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I have read a few posts about puppy mills and I wanted to share my story about Fantasia, my three year old (in Feb.) Maltese.
My husband and I looked everywhere we knew to look for a Maltese. I always knew that I wanted a Maltese so picking the breed wasn't the hard part. The hard part was getting one. None of the shelters around me would give us a Maltese because we live in an apartment and didn't have a fenced in yard. Stupid if you ask me but it's their rules so no dog for us. So we started checking pet stores and online. OH NO did you say pet store! Why yes, yes I did. See we didn't know any better. We finally found a beautiful puppy Maltese about an hour away from us. We went to get her and were denied financing (don't know why) so we had to leave her there. Then a few months later we were in NY and we stopped at the Binghamton mall to check out their pet store. They had one beautiful baby Maltese but there was a sign saying on reserve until 6PM. It was about 3PM so we started to leave the store. My husband asked if he wanted me to ask about the dog anyway and I said yes. We asked and were told that the dog had been on hold for a week and the person who wanted it didn't have the money yet. We told them we couldn't wait till 6PM to see if she came but we could pay them with credit card on the spot. They said that they thought we would make better owners and decided to give her to us instead!
I was so excited!
We got to pick out free leash, collar, dishes and a few toys for free. I picked out the items and we filled out the paperwork while I held our little Fantasia. While we were filling out the paperwork we were told that this other woman wanted Fantasia so she could breed her! Shame on them for wanting to breed a pet store puppy. A reputable breeder would never buy a dog from a pet store and then breed it! Anyway I was happy that we got her because she would never have to go through being a backyard breeder's dog or a puppy mill mother.
After finding MO and being booted I then found AMR/PMR and found out about puppy mills. Someone gave me some information to look and see if Fantasia's "breeder" was a puppy mill and sure enough she was! You would be horrified at the conditions of her place at every inspection. She had hundreds of dogs every single time!
When Fantasia was almost 2 years old she tried to jump onto the couch and missed hitting the side of the couch. She fell and yelped. We took her to the vet for x-rays and found that she was gassy, but also that she had a deformed back. Her vertebrae got squished closer and closer together the farther down the back it went. The vet said that she had the bones of a 5 year old dog! My poor Fantasia! She was also diagnosed with two luxating patellas and I was told that she would need surgery sooner rather than later. One knee is worse than the other. It doesn't seem to bother her right now so we are holding off on that surgery.
Anyway I just wanted to share my story for those of you who are thinking about getting a puppy. Please don't buy from a pet store! All these health issues were found when Fantasia was just 1 year old, imagine how bad she will be when she is 5!
I can provide documentation on Fantasia and show you how I first suspected that she was a puppy mill dog. I can also provide the email that I got from the person who looked into the reports from Fantasia's “breeder”.
 

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Originally posted by FannyMay@Nov 21 2004, 05:00 PM
I have read a few posts about puppy mills and I wanted to share my story about Fantasia, my three year old (in Feb.) Maltese.  .......
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Thank you so much for sharing your story..... We have a new section on this site under the Breeder's category "Puppmills/Brokers/Home/Breeders". You may want to see if Joe can move this post there. We are hoping that by having a separate category that those who come on this site looking for information will be sure to read all of the posts. Your post is just the type of information that needs to be in that section. Thank you again for taking so much time to educate the public on the situation of pet stores and puppymills, etc.
 

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Oh sorry, I haven't really checked out all the places on this forum yet since I am so new to it.
Joe you can move this post. I didn't know where to put it. Thanks again.
 

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OMG..... I'm so sorry about Fantasia's health.
It breaks my heart to hear your little one is going through all this. Thank you for your story and I hope we can make a difference.
 

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I'm sorry for all that you are going through. This is exactly the kind of story that needs to be told. No one is trying to make people, like you, who purchased from pet stores or brokers feel bad. Maybe the person who comes here before they buy a Maltese will get some useful information to help them make a decision about where to look for a well bred, healthy Maltese puppy.
 

