On January 18, 2013, I went to see a Havanese puppy, that was advertised on Oodles Marketplace, after having made an appointment with the Staten Island Breeder. I was told that the two remaining puppies were just 3 months old, which was very believable, as they were really small and seemed pretty thin, under all of the hair. I then saw, what I was told were the parents, and the female was a very light beige, as was the male puppy that I fell in love with. I left $100.00 deposit, and was asked to bring the balance of $750.00 in cash.
I told the breeder, Becky Yurk, that I would pick up the dog on Tuesday, January 22nd, so that I could immediately take him to my vet. I also asked that she have a stool sample ready for me, as that was what my vet had requested. When I came to pick the puppy up, I was told that she didn't have a stool sample as she couldn't differentiate between the parents and the other puppy. I paid the balance, got a receipt, and immediately took the puppy to my vet, in Brooklyn. The dog got a clean bill of health, except for a few fleas, which we treated, and the fact that he was very thin. The next day, I returned to the vet with a stool sample, which they sent to the lab. On Thursday, I got the results, which were that the dog had a very unusual type of parasite infection, which had to be treated for 6 months, before he could be around other dogs, and that it could be cross-contaminating to humans, although very rare. By this time I really loved the dog, and could not give him back to the breeder, nor did I care about the few dollars it cost to treat the parasite infection.
I called the breeder with the news, only out of concern for their other dogs, to be greeted with, "Well, I'm not responsible, as it may have come from the water you gave him." I was so angry at this response, that I just hung up. This was 2 days after I picked up the dog, and the particular infection takes 2 weeks to incubate. I had since tried to call the breeder a couple of times, and they never answered my calls.
Since then I have done a bit of research, and discovered that this breeder had advertised these "3 month old" puppies on Oodles, a month and a half before my purchase. The next time I took the dog back to my vet, she told me that she thought this dog was 5-5 1/2 months old, instead of 4 months, judging by the teeth. My dog, who is on the way to recovery, went from 3.14 lbs. to 7.10 lbs., in one month. They did another more complete stool examination, and found that this parasite is almost always contracted from mountain streams, which are completely absent in Staten Island. Obviously, these puppies were not born of the 2 adult dogs I saw in their house. They also put another ad on Oodles, 3 weeks after I got my dog, advertising 2 month old Havanese. I can only conclude that they are getting these puppies from a puppy mill, in another state.
Aside from feeling like a complete idiot, for not having done better research, I am truly concerned about any other dogs that come into contact with these unscrupulous people. I am convinced that they underfed the puppies, to make them seem smaller and younger, in addition to lying to the buyers about their lineage. I would also doubt that they paid any tax on the cash that they insisted upon.