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Down South Havanese & Bichon Frise / do not trust this 'breeder'

Review updated:

I am currently in the market for a Havanese. I ran across the 'breeder' and the website Down South Havanese and Bichon Frise. I've been told to ask the seller to please take a current picture with the puppy I'm interested in buying along with a piece of paper that has my name on it, in order to show that the breeder has the pup in close proximity and to see that the pup advertised currently looks like the puppy pictured on the site. I called Melissa and Melissa acted annoyed at my request and said she doesn't do the whole "paper with the name thing" because scammers can take that picture and use it themselves to falsely advertise her dogs. If I'm interested in a puppy, and she sent me a current pic with my name on a piece of paper beside the dog, how is that any different than the pics she's already posted of the pup on her site?? I'd think that having a name on a piece of paper beside the pup would actually DETER someone from reusing the pups pic! She said I was talking to her on the phone and that I can watch the videos on YouTube of the pups and that should suffice.
She sounds southern, and the videos seem like the pups are in a nice home and that they play with her children, etc, however, several of her YouTube videos were also done outside and you can hear lots of dogs barking in the background...LOTS of dogs. I'm thinking she quit doing the videos outside because you can hear all the barking and it doesn't sound like just a small breeding facility... There's a lot of dogs.
After several red flags I decided to Google "havanese breeder in arkansas named melissa". Sure enough, I've seen several complaints about a Melissa Basinger, Melissa Barnes and a Harold Barnes. These 3 are all connected. They were formerly Posh Puppies and/or Posh Puppy Love. She has fb pages for Posh Puppies and Down South Havanese and Bichon Frise. Her Facebook page doesn't allow you to leave reviews (why not??), And the Down South Havanese and Bichon Frise fb page has only been open for a month or 2. Why is that if you've been doing this for so many years? Probably because the business name keeps changing as people make complaints! I saw that a few people have made complaints about bad dealings with Posh Puppies/Posh Puppy Love, so I'm assuming that's one of the reasons she has branched off into a different name which is Down South Havanese and Bichon Frise. Also, despite the fact that her business name is Down South Havanese and Bichon Frise, her email address contains 'posh puppies' in the address, no mention of Down South. I saw a report of a sick puppy that died and she hasn't replaced or refunded the customer... She keeps giving excuses for why she hasn't yet. I've seen a complaint of a puppy being sick upon arrival and after lots of meds, the dog got a little better but eventually ended up having seizures, etc. I've seen a report that one woman said the dog she'd purchased was supposed to be a West Highland Terrior but it didn't look like one, so they did testing on it and it wasn't a pure bred dog and Melissa got angry when the woman questioned her about it. I know that she has claimed to breed Havanese and Bichon Frise for years and years, and maybe that's true, but she's also selling Yorkies, West Highland Terriors amd different mixtures of poodles(poos), in addition to those. It certainly smells of a puppy mill to me! We bought a standard poodle 2 years ago and we were invited to the breeders home to see the dogs parents, and their environment. From my understanding, Melissa won't allow anyone to come to her house, nor does she ever allow you to see the parents of the pups. She doesn't even MENTION the parents of the pups on her listings or her website! Another complaint said to look up her address of her farm on Google maps, I haven't done that yet but I will...I believe she lives at 75 Barnes Dr in Center Ridge, Arkansas.

I genuinely love animals and I'm so thankful I googled her name and the state she's from so I could find complaints on her and avoid sending money to someone who clearly has a sketchy business. There were about 20 red flags too many for my comfort!!

  • Updated by Jecb, Dec 04, 2017

    ***Update***
    After looking further into this breeder and complaints coming from Center Ridge, Arkansas where Melissa is from, I found on a website called Bailing Out Benji the mention of a 'breeder' from Center Ridge selling dogs to a pet store in NY. The breeder that was selling to the pet store is David and Sandra Davenport and their business is called Elite Pedigree, and they live at [removed] in [removed]. Guess what??[removed] is right beside Melissa Barnes Basinger's address, which is [removed] You can throw a rock and hit Barnes Dr. from [removed]! This is a VERY rural area, but there's several houses clustered around this general address with huge long buildings which are probably used to store puppies. Elite Pedigree was found with 137 dogs, or either they'd sold 137 puppies to the pet store in NY- please look up Bailing Out Benji to see the exact details. No ethical breeder would sell puppies to a pet store. Dogs from pet stores come from puppy Mills!!! I don't think it's any coincidence that the Davenport family lives in the same vicinity as Melissa Barnes/Melissa Basinger because i could tell that something wasn't right when she wouldn't supply me with a current pic of the pup, and she got annoyed by my request. Do not give your money to these people. If we stop purchasing from puppy mills, they can't make a living off of these innocent pups.

