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anon2345

Need advice regarding sick puppy and the breeder

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anon2345   

Hi all,

 

i would love some advice regarding a puppy we purchased 4 weeks ago, at 9 weeks old.

 

within 3 days of purchase we had to take her to the vet for a severe double ear infection that cost $300 to treat. At this appointment the vet diagnosed a grade 3 heart murmur.

 

2 weeks later back to the vet for second vaccinations, heart murmur is again picked up and we are advised to get an echocardiogram which cost us $600.

 

Puppy is diagnosed with a heart condition that will be extremely expensive to treat, for however long we are lucky enough to have her for.

 

We bought the dog from interstate so I contacted the vet who had cleared the puppy on her wellness check and was informed that the ear infection was diagnosed by him, but breeder had decided against treating (obviously deciding to send us a sick dog, and not mention it.) No heart murmurs were detected at this appointment which I struggle to believe as 4 days later a grade 3 murmur was picked up by our vet.

 

I approached the breeder asking for a refund and was ignored. I sent a follow up saying I would be taking the matter to tribunal as the refund would go towards her medical bills and was basically advised that she’s discussing with her vet the best course of action for the dog moving forward which implies she wants her back.

 

We are absolutely not returning the dog.

 

I am curious about my rights to a refund while keeping the dog. If I have no rights to a refund, Do I have the right to at least ask for the money for the ear infection that the breeder should have treated?

 

Also, we never signed any transfer papers. The microchip is in my name, does this mean I am the legal owner? I don’t want the breeder to claim that I’m not the owner or try and get her back sneakily as she’s unimpressed I bothered her with my request for a refund.

 

I know this is a touchy subject, and I would appreciate any and all advice.

 

Thank you!

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Rebanne   

re the microchip, I would consider you the legal owner. What state did you buy the puppy from? In Victoria there are strict laws re selling dogs/pups that are found to be sick. Did the breeder's vet tell you this verbally or in a written form - email? So you were expecting registration papers? It's not unusual for papers to be delayed due to slow processing times by some state bodies. Others can transfer directly into the new owners details so knowing the state the puppy came from would be helpful. I think you should have a refund but it would most likely only be up to the purchase price.

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anon2345   
9 minutes ago, Rebanne said:

re the microchip, I would consider you the legal owner. What state did you buy the puppy from? In Victoria there are strict laws re selling dogs/pups that are found to be sick. Did the breeder's vet tell you this verbally or in a written form - email? So you were expecting registration papers? It's not unusual for papers to be delayed due to slow processing times by some state bodies. Others can transfer directly into the new owners details so knowing the state the puppy came from would be helpful. I think you should have a refund but it would most likely only be up to the purchase price.

We bought the puppy from NSW and we’re in VIC.

 

I actually didn’t really get much in terms of paperwork from the breeder. Microchip transfer papers was all we got..

 

The info I got from the breeders vet is all email correspondence too

 

(recently found out breeder isn’t registered, we’re concerned about backyard breeding and whether this impacts our rights)

 

thank you for your reply

Edited by anon2345

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Rebanne   

I don't know much about the laws in NSW but it shouldn't matter that the "breeder" is not registered. Make sure you copy the vet's email to another device or print it out. I'd be seeking legal advice. Sometimes, no matter how hard people try, sh!t happens but the "breeder" of this pup has not handled things well at all IMO. Good luck with your girl.

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juice   

Breeder may offer refund if you send pup back , I can’t see them giving money back otherwise . They would probably then resell . 

I don’t hold out much hope of you getting money out of breeder   tbh , so small claims is your only recourse . 

 

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6 hours ago, juice said:

Breeder may offer refund if you send pup back , I can’t see them giving money back otherwise . They would probably then resell . 

I don’t hold out much hope of you getting money out of breeder   tbh , so small claims is your only recourse . 

 

Small claims isn't a bad option.  If you have good veterinary documentation, you should win and can likely get some reimbursement for veterinary costs. From a legal perspective you were sold a defective product.  Read up on the process. 

Please don't vilify back yard breeders, though.  The middle ground between back yarders and commercial breeders is being wiped out in Australia.  Personally, I prefer the old style small breeder who has an occasional litter, keeps the whelping box in the house, and lets the dogs free in the back yard.  Concrete floored kennels and loads of red tape are not improving dog welfare. Sounds like you're dealing with a crooked and unethical breeder.  Such are to be found among commercial breeders as well. 

