't know why.

  5. #5
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    I see what youre saying, but I didn't think it was deformation if it was factual...... could well be wrong though, its happened once before :P
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean View Post
    I love 2 things in this world. Spandex and reyzor... not necessarily in that order.

  6. #6
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    He was also diagnosed at the time with a irregular heart beat, a small liver and chronic regurgitation
    That is not a common feature of any breed. On your pedigree papers are the dogs on there related in any way? Rare breeds can have tight gene pools and hence you find problems crop up.

    OK I'm about to sound incredibly harsh, but that level of problem, no, I would not fix the dog I would let it go peacefully. I'm assuming your dog has something like Persistent Right Aortic Arch from the symptoms you describe? Yes some things can be more common in some breeds BUT at the same time two perfectly healthy parents can produce a sick puppy. We're still just dipping a toe in the great sea of genetic analysis. For the breeder to breed those dogs again... no, bad idea if the condition is actually proved inherited and your pup was not just in reality underdeveloped/spontaneous mutation type situation.
    http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c11/Mali_nut/K9LOGO.jpg

  7. #7
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    deformation if it was factual
    yes but you have to prove the facts and that's where it gets expensive. Just have two people try to describe the same event ... they won't have exactly the same recollection of what happened or what the facts are.

    As far as what is and isn't genetic and all that - it's subjective at the moment...

    so this all comes down to one person saying about another - who isn't even here to state their side of the story, but if their name was included - they could find this thread by google and give us a hard time. We don't actually know all the facts for this particular story.

    So the trouble with "defamation" and anything legal is proving your version of the story is the right one. Sometimes - if the entire story is in (verified) email - and no sarcasm was intended - it's easy but other times - not so much. Eg unrecorded phone conversations and verbal promises.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hyacinth View Post
    so this all comes down to one person saying about another - who isn't even here to state their side of the story, but if their name was included - they could find this thread by google and give us a hard time. We don't actually know all the facts for this particular story.
    I wasn't going to post any names on this forum. I was thinking more a private blog, with the dogs name, breeders prefix, vet reports etc.

    The heart problem, liver and chronic regurgitation have not been identified at inherited. Actually they haven't completely diagnosed them other than to say he has these problems, we nearly lost him under anaesthetic so are not doing any further tests. Instead he is on tablets, which he must live on and has to be on a special diet fed every four hours in small meals only, from a height to encourage the food to pass to his stomach as quickly as possible. Be assured he isn't suffering. He is a very happy dog, but is just small, undersized, thin and needs to live on medication. But the specialist has assured me he isn't in any pain or suffering. He has bad days where his stomach plays up but there are a lot of people who have bad days too.

    I am happy to look after my puppy and do everything I can to make him well. If at any point the vet says he is suffering I will do the right thing for him. He is family to me and things are tight, but as said he is a living creature who loves me dearly, so I will keep finding the money when I have to.

    His first operation helped the first problem, it was just due to all his other issues that he suffered very badly and ended up in icu for a week. His second problem is a lot more of a worry. It could result in him having nuerological problems and/or paralysis. I am on full alert with him and will have to cross that bridge if we come to it.

    I just wouldn't like to see someone else go through what I am going through. After I first contacted the breeder to let them know they never once called to check up how he was going, they ignored my emails when I sent them more information (I understand who wants to hear bad news) prior to this we had what I thought a good relationship. It was only when I asked for some money back that they contacted me back. As I said I am more annoyed at myself for assuming that just because they were registered breeders they would care. I should have asked more questions, gone to the vets to ask about problems etc, but hindsight isn't going to help me now. Unfortunately a lot of the public don't know to do these things, they believe the controlling bodies when they say their members have a code of conduct and only breed to improve the breed. I understand that things can happen, I have a working dog here that has mild HD. I never even bothered to contact the breeder as I know even with great parents it can come up, however the two conditions my boy has are not environmentally affected, ie he was born with them and it was the behaviour and attitude of the breeder that they don't care and have made no statement that they will even look into how this happened which has upset me the most.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corellio View Post
    The heart problem, liver and chronic regurgitation have not been identified at inherited. Actually they haven't completely diagnosed them other than to say he has these problems, we nearly lost him under anaesthetic so are not doing any further tests. Instead he is on tablets, which he must live on and has to be on a special diet fed every four hours in small meals only, from a height to encourage the food to pass to his stomach as quickly as possible.
    Corellio, from what you have described, the regurgitation sounds similar to megaesophagus. If you Google it, you will understand what I mean. Also Google "Bailey's chair". This is a specific chair that the dog sits in when eating to help the food pass into the stomach. This may be something for you to consider.

  10. #10
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    just because they were registered breeders they would care
    It's hard when you do all the right things that you know about and it still goes to hell. We've got another person on here who came and asked about bulldogs - there is an ANKC breeder of these who is essentially running a puppy farm - it's pretty obvious from their website that there are many many bitches having lots and lots of puppies and there is no way all the puppies would get enough human time.

    But what I said was - go find the breed club or a social event with the breeders and meet the people and see who likes what where, and visit where the puppies are bred and see if you like the facility. Some breeders say visitors not welcome because they might bring infections with them but personally - I think that might be a mark on the choose another breeder page for me.

    You can also see the breeders who are puppy farms by getting the dogsNSW magazine and going through the lists of registered litters... if the breeder is registering more than one litter a year - I'd be unsure, and in the case of the avoidable bulldog breeder - they're listing three to four litters across various breeds per magazine/month. Puppy farm. Might be all nice and clean with all the dogs getting enough food and water and vet care - but I want more than that.

    Having said all that - I took my chances with a puppy from the Animal Welfare League - so I know nothing about how she was bred or how her parents lived at all.

    And my last word is - sometimes the people obsessed with their favourite dog breed - relate better to dogs than people. Some of them who see it as a business (they have an ABN on their invoice, it's not a hobby), may be quite ruthless when it comes to removing dogs or people contacts that don't help their business aims. And they've probably had a lot of practice at culling puppies (or selling them to the unsuspecting) and getting rid of people who complain.

    I think it's really hard to deal with that legally when you're emotionally attached to the puppy. I'm thinking maybe the laws ought to be slightly different for pets.

    Registered breeders are supposed to care.

    I think if I was you - I'd write your story to Dogs NSW, and refer/quote the relevant bits of the code of ethics, and don't put it in as a "formal complaint" which requires the $150 you don't have because you sent $10K on care for the puppy. And talk about why sending the puppy back for a refund and PTS is not ok with you. Include the names of the parent dogs.

    Then at least - legally they've been informed (not complained to). And if they choose to do nothing - they may be liable if the breeder chooses to mate those two dogs again and someone else has the resources (emotional and financial) to formally complain.

    And at some point you're going to have to decide to let it go and interrupt yourself everytime you get upset about it with "I'm letting this go". That or push it all the way legally - but I can't see that getting anywhere because of the offer of refund on return.

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