  • This post is nothing more than a hate comment. This person does not know me personally. He or she has never purchased a puppy from me or been to my home. There is no merit to this comment. If you feel you must comment on blogs like this please only speak of things you have personally experienced, witnessed, or know to be the facts and identify yourself. Do not post hateful remarks like this. Sophie speaks as if she has been to my home, has interacted with my dogs, and has met my neighbors. She has not done any of these things. This is just a malicious hateful comment. So please disregard. If you would like to see how my pups react to me and my family please visit my website www.downsouthhb.com and there you will find a video link which will take you to a youtube channel with videos of my present and past puppies. Please use spell check when you have difficulty with simple words like " Pens". Sophie the word you are looking for is spelled Pens not Pins...

Je
Dec 04, 2017
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Comments

  • Mi
      Jun 22, 2018

    Thank you Denise I appreciate your review and follow up. Blogs like this leave so much to the imagination and give way to drawing the wrong conclusions just like Denise did before she actually met me or recieved her new puppy. Rarely does the full truth or the whole story have the opportunity to be revealed. I would like to thank you for taking the time to write about your experience after you actually met me and received your puppy. I do want to address your "Room for improvement" just for clarification. I do not supply any registration information on my adult dogs prior to your puppy being spayed or neutered. The reason for this is that information can be stolen and misused. There are other canine registries other than AKC which allow misuse of registration numbers without verification. This misuse can lead to dogs being falsely registered. Once your puppy has been spayed or neutered and you provide me with a statement from your vet proofing such then I will send you the registration information you need in order to registered your puppy. This is the only way a breeder can control irresponsible breeding and line contamination. My dogs are AKC champion line dogs from show breeders all over the world. My dogs are healthy dogs free of genetic issues. This is something I have worked on for over 15 years. I have poured my heart and my soul into my dogs and I am not going to take the slightest chance. Photos are also stolen and misrepresented by other breeders. I have had my adult dogs photos taken from my website and used by other breeders. Therefore I am a little stingy in what I publicly share about my dogs. If you need information about the sire and dam I will gladly share that once we have established a client breeder relationship. I apologize if my emails come off as being curt. It is difficult to carry on a personal conversation via email. Email often sets the wrong tone or no tone at all. If you need a more personal way to communicate with me then I would suggest you take the time to pick up the phone and call me. I will answer any questions you have via email but if you are looking for a long conversation then call please. I am old school and text and email is not my thing. I still have the idea that if you want to communicate with someone you call and speak to them. If i do not answer when you call leave me a message that way I know you called and I can call you back.

    +2 Votes
  • Pu
      Jul 10, 2018

    I have one of the dogs she used to breed puppies it seems she was mistreated and very worn out from over breeding. I don't care how nice she seems to breed the crap out of a poor dog is down right horrible. When you buy one of these pups you are helping them to stay in business. I found their names in some of the records from my rescue dog. My dog has panic attacks. Not a good person in my books. I hope Arkansas gets laws real soon and I pray for these poor puppies they get shut down.

    +1 Votes
  • Pu
      Jul 10, 2018

    @Puppy Momma I guarantee you this she will never ever be mis-treated again. Oh and all but two of her teeth had to be pulled because they were rotten. In fact one had fell out and left a whole had to be stitched.

