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Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

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Mylittlepony
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Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:59 pm

Hi guys. I'm getting my first fox this year and need some advice. I put my deposit down with a breeder two months ago and now I'm having second thoughts. I'm not sure if I should say who the breeder is because I don't want to defame them, especially since it seems they don't have much of a reputation (very unknown), even though they've supposedly been breeding for many years. I am not sure if they are a good or bad breeder as I have not yet gotten an animal from them so I do not want to give the idea that they are bad if they really aren't. Here are my reasons for having second thoughts:

1. I've only found two "testimonials" for this breeder, and one was just a couple of sentences from someone saying they bought a fox from this person. The other was from someone who bought a skunk from this breeder and were quite happy with it.
2. I emailed the breeder with some questions on the afternoon of the 26th and have not yet received a response, yet the email sent before that one received a response in less than 5 minutes. Along with this, the breeder seems sort of irritated with me when I email them. I know it's just text, but it seems like there is often an irritated tone to it. Responses are always very short.
3. The breeder says I can pick up the kit whenever I would like, allowing buyers to take the kits before they are weaned and bottle raise the kits themselves. I don't have bottle feeding experience. They did not ask if I did.
4. The breeder says they ship kits at 5-6 weeks of age. Is this even possible considering the USDA regulation requiring animals to be at least 8 weeks old upon shipment?
5. Maybe some will see this as nitpicky (though I definitely do not) but the breeder has some violations in their USDA history thing including one visit with a violation of several (not just a few, but several) pens/cages with a build up of feces. I didn't think to look this up until AFTER I put down a deposit.

I know I should have researched further before putting down the deposit. That was my mistake. It seems that they are legit as they have a USDA license and records mentioning animals and at least two buyers that I've found online. But the shipping at 5-6 weeks thing is a red flag indicating that they would not be legit, unless I am wrong about the USDA regulation. Also, I paid my deposit with Paypal, which is another indication that the breeder is legit.

Not really sure what to think. The breeder said that the deposit is non-refundable so no matter what, I'll lose that. Should I just forget about it and get my kit from someone else? And if I should stick with this breeder, should I get the kit early and hand rear it myself to make sure it gets socialized properly?
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Alynn
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Alynn » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:13 pm

5-6 weeks is definitely a red flag. Kits cannot be shipped, at least not by airlines, until they are 8 weeks old.

It's definitely not nitpicky to check their USDA record.

I don't know what you could do now that you've put the deposit down, perhaps someone here would have an idea. Other than that, you could just keep on and keep track of anything suspicious in case you don't receive a kit or the kit is otherwise unhealthy.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:37 pm

8 weeks is the restriction on dogs and cats by USDA. Foxes are not dogs they fall under exotic/wild animals. The regulation on them is that they need to be weaned before being shipped(unless shipped with their mother). One on bottle can not be shipped. Tamandua do not wean until 8-12 months. If you shipped one at 8 weeks you would kill it. This is why they do not have a set date for exotic young can be shipped but say they need to be weaned. If she has them taking food from a bowl and off a bottle they are weaned and can be shipped. Now if 5-6 weeks is safe for red fox kits I can't say.

I wouldn't be too concerned about a couple violations. While my inspector has always been fair (so I have none) some are not. They may consider a few piles of poop accumulation but if you cleaned in the morning two foxes will have several piles of poop by afternoon. It is still something worth considering though. An inspector for the old petting zoo I worked with almost got a violation for having a calf that wasn't on record, it was a black and white goat. That inspector had it out for them ever since, cuz she looked stupid. But they always proved all of her tries at violations wrong so managed to never get one. Many people aren't as aggressive. More than a couple violations and I'd worry more.

I wouldn't take short answers badly. Many people do not communicate well by email and text. It's really only been a couple days. Just because the last reply was fast doesn't mean she is always at the computer especially with litters to feed. Have you ever talked to her on the phone? If you don't have a phone number for her then I'd worry a bit more.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:06 pm

Hi thank you for the quick answers.

