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Castle Pines Jack Russell Terrierschanged deposit puppy and raised price after deposit was taken

I contacted Castle Pines JRT, in writing, via email, looking for a show quality puppy.

I followed my email with a phone conversation where Susie Mullins, owner of Castle Pines JRT, presented me with several litters of puppies she had available and told me that ALL the puppies were priced at $600.

I told her we were looking for a puppy with show and hunting potenial that we could breed later on. I also told her it was going to be a family type dog and that we wanted a dog to help keep our mice population down around our farm like our previous Jack Russell did.

She said we had come to the right place and that her husband was a JRTCA hunting judge and that they knew what they were doing and had been in the JRTCA business for years.

After she discussed several of her available litters of puppies she had that time, I decided we were interested in obtaining a pup from a litter that had two black and white pups available, a male and a female. These pups were supposed to be genetically clear for a serious eye disease-- PLL, and they were black and white which is my favorite color type.

I told Susie I liked the male's markings better but that we really wanted to get a female that we could show, hunt and breed in the future. She then told me how the black and white female would be an excellent choice because she was from a large litter, she was PLL normal and that she most certainly had show potential.

Susie then presented me with other options of buying a male in addition to the female. However, the dogs from the other litters were possible carriers of the PLL defect which cause dogs to lose their sight.

I told her that since we were wanting to breed our dog we only wanted one that did not possess the gene for the PLL defect. Fortunately there is genetic testing available . I told Susie we may be interested in purchasing 2 dogs from her but again we were only interested in looking at dogs that were not carriers of the genetic defect because we were planning on breeding.

I asked Susie which of the two, AVAILABLE, black and white puppies she thought would suit us best and she said she liked them both and that they both would work for showing and breeding as long as we did not have unreal expectations of their show success. She said she liked the male's head better at this stage in the game and that he might make a better dog. She said that if we bought the female she had another super nice male from another litter that she thought would cross well with her. However, he was a possible carrier for the PLL disease. I told her we that if we could have him tested, at our expense, we would consider him.

I told Susie we really wanted to start with a female but that I liked the male too but was uncertain of my husband's feelings of us getting a male.

I told her I could not make a decision without talking to my husband first and that I would have to get back with her after I had the chance to visit more with my husband. At that time she suggested that I go ahead and place a $100 deposit to hold one of those two puppies and to go ahead and place the deposit. She said to let her know the next day which one we had decided on. She reassured me there was no one else looking at either of the pups and not to worry to just let her know which one we wanted the next day.

I immediately placed a deposit through Paypal and was under the understanding I was purchasing a puppy with show potential, full registration rights for breeding and that I just had to let her know which puppy we decided on the next day.

My husband and I decided upon the female because we felt that she might make have a better disposition as we have two small children.

First thing the next morning when I sat down to email her our decision, I discovered that she had emailed me stating that they had decided to keep the female and that my deposit would be applied to the male.

We were heartbroke because we were afraid to bring a male dog of the hunting caliber Susie had candidly described to me into our home with our small children.

Fot those people who not familiar with what these dogs are bred to do, they are bred to hunt in ground animals. Susie had described to me in vivid detail about how when these dogs are hunting that the mother possums feed their young to the dogs to save theirselves prior to the dogs killing them and that fox were different in that they defended their young until the end. I must admit that I was a little nervous about getting a male at all just because it seemed to me that a male might be more aggressive.

I have one year and three year old chilren and I planned on bringing this dog into my family.

Yes, we wanted to hunt with our dog, but we wanted to do sanctioned events where animals were not killed and we had no intentions beefing our dogs hunting drive by feeding him live possum babies if you know what I mean...

I told Susie in almost every email for the first 2 weeks after we placed our deposit that we really wanted the black and white female. She ignored my comments.

After a few weeks went by, we realized that the black and white female was not going to become available. I contacted Susie telling her that we were not comfortable with the male puppy she assigned to us and that we were going to pass on him. I asked for my deposit back and she said no.

