I purchased a kitten on 9/21 from Mr. and Mrs. Barlage from their home in New Virginia, IA. Before I made the 4.5 hour drive down to their home, I was told by John, the kittens were on a raw food diet and that it was his wife's business and he didn't know much but we made an appointment and she contacted em the next morning. I was told the kittens were healthy and they had TICA papers. The asking price was $250 which I thought was low but maybe it would be worth it since her hisband claimed she was a hobby breeder, I was thinking she had two cats and a couple kittens left out of the litter.
They only advertised two kittens in the ad I responded too and started to get the impression there were a lot more animals at the home as I heard of puppy breeding there as well before making my drive and purchase.
My friend Kevin drive me to the residence and when I arrived what I saw was nothing but shocking. [continued below]....
..... upon pulling into the driveway I noticed a bunch of dogs probably about 7 penned in a cage about 14 x 14 in the yard with a little terrier running lose we almost hit on our way out because she was no where to be found to call him in. Upon entering the residence, I went into shock being an avid animal lover, I could instantly tell the kittens had worms by their potbellied appearance. I felt like I was in a zoo with kittens running all over the house. They didn't appear to be very socialized and the one I got took over a week for her to even respond to kitty.
I came during feeding time and saw her feeding the cats very low quality food which she gave me some to take home with me. It was cat chow or kitty chow I think and she was feeding them canned food. I asked her about the raw food, I was told she had been feeding them and she stated she went to the grocery store and bought raw chicken and proceeded to grind it with a meat grinder and feed ti to them raw. Mentally my jaw dropped and was trying to get out of there as fast as I could, hoping my kitten didn't have any fatal parasites. The carpet in the living room of their home was urine stained and there was over 12 kittens running around and a little older one I saw in a cage as I was walking out the door. She advised me at that time the two litters were 2 days apart and she just sold all her puppies from her mini puppy mill.
On my drive home I noticed she had fleas. She was underweight and had a tape worm crawling out of her butt as I washed her with Dawn dish soap and put Frontline on her as I was advised by the petstore. I tried calling Sheryl that night when I saw the fleas, concerned as to what she was treating her with for fleas, since I found a dead one on her and a live one within an hour of taking her home. I tried two times and there was no answer and no way to leave a message, almost like it was routed through a switchboard.
The next day I received an email that she was sorry they had worms and she didnt know they had fleas either and the next sentence said she treated them a week and a half ago which would have been 6-7 wks. I don't know any flea treatment you can use on a kitten under 12 wks. I couldn't find one at three different petstores I went to. I also received a health guarantee that said I had 7 days to take her to the vet and if she was sick they would return my money. After seeing the vet on 9/25 and her confirming the tape worm crawling out of her butt was in fact a tape worm, Ruby finally got treatment. The vet also believes she has the feline herpes virus because her eyes were running since I got her. Sheryl cleaned the kittens eye along with another kitten while I was there and told me it was cat litter in the eye. Later in her emails she claimed she didn't know they were sick and when she put her ad up the vet wouldn't of found anything wrong a week before. I told her she should have waited to post her ad then until they were seen by a vet. When I asked why the kittens hadn't been seen by a vet she told me it was because all they do is check their lungs and heart and was unnecessary. She verbally guaranteed the kittens health at that point and said she would cover the bills if anything was wrong. The kitten was also what I found to be over 9 weeks old and severely malnourished only weighing 1.4 lbs. She was standing back during feeding because the other kittens were hissing at each other while eating.
I emailed Sheryl and told her what the vet said and she immediately started breaking her down like all these back-yard breeders seem to do. She even commented that the vet must have ESP to know the kitten has had worms for a while. I sent her the receipts of all the expenses I have incurred since I got the kitten between de-fleaing and vet bills and in the first email she said she would stand behind her kitten. I offered her to give me $150 and call it even, Ill take care fo the rest but that was her offer. After being accused of lying about the expenses, I sent over the receipts and now she is refusing to reimburse me for my expenses or the kitten without returning her. As far as I am concerned I rescued this kitten from that place and I am not going to make her go back over a dispute. I love that girl and it upset me to hear her husband referring to her as he and Sheryl referring to the kitten as "it" numerous times throughout this ordeal. They can't even keep track of who they are giving what kittens to.
I took her to the vet again today 10/6/2012 and she received another shot for tape worms because her belly was looking plump again, now it has gone down. I hope she doesn't have some exotic parasite that this treatment wont eliminate. I know she is breeding dogs and cats so I have tried to think of any things dogs could transfer to cats and visa versa. As of today Ruby is 2.4 lbs. She has gained a full pound in the past ten days I have had her feeding her 4x a day pro-biotics and raw lamb(from the petstore! no worries).
I have contacted numerous animal welfare agencies about this team as well as the sheriffs department, health department and the attorney Generals office. They have had many complaints on animal welfare issues I was told by the sheriff and I think got an inkling I would report them because by the time the sheriff went out there to inspect their home, they cleaned it and removed over half the animals there or sold them one of the two. I was not allowed to see the parents and was told I would receive emails, which I still haven't. I was told I would get TICA papers in a month from date of purchase and have not gotten those yet. I will wait another 2 weeks and then file a lawsuit if they do not arrive. She latter admitted to me that her cats are in cages in the basement and called it her cattery. She claimed it was clean and tshe took care of her animals but how could someone tke care of 12-15 kittens, however many dogs and puppies as well as the adult cats? Living in a cabin. After looking up their property in the public tax site to see if they lived somewhere else, I saw it was listed as a cabin, rambler style house, not big enough for a puppy and kitty mill. I was also told by her husband she has some health issues and I am wondering if it is not due to living in a flea infested home and tape worms. Who knows what other raw meats she decided to feed them and what other parasites could be lurking inside her. I heard of parasites that harbor out in the brain causing some symptoms like she described. I told her that meat was unacceptable to feed raw to pets but she told me it was ok and she wasn't going to bother talking to me about that and I should go look it up on-line. Why would I look it up on-line when I am going to school to be a DR and I confirmed it with my Veterinarian who has 8 years of schooling to do her job.The tape worms I have seen coming out of my kitten since my vet treated her are not little and she has had them fro quite some times. She claims to have de-wormed the kittens but the wormer she used doesn't treat tape worms, which a responsible breeder would know.
Please do not get scammed by this woman, this does not appear to be the first time she has done this and since has deleted all her ads. She is under review ATM with the department of agriculture whether she has even obtained a breeding license. Under Iowa state law you need a license to breed more than two adult animals in your home and sell the babies for money.