Edited by sandgrubber
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asal   

The poster should have contacted the breeder from the first vet check, that is appalling. to deliberately send a puppy they know has ear infections. Wishing you all the best in this. No idea what the outcome will be, the courts tend to be a lottery but going to the small claims is good advice

 

the laws are now everyone must have outside kennels and it is illegal to whelp and raise your puppies in your home if they come and inspect you, and that includes the ankc inspector as well... the laws they have made now make everyone a commercial breeder whether you breed one or one hundred... instead

 

so they are eliminating in home raised ( backyard )  breeders, its comply with commercial or else.


a friend lives in dorrigo and the council there is even worse, dorrigo has made it that you must have a fully enclosed concrete floored, airconditioned shed for whelping. if you haven't one and the council inspector learns you have puppies,

The inspector told her for every puppy pay 1,600 each or surrender.

They seize them and take them to the local rescue.

As well demand you desex the mother within I think one or two weeks or face fines of again I think it was 1,600...... the same

 

I know the nsw government was going to implement the same laws as Dorrigo, but Dogs NSW managed to get them to redraft, no idea what the redraft contains, if its similar pretty much the end of all but commercial puppy farms in this state.  As for the horrific results if a blackout occurred mid summer.   locked in those sheds the dorrigo council has passed is the only way allowed, every dog would be dead by the time you got home it you were away from home when it happened .. same result of being locked in a car

 

these laws are certainly not being drafted to take into account our climate and unreliable electricity supply.  The politicians certainly have absolutely no idea about managing dogs in the real world and climate of this country

 

Edited by asal
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6 hours ago, sandgrubber said:

Small claims isn't a bad option.  If you have good veterinary documentation, you should win and can likely get some reimbursement for veterinary costs. From a legal perspective you were sold a defective product.  Read up on the process. 

Please don't vilify back yard breeders, though.  The middle ground between back yarders and commercial breeders is being wiped out in Australia.  Personally, I prefer the old style small breeder who has an occasional litter, keeps the whelping box in the house, and lets the dogs free in the back yard.  Concrete floored kennels and loads of red tape are not improving dog welfare. Sounds like you're dealing with a crooked and unethical breeder.  Such are to be found among commercial breeders as well. 

I am confused by what I have bolded. Backyard breeders and old style small quality breeders are two very different things. They spend time and money and they have very different breeding skill sets too. Another big difference between the two is also the post purchase support they offer to new owners. There are already two warning flags here that sets this breeder apart from a quality breeder - they didn't spend the extra money on vet care when advised by a professional and they weren't jumping up and down with concern that a puppy they had bred was ill so soon after it left their home, particularly with a heart issue. A quality breeder would want to know all about that both for this pup and for future litters.

 

Regardless of what type of breeder they are I'm sure all of us hope for positive experiences for new owners, new puppies, the breeding bitches and of course the breeders who want piece of mind regarding the quality of their puppies and the homes they have chosen for them. That's not happened here so I hope you pursue your options. I'd also report this to the body this breeder is registered with in case they are breaching any regulations. Not to punish them but to ensure they are doing what they should be doing regarding the health and wellbeing of any other puppies they breed and the breeding bitches that remain in their care.

 

Also wondering what the breed of pup was here because perhaps they are a breed prone to ear or heart issues?

Edited by Little Gifts
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asal   

sounds like a cavalier but thats just a guess,  needing worming can give rise to a heart murmur that will resolve once wormed, I remember my vet saying once. well I think that was it.

 

come to think of it, if they didnt bother to treat an ear infection, maybe worming wasnt 2 weekly either..... might be an idea to worm your puppy, just in case

 

 

 

Edited by asal
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1 hour ago, Little Gifts said:

I am confused by what I have bolded. Backyard breeders and old style small quality breeders are two very different things. They spend time and money and they have very different breeding skill sets too. Another big difference between the two is also the post purchase support they offer to new owners. There are already two warning flags here that sets this breeder apart from a quality breeder - they didn't spend the extra money on vet care when advised by a professional and they weren't jumping up and down with concern that a puppy they had bred was ill so soon after it left their home, particularly with a heart issue. A quality breeder would want to know all about that both for this pup and for future litters.