Ok, I'm glad I was wrong about the USDA 8 week rule.

The USDA reports show 2 different inspections with violations in four years. The first one is the one I mentioned and the other is fairly minor. I thought USDA might make it sound worse than it is and I have heard they are strict but I was not sure.

I know they are probably busy so maybe the short answers are a reflection of that rather than irritation at my contacting them. I guess I read into things too much. I don't know if there are any litters to feed yet, though, as at least there have been no fox kits born yet. I don't have the phone number but I could probably find it somewhere online.

What about my picking up the kit and bottle raising it myself? I'd really like to do that but I am not sure how difficult it is. I've read things online trying to learn as much about it as I can, though of course that is no substitute for hands-on experience. If I were to do this (and even if I were not to), what sort of health guarantee should I expect the breeder to offer? I have not asked and they have not mentioned one at all.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby TamanduaGirl » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:42 pm

Finishing the bottle feeding is good. Red aren't difficult to bottle like fennecs are. I'd get it just a little before it's going to wean so you get a week or two of bottle feeding but don't have to deal with it while it's still tiny and delicate. When you pick it up she can show you how and give you the schedule it's on.

Okay maybe she doesn't have litters. I'm not sure when skunks breed but she could be busy with other things. I know we aren't talking about Mandy but for example she works full time, busy college schedule and breeds many species.

Oh another plus of bottling yourself is it can help with potty training. You stimulate them to go after eating. If you do this every time in the littler box it helps to build the habit of going there.

I'm not so sure on a guarantee. Will depend some if that state has any sort of pet lemon law that would also apply to exotics. A lot of times you only get a guarantee it arrives alive some breeders will be more responsible. If something went wrong in the first few weeks you'd need vet proof the problem can be sourced back to before you got it. If it dies you will need a necropsy done to show this.

You will want to be extra careful not to expose him to anything till he's old enough to get his shots. Put your shoes up soon as you walk in the door. You can carry things like parvo and distemper in on your shoes.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Wed Mar 28, 2012 3:58 pm

I am not sure if the breeder pulls before the eyes are open so that is why I was thinking of taking it at 2 weeks or so and doing it myself but I don't want to do that if I'm likely to mess up badly enough to kill it.

Well, they might have litters from other species now. I am not sure. They breed more than foxes.

I didn't know about the bottle feeding and potty training thing going together. Thanks for telling me that, I'll try and remember it among all of the other important things to remember as a first time fox parent.

I'm not too worried about the guarantee but I thought I should ask. I will talk to them about it when I hear back from them. A necropsoy would probably cost more than the purchase price of the animal anyway so it wouldn't be worth it if it died.

Parvo and distemper are scary. I will remember to be careful about that. Thank you.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Ash » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:26 pm

I see you're from Illinois. So am I. What part are you in? If you don't feel comfortable, you don't need to say.
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Mylittlepony
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:00 pm

Hi everyone. Ash: I am from McHenry County. I have not heard from the breeder yet. I contacted them late March and have contacted them another time as well since then. I have been very polite and friendly so I am not sure why they are ignoring me. I had questions in my inquiry late March and they did not answer them. They said they would contact me when kits are born and that they would be born early April. Maybe I should not be bothered by this, but I am. Thoughts?
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby caninesrock » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:04 pm

Mylittlepony wrote:Hi everyone. Ash: I am from McHenry County. I have not heard from the breeder yet. I contacted them late March and have contacted them another time as well since then. I have been very polite and friendly so I am not sure why they are ignoring me. I had questions in my inquiry late March and they did not answer them. They said they would contact me when kits are born and that they would be born early April. Maybe I should not be bothered by this, but I am. Thoughts?

Did you already pay a deposit? If so, sounds like they might have been a scammer that scammed you and wasn't really planning on selling any fox kits.
Exotic Wishlist: high content wolfdog or wolf,low to mid content wolfdog, Coyote, Coydog, Black-backed Jackal, New Guinea Singing Dog, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Mink, Raccoon, Coati,and Kinkajou.