She also said in phone conversation (in a message she left on my ANSWERING MACHINE, ) that is in the JRTCA's Breeder's Code of Ethics that breeder's have the first right of refusal on any puppy even if you already have placed a deposit on it. So in other words, if you place a deposit on a puppy from them and they decide to keep it, they are saying that they can! I contacted JRTCA and questioned them about the Breeder's Code of Ethics and her statements are false.

She called me and asked that we reconsider taking the male dog. She said that male JRT's actually had better dispositions than the females and that we should reconsider and go through with purchasing the male she assigned us.

We did reconsider and decided to take her advice.

The next morning a received a purchase contract for a "pet quality" puppy from Susie requesting that I sign the contract and pay the balance of $500 due for my puppy.

I was alarmed to recieve a pet quality contract because on the the pet quality dogs purchased from Castle Pines JRT they do not offer a signed stud certificate. Without a signed stud certificate it is not possible to register their offspring with the breed association.

I contacted Susie with regards to the contract I received and she stated that I would have to pay another $900 if I wanted my pet quality dog to become a show quality potential dog that's offspring would be eligible for registration.


1. Castle Pines JRT took our deposit and then wouldn't let us have the dog we wanted claiming she had a breeder's first right of refusal according to the JRTCA Breeder's Code of Ethics

2. CASTLE PINES JRT then raised the price by $900 to obtain full registration on our dog

I wanted to share my troubles with Susie Mullins of Castle Pines Jack Russell Terriers because I hope to prevent someone else from being misled the way I was.

If anyone else does have problems. Please contact Paypal if you placed a deposit through them so they can keep track of Castle Pines Jack Russell Terrier complaints. I would also recommend contacting the Colorado Attorney General's office in addition to the Better Business Bureau. I will be filing complaints with all.

Angela M. in Columbia, MO.


  • An
    Angela in Columbia, MO Feb 21, 2012

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with Susie Mullins of Castle Pines Jack Russell Terriers. Maybe potential buyers will search for this breeder online and come across our personal dealings with them. I have since made purchase of another dog and several of the breeder's (which incidently show on a national level alongside the Mullins, ) I visited with in my hunt for a top quality Jack Russell Terrier shared some of their bad experiences with Castle Pines Jack Russell Terriers. Deb, so sorry for your loss. Please feel free to email me if I can be of any help. My next experience with a breeder was wonderful and I would be more than happy to share with you the details of my purchase and their contact information...

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  • De
    Deb Shaffer Feb 03, 2012

    I too had the unfortunate experience of dealing with this dishonest breeder! After losing my JRT of 7 years (he was hit by a car), I scoured the internet in search of another JRT. I came upon Castle Pines Jack Russell Terriers, and made contact with Susie Mullins. I chose a puppy that she had listed on the internet, and told her that I wanted to take the dog to some shows to "see what he could do". As I was in the Colorado area on business, I contacted Susie and asked her if I could stop by and visit. It was after this visit that I told Susie that I definitely wanted to purchase the puppy from her. On November 13, 2009, Castle Pines Hogan was sent to me from Susie. The paperwork that arrived was incomplete and very vague. The contract did not state whether the puppy was of show quality or pet quality, and the spay/neuter contract was not completed. When Hogan first arrived, he seemed clumsy, but I figured that it was that he was a puppy, and that it was somewhat normal. However, within a month, Hogan became more clumsy, and started stumbling and falling. He would not jump onto the sofa, or go down the stairs. There were several phone conversations to the breeder in which she reassured me that this was normal behavior, as he was "figuring his body out". Hogan continued to decline, and was evaluated by my local vet, who suggested some xrays and blood tests. Instead, I asked for a neurology consult, and made an appointment for him to be evaluated. Then, before I could get Hogan in to see the neurologist, he suffered a grand mal seizure. He was immediately taken to the vet clinic, where he was observed over several days by the neurologist. He was discharged on phenobarbital to control the seizures, and the diagnosis of Genetic Ataxia was given by the neurologist. When I contacted Susie with this information, she became very angry, and suggested he had been "hit by a car", "dropped on his head" or "injured by a dog that he played with every day". When I asked for my money back, Susie refused, and told me, "Breeders don't refund money". Instead, she if I would send Hogan back to her (at my expense), that once she confirmed that Hogan had a "genetic disease" (which meant testing him after death), then she would send me another puppy (of her choosing), and again, at my expense. I told her that this was not a viable option, as I had been told that Hogan's condition would worsen if he was flown anywhere. He also could not have any surgery, as this would speed the process of the disease. Therefore, I could not get Hogan neutered, which was a requirement if I wished to have him recorded by the JRTCA, something that was guaranteed by the breeder when Hogan was purchased. Several attempts were made to contact Susie Mullins to keep her informed of Hogan's progress, but phone calls were not answered, messages were not returned, and emails were not answered. Hogan continued to rapidly decline, and his quality of life diminished, until, on November 15, 2010, he was euthanized, and his tissues were extracted and sent to the University of Missouri for definitive diagnosis. Once the diagnosis of Genetic Spinocerebellar Ataxia was made, another attempt to contact Susie Mullins was made. Again, it was ignored. At this point, I proceeded to take her to Small Claims Court in Colorado. Her behavior was disgusting. She was very ignorant and cocky, giving the "thumbs up" to her "peanut gallery" of friends and family. Bottom line, I lost the battle in court, however, I feel that I won the war, as Hogan's pedigree is now posted on the web for all to see. I feel this so called "breeder" is a very dishonest person, who should not have the permission to affiliate at all with the JRTCA!

