Zoya, Ricky's mom
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kirkland WA
Submit Photo: 1
Photo Nominations 1 Time in 1 Post
Animal welfare laws in WA state? - cruel breeder
Hi. I am hoping someone can help me with dog law or animal welfare in WA State. I went to look at an older male Havanese pup (prior to reading everything on this forum) and am horrified at how he is being kept. This is long, I apologize in advance.
Prior to meeting with this breeder we had many phone calls and emails. I asked if he was socialized with children, if he was aloof, preferred dogs or people, or if he had a past history health/personality history I should know of. My husband saw the pictures she sent us and made the comment, “He looks like a sad little puppy (he is very intuitive).” She laughed when I questioned about him being 'sad' and reassured me "he was a happy pup that loves kids and would fit nicely with our family dynamic." I asked many more questions and she spent time reassuring me and answering all my questions. I felt like I could trust her (although in hindsight, I felt uneasy too) and decided that I wanted to put a deposit on the pup to hold him until we could visit him a week later. This was her requirement to provide an adress to her kennel (big red flag, now I know).
I arrived at her house and met the little guy. He was crouched close to the floor and wouldn’t move. He refused to come to me, or my children – even after offering treats and spending close to two hours with him. My kids walked up to him and attempted to hug him and he started shaking. He darted from their arms and ran away with his tail between his legs.
They (woman and her children) told me that he had just had his first bath and blow dry (he is 22 weeks old, you would think he would have been bathed several times?) and that he had never “been in the house.” He was very, very unresponsive, and maybe even deaf? She brought one of his littermates in the house to “liven him up” and he then he changed and became very alive. Once the littermate was removed from the environment he went back to being unresponsive. Seems he only responds to dogs (kennel syndrome?)?
I was honest with her “that he seemed to be very antisocial, and that there was potential for fear biting based on his behavior -that I have children and wouldn’t risk bringing in a dog into my home with that behavior. That I did not want a pup that I was so unsocial.” She proceeded to explain that her kids do most of the kennel work (they are homeschooled) and that they knew more about the dogs. She then had her children (ages 19, 17, 10, 7?) come into the house to tell me about the pup and why he was a good fit for our family – and “that he is a very happy and nice dog. That he would be the perfect lap dog because he doesn’t move, and that docile dogs are smarter than active ones. That maybe we should take two (implying he would be happy with another dog).”
I told her I wasn’t interested in him (or any of her dogs) and she offered to let me see several young pups, and quickly brought them in with my kids. Surprisingly, my kids loved the puppies but still wanted the older dog. I felt very uncomfortable, and didn’t want to stay any longer so I told her I was unsure, and wanted to talk with her when my kids were not around. That I would call her later. I got up to leave and she insisted that I have a tour of her kennel, and the tour from hell began.
There was a female dog in a crate in her kitchen that was nursing 3 week old pups. The mother dog barked ferociously anytime someone walked past her crate even though it was covered with a blanket – which seemed abnormal to me. They didn’t console the mom dog or reassure her that it was ok, just told her to “Stop" - she stopped barking but was growling.
She then led me behind her house with the 20 week old male pup under her arm. She has a small detached barn/shed with multiple attached chain link kennels. The first kennel contained a small male and female Havanese. Their outside area was concrete and they were standing in water (it was raining) and barking aggressively. There wasn’t an outdoor covered area for them. They were obviously stressed and followed me, pacing back and forth barking as I passed them. The female was charging towards the fence. She told me that she was doing this because she is protective of her babies (she had another younger litter in the shed), and for my kids to keep their hands next to their bodies. The adult Havanese' coats were ragged at best and very scraggly – the mom dog had long nails.
As we passed the Havanese, there were several other kennels full of Basset dogs and MANY basset puppies. They hardly had enough space to run around, and only had plastic dog igloos and random plastic tarps as covers from the elements.
She led me to the 20 week old Havanese pup's “home” and he was very excited to see his 3 little Havanese friends (littermates?) running along the small perimeter – his little tail started wagging. She put him back inside. His “home” had a plastic tarp “roof”, but the entire perimeter was chain link and not protected from the elements. They had an old plastic dog igloo for “protection” without blankets or anything else.
It became immediately apparent (he was supposedly born in October) that these little guys spent the entire winter outside, cold, alone, and without love. I was sick and very uncomfortable. Two older bassets next door to the Havanese kennel were begging for attention and I felt nauseous.
I told her we had to leave and ushered my kids quickly to our car. My eyes are open like never before, and my heart is broken. I had a long conversation with my children about what was wrong with that place, and how cruel it was. I can’t stop thinking about all of the dogs there.
I think that she is oblivious that this is wrong considering she offered me a tour, and proudly showed me her “stock?” But all of it is so wrong in my book. Do any of you know if there is anything I can do? She advertises them as "AKC quality dogs" – does this sound like a place that the AKC would approve of? Is there a rescue group that could investigate her? Is there anything I can do to help these dogs?
I so wanted to adopt the 20 week old pup to save him – but one of these threads a wise poster said “not to give these people any money.”
I want to thank everyone who takes time to post in these forums. I am so grateful for the amount of information I am gathering, and things I am learning (both positive and negative).
This is my first time buying a pup. I didn’t know what to look for or look out for until coming here. I have learned so much from all of you and am very grateful. I now know the importance of finding a good breeder, and our family and future pup will better off because of this!!! Thank you.