Now I've been informed that "breeder bashing" is prohibited. I haven't mentioned the breeders name and that's not really the intent of this post. The intent is to relate a story, so you're aware to pay careful attention to health guarantees. They might not be worth the paper they're written on. And what are you going to do about it anyway?
Before purchasing a puppy 7 months ago, I did a LOT of research finding a reputable breeder, incl. searching *this* website. One breeder's name kept coming up time and time again. Fantastic website, facebook page and so on. Supposedly, one of the best breeders in all of North America says she and all the testimonials.
So based on this, I figure it MUST be worth dropping 2k on a puppy, right? So far so good. At six months of age, I look outside and he's having a seizure. My wife calls the vet immediately and we rush over there and are there within 5 minutes. The puppy is DOA.
I'm panic stricken and heartbroken as you can imagine but I remembered reading something in the contract about having a necropsy performed if the dog dies. So I asked the vet then and there who said, "Well, it's going to be expensive and the results will probably be inconclusive anyway." The vet agreed to let me leave the dog there until I got back to them. The vet added that based on my description of the event, "Probably a heart attack". Now that may or may not be true. I go home and the breeder's phone msg says she's away in Germany and won't be back for a week. So now, I don't know what to do as I couldn't get any direction from the breeder and leave a phone message. I called the vet back and said forget the autopsy. I mean after all, the dog is dead. I requested he be cremated and his ashes returned.
A week later, the breeder gets back and calls me. I tell her what happened and the first thing she asked me was, did I have a necropsy performed. I explained why I hadn't, as the vet had said the results would be inconclusive so why go to that expense? I have to go with what the vet tells me. She informed me that I SHOULD have taken the dog to such and such a place as the necropsy would only cost $100.00 and she added, "They won't rest until they find the cause of death." Well nowhere in the agreement does it say, "Should your dog die, take it here." And what was I supposed to do, keep the dog in my freezer until she got back a week later to tell me what I *should* have done?
She then tells me that she cannot "guarantee" the dog unless she knows how it died. Then she chastised me for leaving the dog "unsupervised" and laid a guilt trip on me, like it was my fault. Then she chastised me for not having the necropsy done because if it was a heart attack, she would need to know that for breeding purposes. Well criminy, if you want this necropsy done so badly, YOU pay for it! She seems to be forgetting something rather important here, the dog is actually dead. So I contacted several other breeders who are familiar with this dog necropsy place. They told me that collectively, they are personally familiar with 15-20 necropsies that have been performed there and not once, has the cause of death been determined. So for the sake of argument, let's say the dog ate some bad mushrooms out in the yard or something. Okay, so 2k for the puppy, $$$ for the Necropsy, $$$ for the lab tests, and $$$ for the return ferry ride to a place I didn't know existed.
This from the website: "My guarantee is fair, not everything can be outlined in a contract, each situation has to be dealt with individually."
I didn't even ask for a free dog!!! All I asked for, was based on the circumstances of her not being available to offer me direction and my having to go with what the vet here had told me, would she be prepared to at least meet me halfway on the price. "No". My case was dealt with "Individually" all right!
You know, my brother was found dead a couple of years ago in a cabin at Big Bear Lake Ca. When I got the call from the San Bernadino Sheriff's Dept informing me, the first question I asked was "How did he die?" Their answer, "We don't know the autopsy results were inconclusive." And that's on a human being.
I would suggest videotaping your questions to any breeder about their health guarantee and ask a million of them
My advice? Forget the health guarantee altogether and just enjoy the dog