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Discussion Starter #1
I have a question to the community about breeder's sale practices.
I bought a puppy from that breeder 12 years ago. Unfortunately, he crossed the rainbow bridge this summer. He was very special to us, and we wanted to get a new puppy from the same breeder, hoping that this new puppy will come from the same blood line or at least from the same breeding home.
I contacted the breeder and she said that she has an upcoming litter. We agreed that she lets me know when puppies are born. She send me pictures and I immediately fell in love with one of the pups. I wanted to reserve it. Breeder asked for the full price upfront, and I send her a check for the full price. In my mind, the sale was final, since she accepted the payment and deposited the check.
I have arranged for the car rental and the hotel, because breeder is in about 14 hours drive from where I live, and she was OK with the date and time of pick up. Unfortunately, I made non-refundable reservations, but again, I was taking risk because I knew that chances are that puppy is healthy and very well taken care of are pretty high if not absolute.
One month after she accepted the payment, and less then one month before I was supposed to come and pick up the puppy, she sent me email, stating that she decided to keep the puppy and offered the refund.
I was very upset, of course, and so was my whole family; we were so looking forward to it.
I asked her to return my payment and to compensate me for the expenses. She refused to compensate for the expenses, stating that since we have no written contract, she is not going to discuss this matter with me. Then I asked her to return my payment as soon as possible because I need to put a deposit with another breeder. I also asked her to let me know when to expect the refund check.
I haven't heard from her since the date of that email. It's been a little over a week.
So my question is: is it normal among the breeders to take the full payment for the puppy upfront? Is it normal to keep the already sold puppy?
I might be overreacting here, am I?
I am not worried about refund that much just yet, although it is not a pocket change amount at all. This will be different issue altogether, if I am not refunded, and I will take a legal actions. My concern is - what she has done, is it a normal practice in the industry?
 

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I know that many people oppose buying from breeders and there are many good reasons for that. I also know that dogs that come from shelters are amazing, etc. I've bought three dogs from breeders in my lifetime and have always had excellent experiences. I think you know that getting your expenses reimbursed was always going to be a stretch, but as I always tell people, it never hurts to ask. I don't think you should have paid the entire amount up front, but what's done is done. Why don't you have a contract with the breeder? Even if you corresponded via text or email in lieu of signing an official "contract," those things are considered contractual and are binding on both parties. Hopefully, you can get your refund without having to go to small claims court. If you do end up in small claims court, you can of course request the judge to award you those expenses, as well as court fees.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I know that many people oppose buying from breeders and there are many good reasons for that. I also know that dogs that come from shelters are amazing, etc. I've bought three dogs from breeders in my lifetime and have always had excellent experiences. I think you know that getting your expenses reimbursed was always going to be a stretch, but as I always tell people, it never hurts to ask. I don't think you should have paid the entire amount up front, but what's done is done. Why don't you have a contract with the breeder? Even if you corresponded via text or email in lieu of signing an official "contract," those things are considered contractual and are binding on both parties. Hopefully, you can get your refund without having to go to small claims court. If you do end up in small claims court, you can of course request the judge to award you those expenses, as well as court fees.
Thank you for responding!
This puppy will be my fifth of the same breed; I had collies all my life. This is the first time I have problem with the breeder, but again, it was stupid of me not to ask for the written contract. I trusted her because we've dealt with her before and she seemed very decent person. In my line of work I deal with contracts and I know that verbal contract for over 500 is legally binding.
It just blows my mind that after deal was in the SOLD status, she decides that she wants to keep the puppy because he "turned out to be a magnificent puppy and certainly a breeders dream" and my interests and my family interests are disregarded completely. It sure hurts. :(
 

