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Recently put a down payment on a GS puppy. Lady said the female was pregnant and that she would call us when the puppies were ready. Specifically told us not to call her and "bug her", she would contact us. 2 months later and we cards in and called. She said the female was never pregnant. We did some digging and it looks like she has been taking deposits from people and never actually giving anyone puppies for years now. I called for a refund, of course she said no and that it's in out contract that we can't get a refund. My question is, since this is clearly fraud, we should be able to get our money, right? Also, since no "goods" were ever exchanged, we were never given a puppy, the contract would be void essentially and we should be able to get our money back.. can I report her to the BBB?
What can we do? Anyone ever deal with this? Please help.
 

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Call the BBB, and I would file in small claims court.
 

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I agree with Ksotto.

This is a learning experience, though. You should never put down a deposit until the litter is born, you have done extensive research, met the breeder, etc. Also, I would have been running FAR away when the breeder said, "Don't call me." Like.... what? What happened to having good, open communication with your breeder? If you can't get your money back, at least you can learn an important lesson. It sucks though. :/

Did you look at reviews online for this breeder? Talk with owners of her previous pups? That would be a good step to avoid this next time.
 

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Did you look at reviews online for this breeder? Talk with owners of her previous pups? That would be a good step to avoid this next time.
I wish I had been with my fiance's parents when they signed this "contract". Because when they told me that I instantly knew it was BS. And yes, I Google searched them and 95% of the reviews said they put down money and never recieved a dog. Some people are posting after waiting YEARS. There has to be SOME way to make her give us our money back.
 

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Yes, you should never put down a deposit until puppies are on the ground, but you should have at least six deposits before you breed your bitch.

It is possible for a breeding to take place and the bitch to be empty. It is even possible to confirm pregnancy and have a bitch resorb puppies. Some breeders will not take deposits until pups are born. Others want to ensure homes for their pups and want commitments before putting dogs together.

And then, there are scoundrels out there that will try to separate you from your money.

I prefer to give breeders the benefit of the doubt. Reread your agreement about a non-refundable deposit, what happens in the event of no puppies. Contact the breeder again and ask when a future litter is likely. Also ask how many deposits are already on the litter.

If she responds, abide by your agreement. If not, go to the BBB.
 

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Yes, you should never put down a deposit until puppies are on the ground, but you should have at least six deposits before you breed your bitch.

It is possible for a breeding to take place and the bitch to be empty. It is even possible to confirm pregnancy and have a bitch resorb puppies. Some breeders will not take deposits until pups are born. Others want to ensure homes for their pups and want commitments before putting dogs together.

And then, there are scoundrels out there that will try to separate you from your money.

I prefer to give breeders the benefit of the doubt. Reread your agreement about a non-refundable deposit, what happens in the event of no puppies. Contact the breeder again and ask when a future litter is likely. Also ask how many deposits are already on the litter.

If she responds, abide by your agreement. If not, go to the BBB.
There isn't anything in the contract that says anything about when or if there are or aren't puppies. It just says we paid and next to that "non refundable". The reviews look like this has happened to Atleast 20 other people, and I didn't even get halfway thru the reviews... ?
 

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There isn't anything in the contract that says anything about when or if there are or aren't puppies. It just says we paid and next to that "non refundable". The reviews look like this has happened to Atleast 20 other people, and I didn't even get halfway thru the reviews... ?
Go to the BBB.

It is a learning moment. The time to look at reviews is before you put your money down on a puppy. Probably more important than whether puppies are on the ground.

What is the point of the deposit?

It is a contract between the buyer and the breeder. Both sides have to gain by it, for it to be a valid contract. The buyer is ensured a puppy, that if puppies are available, then he is secured his position in line to get one. This is why you ask how many other deposits do you have. If they have 4 deposits and 4 puppies are born, and your the fifth, then you wait.

The breeder is ensured a buyer for his puppy. He gets the money, which is part of the purchase price. And if the buyer evaporates (happens all the time without the incentive of losing your money), then they get that deposit. The breeder has to then find another buyer for the puppy, after having turned down people, etc.

So if the buyer decides after paying the deposit that they want to go with another breeder, they lose their cash.

If the breeder cannot produce a puppy, then it becomes a little sticky. Many breeders say the deposit will be transferred to the next available litter, or to the next litter of the person's choice, but money is not returned. Why? Because you are dealing with live creatures, and pregnancy/whelping/puppies are never a guaranty. A LOT of people do not get this and it is generally spelled out in these agreements.

People in the US want deposits so I do it. But I wait until puppies are on the ground before taking any deposits. Then if I have 6 puppies and 6 deposits and a puppy dies, I return a deposit. I do not transfer to another litter.

I don't like deposits. If someone does not want a puppy from me after putting down a deposit, then I don't want to supply them with a puppy. And not giving the money back, because EVERYONE wants their non-defundable deposit back, well that gets you butt-hurt people who will then schmere your name, write negative reviews, tell their friends. It isn't worth it. Really.

I just got a visit from the dog warden because two people came to my house wanting puppies, when there was only one puppy available and the other person was mad because I would not sell the other to her. Explanations made no difference. She was mad. So I showed the dog warden my dogs. But for a deposit? No.

