I searched the internet Shih Tzu sites to find an Oregon breeder when I decided to purchase a puppy. Since I had never purchased a dog, I thought a breeder with a website and AKC registered dogs would be a safe choice. I began communicating with Debbie in March, 04. When my puppy, Teagan was born, I decided to send a deposit immediately.
Debbie told me I had to send 1/2 ($300) to hold the puppy. She would send pictures every two weeks until it was time to take possession at 9 or so weeks. At that time, I was required to bring $300 cash before she would hand over the puppy. Although I repeatedly requested photos of the parents, I did not receive them and after prying, received a total of 3 picturess of my puppy.
Debbie wanted to "meet" in Eugene to give me the puppy. When I first saw the puppy, I expressed surprise that she had very little facial hair--no "flowering. Debbie said it would come later. The response from strangers, my vet, and 2 groomers caused me to call Debbie once again and question Teagan's lineage. She told me there was no way Teagan was not a purebred---that she only raises Shih Tzus. I have since learned that is a complete lie. She has two other breeds on site, and even has a web site advertising her Shiba Inus.
When she knew I was very unhappy, she offered to sell me another Shih Tzu for $300. I told her I could not afford another dog. She also said I could send Teagan back to her and get a partial refund. How could I consider sending away a puppy I have come to love?
Just this past week, I have decided this is enough of this fraudulant business practice. Through a mutual friend I contacted two women in San Francisco who have a dog that looks like mine from Debbie. They will send you their own horror story. Debbie was shocked that we knew one another. We will be filing with the AKC as well ad the Oregon Attorney General's office. The Consumer Protection Agency here in Oregon has had many complaints about this woman. The local breeders also can tell horror stories from people who have contacted them to find out if they have Shih Tzus.
The Deschutes County Health Department has had many reports asking Four Paws be investigated. The officer has told me the kennel has been clean when he is there, but there are 50-100 Shih Tzus at the same time. There are also 2 other breeds of dogs. The people I know who have purchased puppies from her complain the puppies are unbathed and dirty when they pick them up. My puppy had supposedly been wormed, but had terrible parasites and had to be treated 3 days after I got her.
There may not be a law against puppy mills in Oregon---but fraud is definitely a crime. We will band together and do whatever it takes to stop this breeder.