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Thank you for responding!
This puppy will be my fifth of the same breed; I had collies all my life. This is the first time I have problem with the breeder, but again, it was stupid of me not to ask for the written contract. I trusted her because we've dealt with her before and she seemed very decent person. In my line of work I deal with contracts and I know that verbal contract for over 500 is legally binding.
It just blows my mind that after deal was in the SOLD status, she decides that she wants to keep the puppy because he "turned out to be a magnificent puppy and certainly a breeders dream" and my interests and my family interests are disregarded completely. It sure hurts. :(
It was a seriously sucky thing for the breeder to do and its surprising since breeders are used to having to turn over really adorable puppies all the time (something I'm not sure I could do). I've seen those puppy swarm videos and could seriously see myself in the middle of one. The breeder must be successful if you got your dog 12 years ago. If there is no new litter on the horizon from the same breeder, is there possibly a "collie rescue" organization in your area? Maybe you could get the breed you want and do a rescue combined.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It was a seriously sucky thing for the breeder to do and its surprising since breeders are used to having to turn over really adorable puppies all the time (something I'm not sure I could do). I've seen those puppy swarm videos and could seriously see myself in the middle of one. The breeder must be successful if you got your dog 12 years ago. If there is no new litter on the horizon from the same breeder, is there possibly a "collie rescue" organization in your area? Maybe you could get the breed you want and do a rescue combined.
Honestly, I don't want to continue relationship with this breeder, no matter how good her pups are. She proved to be unreliable, God only knows what other surprises she might pull from her sleeve. I am not even sure now that she really wanted to keep that pup - maybe she decided to bump the price and sell it to someone else, or it could be million of other reasons.
Collies are not common in the shelters, I've seen only one in a last couple of years (I've been checking from time to time).
I've put a deposit (with the written contract this time :) ) with another breeder, and expecting the new pup to be shipped in mid November. So looking forward to it...
 

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I hope you get your refund
You are doing the right thing by moving on
I'm sorry this happened to you, must have been a very disappointing way to be treated by someone with whom you have had a positive relationship with in the past
Good luck with the new pup! :)
 

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A contract does not have to be written to be binding in most cases. The exceptions, for real property and other exceptions do not apply here. Of course, you have to prove your case, but if the two of you exchanged emails there should be more than enough info to do so.
However, hotel expenses and so on are not part of the bargain because you and one other person could have shared driving and not stayed in a hotel.
If the payment for the puppy was via credit card or Paypal, I would initiate a chargeback or open a Paypal case now. For Paypal there is a deadline so do not delay.
Also, once you open a case do not close it until you have a refund. Once close, it cannot ordinarily be reopened, and sometimes a seller will complain about a frozen account or similar and promise to pay if you will only close the dispute. Don't do it.
 

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A contract does not have to be written to be binding in most cases. The exceptions, for real property and other exceptions do not apply here. Of course, you have to prove your case, but if the two of you exchanged emails there should be more than enough info to do so.
However, hotel expenses and so on are not part of the bargain because you and one other person could have shared driving and not stayed in a hotel.
If the payment for the puppy was via credit card or Paypal, I would initiate a chargeback or open a Paypal case now. For Paypal there is a deadline so do not delay.
Also, once you open a case do not close it until you have a refund. Once close, it cannot ordinarily be reopened, and sometimes a seller will complain about a frozen account or similar and promise to pay if you will only close the dispute. Don't do it.
Thank you, Lucille! I do have everything in the emails. I paid from the bank account, i.e bank sent her a check. I do have a proof, of course, but can't roll back this transaction.
We were able to get a credit for the car rental, though, and we use that rental company a lot, so that's OK. One of the hotels refunded money after long email exchange, and another one is $50 and it is a price to be paid for my stupidity, I am OK with it. Lesson learned.
 

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Get your emails together, contact your bank, and initiate a chargeback if it was a bank payment (and not a personal check). Don't be all polite, what she did was unethical and she did violate the contract in my opinion.
If she pays up the chargeback will be dropped, but I'd get it started, if she screwed you once she might screw you twice.
 