 

Regardless of what type of breeder they are I'm sure all of us hope for positive experiences for new owners, new puppies, the breeding bitches and of course the breeders who want piece of mind regarding the quality of their puppies and the homes they have chosen for them. That's not happened here so I hope you pursue your options. I'd also report this to the body this breeder is registered with in case they are breaching any regulations. Not to punish them but to ensure they are doing what they should be doing regarding the health and wellbeing of any other puppies they breed and the breeding bitches that remain in their care.

 

Also wondering what the breed of pup was here because perhaps they are a breed prone to ear or heart issues?

Old style breeders who do not show are often called BYB by some segments of the fancy.  This includes people who disagree with prevailing extreme interpretations of breed standards.  Not to mention people who choose to have a litter out of a much loved family dog.  IMO this is a healthy antidote to the popular sire syndrome. 

 

Australian legislation is working against family style dog breeding, whether it be done by owners of grand champions or people who just want to have a pup by a favorite bitch or dog.  Animal rights groups tend to vilify them all as BYB's, with the implication that you are somehow unethical if you don't have an institutional style kennel. 

 

If you mean scum bag or mercenary or cruel or whatever, say what you mean.  Don't slam the back yard as a place to breed dogs. 

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I think under consumer law you can get your money back, but you will have to return the puppy if that is what the breeder requires for the refund. A seller may choose to give you a refund and allow you to keep the product but they are within their rights to give you the refund and demand the product (puppy) is returned. 

 

So then it comes down to whether or not you feel comfortable returning the puppy for the refund. Not being an ankc breeder should not make a difference, though maybe a lesson on doing your homework before buying a puppy can be taken out of this by any public readers. My assumption would be that the pup wouldn't be resold but would be euthanised due to the heart murmur if you returned it; after all, if a breeder has been dragged through small claims because of the congenital defects in the pup I doubt they would be willing to risk it happening again with the exact same pup. Definitely worth taking to small claims if you have the documentation from your vets and the breeder's vet.

 

I'm sorry this happened to you and your puppy. 

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JRG   

I see you are in Victoria where there are now very specific regulations about the rights and obligations of the breeder and purchaser of a puppy.  These govern the amount of compensation the breeder must give you and second veterinary opinions etc.  they are all detailed in the Code of Practice drawn up by the State government and is on their web site.

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JRG   

Try the Department of Agriculture site:

Code of Practice for the. Operation of Breeding and Rearing Businesses

section 5,  Sale of Animals.   5(i’j Guarantee

read page 23 and the notes on page 24

 

not sure how this might/might not apply to animals bought in NSW , but you could ask the question.

 

 

 

 

 

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anon2345   

Thanks so much everyone for your responses!

 

a bit more info so I don’t have to quote and respond to everyone individually:

 

- Breeder was contacted 2 weeks ago advising of heart and ear issues, accusing us of lying about the heart murmur and demanding we get a second opinion (which we already had as we didn’t want to say anything to the breeder until we were sure)

 

- Breeder then stopped replying to our messages. I asked for a refund when we received the puppies diagnosis following an echocardiogram done on Friday and was ignored. 48 hours later I told her I’d be escalating the matter if no reply, within an hour she replied saying I’d ruined her weekend and she’d be in touch in a few days with what she’s decided is the best course of action for the puppy 

 

- I have emails from her vet, copies of correspondence between myself and the breeder, as well as all records from my vet 

 

- Puppy is a cavalier x however our vet advised the heart issue isn’t because she’s a cavalier. Apparently those heart issues come into play much better, whereas our puppy was born with her condition which also voids our ability to get pet insurance. In 4 weeks we’ve spent close to $2500 on the puppy in vet bills, which is almost double what we paid for her so a refund wouldn’t even break us even. We are not returning the puppy to that unethical breeder.

 

- Puppy has been wormed fortnightly while with us. I can’t say whether or not the breeder wormed her

 

Is it worth going to small claims for even the cost of the vet bill regarding the ear? ($300) or will that cost us more in the long run?

 

Our concern with small claims is that we’ll be forced to return the puppy which we do not want to do, but we also want the breeder to be held accountable for what she’s done.

 

can we report her if she isn’t a registered breeder?

Edited by anon2345

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anon2345   
44 minutes ago, JRG said:

I see you are in Victoria where there are now very specific regulations about the rights and obligations of the breeder and purchaser of a puppy.  These govern the amount of compensation the breeder must give you and second veterinary opinions etc.  they are all detailed in the Code of Practice drawn up by the State government and is on their web site.