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Awww poor Fantasia at least you got her because i am sure i alot of people hearing those health proublems about there new dog wouldnt have kept it but it seems that you are ready to deal with the proublems as they come which i think it really great. Out of curiosity all of those proublems you mentioned are they affecting her now or are they more like things that are gonna cause her proublems later? i know you said he knees wernt bothering her now
 

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Thanks everyone for the kind words. I don't know if this is related but Fantasia is also really frail when it comes to vaccinations and other things like that. She always has a reaction to vaccinations so we have decided to only get her rabies once every three years. She got way too many vaccinations when she was a pup. She also has a tender belly. We aren't sure why but we associate it with her spay. She never had a problem with her belly until after her spay.
The only thing that really bothers her is her belly and sometimes her back. We give her smithacone when she gets gassy and I give her back rubs when her back is bothering her. I can always tell when she's not feeling well because she acts lathargic. It's usually either her back or her belly. She loves belly rubs.
Her left knee pops out whenever I pick her up but not that I have noticed when she walks. I know her knees will be a big problem when she gets older but for now she's fine.
Her favorite thing to do is dance but the vet says it probably hurts her back to do this so we shouldn't let her. It's really hard to stop her from doing what she loves to do though. My husband built her stairs up to our bed but she won't use steps to get up onto the couch though. The vet says she will need ramps to everything when she gets older. I hope she will use a ramp to the couch when she gets older. She just jumps right up to the couch whenever she wants.
Anyway thanks again for the kind words. I love this forum!
 

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Originally posted by FannyMay@Nov 21 2004, 09:31 PM
Thanks everyone for the kind words.  I don't know if this is related but Fantasia is also really frail when it comes to vaccinations and other things like that.  She always has a reaction to vaccinations so we have decided to only get her rabies once every three years.  She got way too many vaccinations when she was a pup.  She also has a tender belly.  We aren't sure why but we associate it with her spay.  She never had a problem with her belly until after her spay. 
The only thing that really bothers her is her belly and sometimes her back.  We give her smithacone when she gets gassy and I give her back rubs when her back is bothering her.  I can always tell when she's not feeling well because she acts lathargic.  It's usually either her back or her belly.  She loves belly rubs. 
  Her left knee pops out whenever I pick her up but not that I have noticed when she walks.  I know her knees will be a big problem when she gets older but for now she's fine. 
Her favorite thing to do is dance but the vet says it probably hurts her back to do this so we shouldn't let her.  It's really hard to stop her from doing what she loves to do though.  My husband built her stairs up to our bed but she won't use steps to get up onto the couch though.  The vet says she will need ramps to everything when she gets older.  I hope she will use a ramp to the couch when she gets older.  She just jumps right up to the couch whenever she wants. 
Anyway thanks again for the kind words.  I love this forum!

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Bless your heart...... you are such a good mommy... she is so very lucky! My first Maltese, Rosebud, came from a home breeder and both dam and sire were from pet stores so she was a pet store puppy in a roundabout way. She had a zillion health problems.... I thought it was normal for the breed... I didn't know otherwise!
It is so sad what these babies have to go through because of irresponsible breeders who care more for the money than the health of the dogs they bring in to this world... oh well... I better not get on my soap box!!!
 

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If I haven't welcomed you here already, then nothing but Warm welcomes for you and your family.


Regardless of the situation, I'm totally glad that Fantasia is able to be loved by people who are very capable. 1000 XOXOXOXO's and
to you all from ButterCloud and Noriko!

And also, my baby ButterCloud has a grade 4 patella. SM was and still is a great support system when it comes to this problem and the other 100's of issues I've posted here.
 

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As I sit here with one of my beloved friends on my lap (tears rolling down my cheeks) after reading your story, I can not comprehend the cruelty of some people. Thank you for sharing what's becoming an all too familiar story with us. The two of you have a rough road ahead of you. I'll keep you in my prayers.
 

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Jodi, even though I know Fantasia's story, it touches me every time I hear it. She reminds me so much of my Lady who, as you know, also came from a pet store and also has multiple health issues. Not only diabetes and epilepsy, my vet also told me that Lady has the bones of a much older dog. She had xrays last year which showed arithritis all over her then 7&1/2 year old body. My vet said that "if she were human, she would have to be ina nursing home" she was in such pain.

I am happy to say her pain is managable, but she has to take steriods daily, in addition to several joint supplements. Long term steriod use will eventually take it's toll, but it's a quality of life and comfort issue.

I know this is a controversial subject here, but I think it is so important for those of us who are living with the results of buying a pet shop puppy (or in my case, adopting one) to share their experiences. As Jodi expresses so well, it is heartbreaking to love a little creature who has to suffer and be in pain through no fault of their own, just to line the pockets of millers and brokers.
 