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From what I've seen most breeders require a deposit on a puppy, with payment in full being required when the purchaser picks up the puppy. Whether or not the deposit is refundable or not seems to be dependent upon the breeder.

From what I've heard and seen, a lot of breeders will choose the puppy for you. They will generally ask you a bunch of questions about your life style, what you plan on doing with the puppy, hiking, dog sports, couch buddy, etc, coat color you'd like, and then pick the puppy they think would best suit your family. A lot of them will let you pick the puppy though, and just hope that you are a good fit for that pups temperament.

The fact that you paid in full for that specific puppy, and she backed out with less then a month to go till you picked the pup up seems strange. She could have asked if you would mind co-owning the dog with her, and that she gets breeding rights and that she wants the dog shown under her kennels name with shared expenses. If you were not agreeable to that then she should have either sold you the puppy, or backed out, and it should have been done a lot sooner then a few weeks till the puppy was to be picked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
From what I've seen most breeders require a deposit on a puppy, with payment in full being required when the purchaser picks up the puppy. Whether or not the deposit is refundable or not seems to be dependent upon the breeder.

From what I've heard and seen, a lot of breeders will choose the puppy for you. They will generally ask you a bunch of questions about your life style, what you plan on doing with the puppy, hiking, dog sports, couch buddy, etc, coat color you'd like, and then pick the puppy they think would best suit your family. A lot of them will let you pick the puppy though, and just hope that you are a good fit for that pups temperament.

The fact that you paid in full for that specific puppy, and she backed out with less then a month to go till you picked the pup up seems strange. She could have asked if you would mind co-owning the dog with her, and that she gets breeding rights and that she wants the dog shown under her kennels name with shared expenses. If you were not agreeable to that then she should have either sold you the puppy, or backed out, and it should have been done a lot sooner then a few weeks till the puppy was to be picked up.
I actually asked her about the possibility of co-ownership. She didn't give me straight answer; instead, she offered me another option: I could still get this puppy if puppy fails the eye check, which was scheduled two weeks from the day this conversation took place. I found it strange and this also was driving my decision to request the refund right away.
 

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I actually asked her about the possibility of co-ownership. She didn't give me straight answer; instead, she offered me another option: I could still get this puppy if puppy fails the eye check, which was scheduled two weeks from the day this conversation took place. I found it strange and this also was driving my decision to request the refund right away.
Sounds like they may be keeping that puppy as either a show prospect or a breeder. I don't think the situation was handled correctly but I have heard of it before, especially if the breeders are looking for another dog to carry their line on in either the show ring or in breeding.
 

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I actually asked her about the possibility of co-ownership. She didn't give me straight answer; instead, she offered me another option: I could still get this puppy if puppy fails the eye check, which was scheduled two weeks from the day this conversation took place. I found it strange and this also was driving my decision to request the refund right away.

Wait... She would sell you a puppy that had eye trouble? Is it Collie Eye Anomaly, and if so why is she not doing genetic testing for it before she breeds her dogs?

I don't blame you for walking away.
 

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Wait... She would sell you a puppy that had eye trouble? Is it Collie Eye Anomaly, and if so why is she not doing genetic testing for it before she breeds her dogs?

I don't blame you for walking away.
She said something like "if eye exam result is not suitable for breeding", and since I don't know the difference between eye conditions that are genetic defect and eye condition that prevents dog from breeding, I can't say what she meant.
 

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She said something like "if eye exam result is not suitable for breeding", and since I don't know the difference between eye conditions that are genetic defect and eye condition that prevents dog from breeding, I can't say what she meant.
If she said in writing, in an email, that there was no contract, do not let her keep your money and stick you with a dog that has eye issues after you paid all that money.
Many lawyers these days will offer a free 30 minute consult (ask the office of course, and make sure the consult will not cost you). I'd get everything together as far as emails and paperwork and go for a consult, be proactive.
 