If I cannot produce a suitable puppy at 8 weeks, I give the deposit back.
If the person chooses not to buy my puppy because they found an older litter on craig's list for cheaper, then I should keep their deposit, but if they ask, I will give it back.

I prefer to go by word of mouth, and not do deposits.

Here's the thing, if you find out stuff about me that shakes your trust in me as a breeder and decide not to go with me, I am better off giving you the deposit back anyway. But if I find out stuff about you after accepting your deposit, and I decide I do not want to sell YOU a puppy, then I can be sued if I sell the puppy out from under you. If I found out that you have 30 dogs in 13 mud-filled pens, and no longer want one of my girls to land there, but I took your money, than I have to give you back your deposit AND that still may not be enough.

I had a friend in a similar situation, and she was sued. She had to buy back the puppy for twice what she sold it and then provide it to the first person with the deposit.

What is nice about having a litter a year or every two years, that a lot of them are spoken for before they are born, and they go to repeat customers, and I feel really good about where they are going. No deposits. I get to see pictures of the puppy with my older dog. And so on. Fewer folks come to the house, and leave all butt hurt because I had only one puppy to sell, but they wanted one.
 

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BBB wont do much especially if the person is not even Accredited with the BBB. BBB works with legitimate businesses that do not want public relations nightmares. A scammer will laugh at the BBB. Going to the BBB in your case is like writing a bad Yelp review.

Get a hold of the Attorney Generals office in your state or whatever state that person is in or do both. See if you can find others that will file a claim with the AG office as well. The AG is something no one wants to mess with. That is your best bet. Also file a police report, see what they say. A letter from the Attorney General will get someone sweating fast and freak them out.


BBB COMPLAINT PROCESS
Once the complaint is processed it is sent to the business, the business has 30 calendar days to respond.
When the response is received from the business, by the BBB, it is entered into our complaint management system and the case is closed.
A communications is sent (via mail or e-mail) to the customer documenting the business's response.
If the business disputes the claim, a referral is included in the communication directing the customer to a government agency that may be able to help resolve the issue.
A communication is also sent to the business confirming that the response has been received and the case is closed.
If the BBB does not receive a response after 15 calendar days a reminder communication with another copy of the complaint is sent to the business. The business has 15 calendar days to respond.
If the business does not respond within that time (30 calendar days), the complaint is closed and the BBB Business Review for that business indicates that the complaint went unanswered.
If the business is Accredited by BBB, it is required to respond to complaints presented by the BBB in accordance with BBB Accreditation Standards. If a BBB Accredited Business fails to answer the complaint their BBB Accreditation is subject to revocation.
The complaint is used to assist in developing the BBB Business Review on the business.
 

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Fraud can be dealt with in civil or criminal courts. I wouldn't count on the BBB to get your money back -- they're just a private resolution entity easily ignored by bad actors. They can post bad info for future consumers to find, but for those who don't go looking (as happened here), it doesn't stop the scammers. I'd deal with this a different way: see if local law enforcement can do anything about this, if there's a pattern of ongoing scamming.

For example, one might try contacting the DA's Office in the county where the breeder lives. They'll be able to tell you whether there's a criminal fraud statute in this state that might be in play (or not). A contract premised on a knowingly false representation (dog pregnancy that they knew wasn't real) that's part of a scheme to defraud could be criminal in some jurisdictions -- and the past conduct can sometimes help establish the false representation was not a mere mistake (circumstances can sometimes be enough to infer bad intent). If you have contact info for lots of others this happened to, and they contact the DA also, that may get their attention. If it crossed state lines, federal wire-fraud statutes (involving telephones & Internet) may possibly also be involved -- and the feds can sometimes add up every single instance and dollar scammed to make big fraud cases out of small instances of conduct (perhaps because some local agent took an interest and decided to see a case through).

Just be sure you are right and not misunderstanding the situation. False criminal reports are themselves a crime, so don't go off and do this if this is just a simple misunderstanding, not a scam.

Alternatively, if you go the civil route, you could do small claims court without a lawyer, or if you have that contact info for the others this happened to, a lawyer in the jurisdiction where she lives might possibly be able to join all the victims into one case -- one person suing for a $300 deposit may not be worth it for the lawyer to represent on contingency, but 100 people joined together suing for a $300 deposit might possibly be (especially if it's a fraud case with punitive damages available), if the statute of limitations hasn't run...assuming that the breeder isn't "judgment proof" (= flat broke, with no asset to pay a judgment), which he/she probably is. That's a conversation to have with a lawyer in whatever state she lives in.
 

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I would also contact AKC if these pups are supposedly AKC registered. I am NOT a fan of AKC, but in this care they may be able to suspend the breeder. That means non of her litters can be registered..but guess if there never is a litter....I would be the kind, again not a fan of most things aired on "social media" and let the world know who this breeder is and her scams. I would also let all local vets/training clubs know. And if she advertises in local papers/sites, I would let them know. They will often ban a person like that...And Pedigree Data base has a scammers section in their forum..any where you can help spread the word...and maybe after you try to get your money back.
 
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