    0 Votes
  • Pu
      Jul 10, 2018

    @Puppy Momma I looked up this Melissa person I thought my girl had been around horses and I see they have at least one horse. wow I hope my other fears aren't true.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      Oct 30, 2018

    The above comment regarding the rescued dog is a fabrication. A down right lie. This lady never received or rescued a dog from me nor did she receive a dog from rescue that directly came from me. I have no idea who this lady is. If she rescued a dog and somehow paper work traced backed to me as the breeder it does not mean the dog came from me directly. The dog could have ended up in any ones care prior to being sent to rescue. Just because paperwork said I was the breeder or I owned the dog at one time does not mean I was the one that gave the dog to rescue or that she was rescued while still in my care. The dog ended up in rescue either from the family that purchased it from me when it was a puppy or from some other way but this dog DID NOT come directly from me. I do my best to screen my clients when I sell them a puppy or an adult dog. I have an adoption application process and it is clearly states that I will take a dog back should a family find themselves in a position that they can no longer provide care for the dog. I like to think that most people would give me that opportunity but I am sure some do not and the dogs end up in the pound or in rescues. I have no idea what happened to this poor dog and it breaks my heart but whatever the true story is it has nothing to do with me. What in the world does she mean she sees we have at least one horse. This is a very odd to say the least. When you read these blogs please keep an open mind.

    0 Votes
  • Rh
      Nov 02, 2018

    The original complaint above from. ‘jecb’ is very upsetting. After reading it a second time, he or she is casting aspersions on a breeder she has not done business with. There is a lot of ‘coincidences’ and innuendo, but she made a phone call, and didn’t like the answer. Period. I have done business with DownSouth Havanese. I made the 7 hour drive a little over a month ago, paid for and received exactly the puppy I reserved. I met a man at the designated location who did the final transactions and spent quite a bit of time giving me instructions on how to safely get my little one home. All of the customers at the store where we met seemed to know the gentleman and were interested in the puppy. I didn’t get a negative vibe from anyone.

    The vet checked her the following Monday, and said she was very healthy and well adjusted. The vet asked if I had been able to see the parents; I told her as I tell you- I didn’t expect to be welcomed into this woman’s home because customers are not invited into mine. It’s simply safety in a crazy world.

    I cannot speak to the other claims, because I did not inspect the grounds, and neither did the complainer. I checked the Humane Society’s list of Arkansas puppy mills, and none of her business names are there or in her town. I got the original listing from the AKC marketplace. I am very happy with my beautiful puppy and have recommended Melissa to those who have asked where I got my Havanese. If you want a reasonably priced, gorgeous little Havanese, Melissa has them. It’s beautiful country with windy curvy roads. In my opinion, well worth the trip.

    +1 Votes
  • Rh
      Nov 02, 2018

    @Rhoda Dixon As an addendum, I have played Melissa’s videos for my puppy. She lights up at Melissa’s voice with tail furiously wagging and tries to dig her way into the IPad. To me that’s not a sign of a puppy mistreated or raised in a mill. It’s a sign she was well treated and socialized in a home.

    +2 Votes
  • An
      Jan 08, 2019

    Melissa is a very reputable breeder. I purchased my Shih-Tzu from her 4 years ago and it was an absolute pleasure to work with her. She is very loving and caring and I HIGHLY RECOMMEND HER. When I bought my baby, she made sure they she gave him his first set of shots, she kennel and potty trained him. She gave me his paperwork that showed where she took him to the vet for shots, and instructed me on how to care for him for the next 48 hours. She was soo pleasant and loving. She was available if I had additional questions about my new puppy several months after I purchased him. Whoever this woman is that is trying to drag Melissa's name in the dirt, SHAME ON YOU! You must be upset that you didn't get to choose the dog you wanted maybe because someone else purchased the dog before you had a chance to. When I bought my puppy, I put a deposit down and Melissa placed my name under the dog's picture on her website so that no one else could purchase him. Melissa IS THE BEST !!!

    +2 Votes
  • So
      Aug 23, 2019

    ..

    0 Votes
  • So
      Aug 23, 2019

    This makes me laugh! All of the complaints I see about Melissa Barnes AKA Bassinger. They live in a huge house thanks to the over 200 dogs they have crammed into 3x3 pins. PUPPY MILL!!! All the way! Yes they live next door to another puppy mill.

    0 Votes

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