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Sounds like they may be keeping that puppy as either a show prospect or a breeder. I don't think the situation was handled correctly but I have heard of it before, especially if the breeders are looking for another dog to carry their line on in either the show ring or in breeding.
It actually more to it, I didn't mention this, but when she emailed me about decision to keep this puppy, she explained that she expected another litter from which she planned to keep a puppy, but mama dog didn't get pregnant, so she decided to keep the one I bought. Go figure...
 

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If she said in writing, in an email, that there was no contract, do not let her keep your money and stick you with a dog that has eye issues after you paid all that money.
Many lawyers these days will offer a free 30 minute consult (ask the office of course, and make sure the consult will not cost you). I'd get everything together as far as emails and paperwork and go for a consult, be proactive.
Thank you, Lucille, I will give her a customary two weeks grace period from the day I requested the refund and then will contact the lawyer.
 

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How old was this puppy when you paid for it in full? And did she pick it or did you? Did she make you pay up front or sign a contract the last time you bought a dog from her?

I was going to say that I don't think we were getting the full story here, but then you posted about the other girl not taking so it would make sense for her to want to keep a pup from this litter to continue her line. It sucks, but it sometimes happens, especially when you don't expect it to. If she handled things completely differently the last time you got a dog from her I would suspect we still aren't getting the full story or there was a massive misunderstanding between the two of you. I've gotten a second dog from the same breeder before, we constantly see eachother and help show and prep each others dogs, and even we hashed out a contract for my second dog before payment or ownership was transferred. So it makes no sense to me that someone would completely ditch their standard protocol and throw caution to the wind, unless they never had any sort of sales protocol to begin with.
 

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How old was this puppy when you paid for it in full?
Litter was born I believe on aug 18. So they must have been several days old - I sent the check on aug 22.
And did she pick it or did you? Did she make you pay up front or sign a contract the last time you bought a dog from her?
I picked the puppy from the pictures and video she sent me.
Originally, when we talked about expected litter, she told me that puppy will be $1000 if it is sable. Puppy I picked was blue merle, so it was 1200. I asked how much I should pay as a deposit, and she said 1200. I sent her a check on Aug 22. She responded that she received it on aug 24.

Last time, 12 years ago, we went down to the farm to see the litter first, picked out the puppy, paid deposit of 200 and then came back again, paid the rest, and pick up the puppy with all the paperwork.
If I recall correctly, 12 years ago we had a contract that we signed when we were on premises the first time.

This time, since litter was only 3 pups, it didn't make sense to travel that far to look at the pups. We basically had one choice - the sable pup was a girl, there were two boys - black and blue. I picked the blue one.
I was going to say that I don't think we were getting the full story here, but then you posted about the other girl not taking so it would make sense for her to want to keep a pup from this litter to continue her line. It sucks, but it sometimes happens, especially when you don't expect it to.
I understand her intentions. It doesn't make everything right for me, though... I guess that even if I had a written contract, that would not have helped me in this case. Agreement does not matter.
If she handled things completely differently the last time you got a dog from her I would suspect we still aren't getting the full story or there was a massive misunderstanding between the two of you.
I've gotten a second dog from the same breeder before, we constantly see eachother and help show and prep each others dogs, and even we hashed out a contract for my second dog before payment or ownership was transferred. So it makes no sense to me that someone would completely ditch their standard protocol and throw caution to the wind, unless they never had any sort of sales protocol to begin with.

This is a full story on my side. I've never gave it a second thought when she asked for full 1200, I assumed she wanted to ensure that my intentions are serious and I will not bail out at the very last moment. I also assumed that she will send a contract at some point, or, she will give it to me to sign when I come to pick up the puppy. It was dumb, I agree. But again, I trusted her to drive the process.
 

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Even if you had a contract, it might have had an out clause for her

And furthermore, a contract is only as enforceable as the number of lawyer fees and time you are willing to invest to get it enforced

Any word on your refund?
 
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