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Thanks Marj -
I appreciate you thinking about Fantasia in that way. I don't understand it because your Lady has WAY more things wrong with her than my little Fantasia does. But it has always touched me that you care about Fantasia as much as you do. I think about you and Lady all the time as well and think that we have a special bond between our two dogs. I just hope that together we can make a difference in these dogs’ lives and in the lives of other dogs like them.
DMZ -
Right now money is an issue or I would get her knees operated on even though the vet has not told us to have it done yet. I know that it's better to get it done when they are younger because they bounce back so much easier from the surgery and the knee sets better when they are younger.
Honestly I don't even know if I would get the surgery right now if I had the money. I know how badly Fantasia does at the vet's, after surgery, and with medications. I don't know if I could bear putting her through all that. I guess I am hoping for the best when she gets older. Hoping and praying that her keens won't get any worse and that she can live a good long life without the surgery. I know God can do all things, so with a little prayer I hope that Fantasia won't ever need this surgery. If the vet ever says that she will need the surgery I know we will have the money to pay for it, just not right now. If she will ever need it, it won’t be till years from now, she’s still young.
 

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I found the information that was given to me about Fantasia's "breeder" and I wanted to share it. Some of you have seen this posted on AMR/PMR. I requested information in my husband's name, thus the Hi John. The site I used to get this information was No puppy mills And keep in mind we bought Fantasia in NY.

I got back a reply from that link.

Hi John,
Below is the information I have on Kerr Kennels. I highly encourage you
to use the link below to order inspection records on this kennel.
Normally USDA only inspects a kennel once a year. The high volume of
inspections in a short time indicate serious problems at this facility.
Please let me know what you find out when you get the inspection reports.
She is also a very large kennel, with over 200 dogs and puppies present at
each inspection.

Kim Townsend

http://www.nopuppymills.com/
Dedication to Education
******************************

If your puppy came from a licensed breeder, you can order copies of the
inspection reports by visiting this webpage:
http://www.nopuppymills.com/kennels/oir.htm

Broker Info:

No data on file.

Breeder Info:

USDA: 48-B-0040
Name: Kerr, Margaret & Berkley
DBA:
Address: 10340 Nw 46th St
City: Silver Lake
State: KS
Zip: 66539

Inspection Info:
Breeder:

Animal Inventory
Date Specie Count
9/1/1999 Adult Dog 196
9/1/1999 Puppy 73
1/19/2000 Adult Dog 181
1/19/2000 Puppy 62
5/22/2000 Adult Dog 180
5/22/2000 Puppy 57
7/24/2000 Adult Dog 173
7/24/2000 Puppy 86

Site Name: KERR KENNELS
Inspection Date: 25-JUN-03

Site Name: KERR KENNELS
Inspection Date: 07-JAN-03

Site Name: KERR KENNELS
Inspection Date: 25-JUN-02

Site Name: KERR KENNELS
Inspection Date: 13-DEC-01

Ordering USDA Inspection Reports

The Freedom of Information Act allows you to view public records, which include licensees under the Animal Welfare Act. If you would like to order copies of your puppy's breeder's USDA inspections, you may do so by clicking on this link:

https://foia.aphis.usda.gov/request.html (note: You may get a security warning when entering this site. This is standard procedure when entering a secure website. It is okay to click 'yes' to continue if you get a warning)

Don't let the box about the fees discourage you. I have ordered many inspection reports and have never been charged a fee. I don't know anyone that has ever ordered them and been charged anything. The reports normally take about 2 weeks to get back.

Your request should specifically ask for all inspection reports for the last 3 years, to include photographs and administrative action that may have been taken. Include all the breeders licensing information, such as name, address, USDA number, city, state and zip.

If you want to send the request in by regular mail, CLICK HERE to print a form that you will be sending to USDA (Don't send this form to me!) for more information on your breeder/broker. Mail your request to:

USDA, APHIS, LPA, FOIA
4700 River Road Unit 50
Riverdale, MD 20737-1232



I know he said not to let the fees discourage me but it said from $25-$99 and I don't want to chance it so I am not going to order inspection records. I just wanted to show everyone this. Looks like Fantasia really is a puppy mill dog (I know I thought it before but it's really sad when you find out it's really true). Thanks for the link.
 
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