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  • An
    Angela in Columbia, MO Aug 31, 2011

    I agree with you Zachary about the price. Yes, I should have visited the breeder's home prior to making my purchase. I have 2 small children and it's hard to shop cross country with my parental responsibilities. We were not able to find show quality stock in our area and have been looking since June.

    These breeders were supposed to be reputable. I am also in agreement with you entirely about novice breeders too. You are exactly right and I appreciate your comments.

    I questioned Susie Mullins with regards to her pricing of $600 on her dogs because I had been looking at other dogs that were priced a lot higher. Susie told me she had 3 litters available she needed to place. She said she knew other breeders got $1200 + for their show quality pups. She said she, simply, in her area, she was not able to get that.

    After I contacted Paypal regarding this matter, I was told that I would be reimbursed for the loss of deposit.


    I am posting on here to warn people of how Castle Pines Jack Russell Terriers does business.

    If Castle Pines JRT was going to sell me a pet quality dog with limited registration, that should have been forthright from the start in writing. As my above posting states, I contacted them in writing from the get go stating I wanted a "SHOW QUALITY" dog.

    There should have been absolutlely NO confusion of what type of dog I was interested in purchasing and there should have been no confusion about what type of dog they were selling me.

    They did not abide by the JRTCA code of ethics by their failure to not keep the sales agreement CLEAR and CONCISE.

    Susie Mullins represented to me that I was getting a pup with show potential that was eligible for full registration. She was even trying to sell me a breeding pair of dogs from her available puppies. When I questioned her on whether the two dogs were too closely related to register their offspring with JRTCA she calculated their inbreeding percentage for me. She fully led me to believe I was purchasing registerable stock!

    I am in total agreement with you about leaving breeding dogs to people who know what they are doing. I had full plans on showing my dogs at a National level. I owned another intact female JRTCA for 12 years that I never bred. I was busy making a living training horses and due to the fact that I was unable to show my female JRTCA, we left her maiden.

    I have an animal science degree and have sat through several companion animal classes that talked about pet overpopulation and puppy mill operations. The state I live in is notorious for puppy mills. The only registerable Jack Russell Terriers I was finding in my local search for one was from those types of places. And the few reputable breeders we found in our state did not have any available of the caliber I was looking for.

    I judged on a college judging team and upon college graduation, I was a national horse breed judge. In addition, I was an assistant coach for collegiate horse judging team as well. I am not just someone looking to start up a puppy mill. I am someone with a background in animal science that wanted to go at showing and hunting JRTCA dogs on a national level.

    Without having full registration on my dog I do not believe I can show at my desired level and have a dog that can produce registerable offspring.

    With regards to cost, I have showed horses and am fully aware of what it cost to show dogs. It actually costs a lot less than horses.

    I much appreciate your comment and thank you for your time!

    0 Votes

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