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Mylittlepony
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Fri Apr 13, 2012 4:13 pm

Yes, months ago with paypal. I know they have animals because I've seen their USDA inspection reports. I'm wondering if maybe something happened, like maybe their internet is out or something else keeping them from checking their email. Hopefully nothing bad.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby caninesrock » Fri Apr 13, 2012 7:52 pm

Mylittlepony wrote:Yes, months ago with paypal. I know they have animals because I've seen their USDA inspection reports. I'm wondering if maybe something happened, like maybe their internet is out or something else keeping them from checking their email. Hopefully nothing bad.

Well,they might have animals but maybe they weren't really planning on selling them. There was this one lady that kept putting up adds about selling her fox(which she actually did own),but she never planned on actually selling the fox and just used the add to scam the people out of money. It was a topic on here somewhere but I don't remember where.

Also, paypal payment sounds really fishy too. If you're going to buy from any breeder, make sure they let you see the parents and offspring(if they have any litters at the time) in person before giving them a deposit. This helps to weed out alot of the scammers.
Exotic Wishlist: high content wolfdog or wolf,low to mid content wolfdog, Coyote, Coydog, Black-backed Jackal, New Guinea Singing Dog, Red Fox, Gray Fox, Mink, Raccoon, Coati,and Kinkajou.

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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:01 pm

That is more concerning but yeah it might be something befell them rather than having meant to scam, or they could just be a lazy sort and not bothering to reply anything till the litter is born. It could be any time from now on through May I believe.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Fri Apr 13, 2012 9:06 pm

They certainly have a lot of animals if they're not interested in breeding and selling! I've found a few testimonials in the past where people have recommended this breeder so they are seemingly legit, which makes it all more confusing. I called them today and left a voicemail. No response yet, obviously.

CaninesRock wrote:Also, paypal payment sounds really fishy too. If you're going to buy from any breeder, make sure they let you see the parents and offspring(if they have any litters at the time) in person before giving them a deposit. This helps to weed out alot of the scammers.

I assumed that most people placed deposits with breeders long-distance without ever seeing the parents, then had kits shipped or picked them up.

TamanduaGirl wrote:That is more concerning but yeah it might be something befell them rather than having meant to scam, or they could just be a lazy sort and not bothering to reply anything till the litter is born. It could be any time from now on through May I believe.

I don't think the laziness is acceptable. I'm a customer and I have given them my money. If I have questions about what I'm buying, I think they should answer them if they want me to buy from them again and give a good review to others. After waiting two weeks for a response to my questions, it seems like a safe assumption to make that they aren't interested in my business. I guess if they want to act like that, they can, it's their choice, but they should also give me a refund if they're not going to cooperate.

If I don't hear from them within a week or something, would it be acceptable to file a claim on PayPal to get my deposit back?
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby TamanduaGirl » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:29 pm

I suppose so. I know I'd not be happy if it were me. Paypal is good about siding with the buyer most of the time.

Even if they claim a deposit is nonrefundable that's not binding. A deposit is just that, a portion of payment for goods or services. If you do not get those goods and services then the deposit must be returned.

Now a "reservation fee" can be nonrefundable because you paid to reserve a spot and then backed out.

Above advice originally came from a lawyer informing a friend that her business needed to take reservation fees to be safe instead of deposits.

Even if it had been a "reservation fee" I think in this case you could still be in the right to get it back because they are not fulfilling their side.
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Re: Red flags with a breeder I've placed a deposit with

Postby Mylittlepony » Fri Apr 13, 2012 10:48 pm

I was thinking about it and wondered if the transaction was too old to file a dispute...and it is. So no matter what, I can't get my money back because it was too long ago. I find that to be very unfair and I really hope it doesn't come to that. If I happen to never hear from them again, I may as well release their name so others can avoid buying from them.

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