Thank you! I’ll look into this. Any idea whether this is applicable if the breeder is in NSW?

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sheena   
12 minutes ago, anon2345 said:

Thanks so much everyone for your responses!

 

a bit more info so I don’t have to quote and respond to everyone individually:

 

- Breeder was contacted 2 weeks ago advising of heart and ear issues, accusing us of lying about the heart murmur and demanding we get a second opinion (which we already had as we didn’t want to say anything to the breeder until we were sure)

 

- Breeder then stopped replying to our messages. I asked for a refund when we received the puppies diagnosis following an echocardiogram done on Friday and was ignored. 48 hours later I told her I’d be escalating the matter if no reply, within an hour she replied saying I’d ruined her weekend and she’d be in touch in a few days with what she’s decided is the best course of action for the puppy 

 

- I have emails from her vet, copies of correspondence between myself and the breeder, as well as all records from my vet 

 

- Puppy is a cavalier x however our vet advised the heart issue isn’t because she’s a cavalier. Apparently those heart issues come into play much better, whereas our puppy was born with her condition which also voids our ability to get pet insurance. In 4 weeks we’ve spent close to $2500 on the puppy in vet bills, which is almost double what we paid for her so a refund wouldn’t even break us even. We are not returning the puppy to that unethical breeder.

 

- Puppy has been wormed fortnightly while with us. I can’t say whether or not the breeder wormed her

 

Is it worth going to small claims for even the cost of the vet bill regarding the ear? ($300) or will that cost us more in the long run?

 

Our concern with small claims is that we’ll be forced to return the puppy which we do not want to do, but we also want the breeder to be held accountable for what she’s done.

 

can we report her if she isn’t a registered breeder?

If she is breeding x breds than there is no way she could be a registered ANKC breeder.  Sounds like a puppy farm breeding cavadoodles (or whatever they are called).  There is no where that you could report her for not being registered except if she isn't registered with her council.  Who did she claim she was registered with ?? 

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anon2345   
1 minute ago, sheena said:

If she is breeding x breds than there is no way she could be a registered ANKC breeder.  Sounds like a puppy farm breeding cavadoodles (or whatever they are called).  There is no where that you could report her for not being registered except if she isn't registered with her council.  Who did she claim she was registered with ?? 

The puppy is a cavachon, the breeder used two family pets to breed a litter. In hindsight it’s no wonder there are issues!

 

I don’t actually know if she did claim to be registered with anyone. I can’t find the trading post ad either, and it should have said on that. We were way too trusting buying this puppy, but it’s definitely been an eye opener. Could we report to RSPCA, or is that pointless?

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You can't report the breeder to anyone, really. All you can do is try & claim on receiving inferior 'goods'  :(

Unfortunately, like so many people you have been lured into a purchase fraught with all sorts of problems, with both your family and a dear little pup paying the price. :( I hope your little pup can have the condition treated, and enjoy a happy and interesting life , for a good long time ! :kissbetter:

Unethical breeders are a scourge... and while they may indeed be 'registered'  with a council, or a pet dog supply organisation - neither of these really provide what you would love to have - a pedigree, health test results of parents, follow-up advice, dietary help, etc. 
This now too late for you, but perhaps now YOU can be the voice of experience who can save puppies and new owners! 
Have a read of these links - there are some facts to help make things a bit clearer. 

LINK
LINK

An important PS :
We are pleased to help you, although :
This site is primarily for PUREBRED  dogs - because of the fact that so many breeders are endeavouring to breed to better their breeds - 
all dogs have proven lineage and pedigree papers  to prove parentage 
there are health checks done  to discover genetic problems 
Ongoing support is provided by caring breeders ..often for the life of the dog ..

and other things  :)  

Edited by persephone
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Rebanne   

No point reporting her to the RSPCA, that's not what they are there for. Small claims court can order whatever so try them. Or go straight to a lawyer and sue them

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Re reporting; there's at least one registry that is set up for cross-breeders and unregistered dogs and they do claim to have a Code Of Conduct etc (so can kick out rogue breeders). Google her email and phone number, she may pop up in ads or elsewhere. Check the chip paperwork for a kennel name if there is one.

 

Small claims is your only real option if you're after vet costs.

My knowledge of consumer law is that to claim a straight refund you return the item. In this case, your puppy. 

 

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