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Irish Jacks/Violet Meadow Farm / Irresponsible Breeder

1 NJ, United States Review updated:

We bought an adorable Irish Jack from Violet Meadow Farm in 2005. The dog became more aggressive the longer we owned him. Eventually, our dog trainer suggested we contact the breeder and return him, noting that "all responsible breeders will always take their animals back. We were not looking for a refund of any kind, just a safe home for a difficult dog. Keith Butler of Irish Jacks initially agreed to take our dog bak but then proceeded to ignore our emails and numerous phone calls to arrange a time to return him. Their voicemail box filled and was unable to take anymore messages eventually.
This is a BAD. irresponsible breeder who should be avoided at all costs.. Our Irish Jack was very aggressive and untrainable, but worst of all, was Violet Meadows Farms' refusal to take him back.

Bad News!!

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Comments

  • Co
      14th of Apr, 2010
    +2 Votes

    Hi

    We also just purchased a male jack Russell puppy from Irish Jacks/Violet meadow farms and he came off the plane with Kennel cough ( which has now also been passed to our other jack Russell female), worms, Giardia ( parasite infection) and Corona Virus. I have been trying to contact Susan and have yet to have a response in regard to the extensive vet bills that we have had to pay to get this puppy back to good health. I am hoping that she will honour the puppy health guarentee and cover the cost of the vet bills as they ensure and guarentee the health of the pup on the web site.

  • Kb
      15th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    To the clients and followers of IrishJacks/Violet Meadow Farm,
    My name is Keith Butler and I’ve resigned my position as Web Designer, Photographer and Office Manager at IrishJacks due to the mounting ethical and financial problems I’ve encountered there. I worked for IrishJacks for five years and worked very hard to untangle the problems caused by bad business practices and a profit-blinded owner.
    I’m writing this to expose the issues that Susan Sarao has let fester for many years. I feel complicit in her actions but I worked daily to rectify the issues. When I discovered that I could make no progress on any of the issues below I had no choice but to quit and have decided that I can no longer sleep at night knowing how she has handled business, and knowing that despite the proper support, she won’t change.
    If you paid sales tax on your puppy, that tax was never submitted to the State of New Jersey. It was deposited into her account and used to support her lifestyle.
    Susan has not paid any income tax with the business of IrishJacks to the IRS or the State of New Jersey.
    She has been running an illegal kennel at her home. She was summoned by the Hunterdon County Department of Health and subsequently lost a legal battle to do business from her back garage. To my current knowledge she still has over 10 adult dogs in her back garage.
    She has knowingly sold sick puppies and then treated the purchaser as if they did something wrong if they complained. She has promised many clients a refund or payment of medical bills and then delayed payment as long as possible. She had ducked phone calls and e-mails making a situation that was caused by bad practices into complaints.
    Puppies are imported from Ireland with no control of conditions in Ireland and no US Department of Agriculture license or inspections.
    If you have a puppy from the Heff line, please have them checked out by a vet. We consistently received puppies with poor socialization, flees, scabies and worm infections from this line. I tried to make her stop importing from this particular breeder in Ireland. We received over 100 puppies a year from this line meaning the original breeder in Ireland needed 50-60 female dogs to produce this amount. I can only infer the conditions in Ireland from the health of the puppies we received.
    Breeding conditions at her home are uncontrolled. Just a few days ago Bill Crumlic witnessed her let a stud dog and his daughter (who is in season) into the same area and they ended up breeding. This is not the first time her oversight and laze-faire attitude has resulted in an inbred dog.
    I ask everyone who has done business in the past and may do business with her in the future to check the town, county and state records on her and her business. Please visit her listings on Complaints Board https://www.complaintsboard.com/?search=irish+jacks and [redacted] /URL removed/ to see some online resources of how IrishJacks was run.
    She is now in the process of setting up a pet shop to sell puppies at Stephan Farm Supply in Long Valley NJ. To my knowledge, she did obtain a license to operate a pet shop there.
    I’m so embarrassed to have belonged to this organization and the length of time I allowed her behavior to continue. I am being threatened with legal action if I reveal her illegal and unethical practices but I believe if I reveal the truth the law will stand behind me.
    Sincerely,
    Keith Butler

  • Di
      17th of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I have tried for years to educate the unsuspecting public so they would be better educated and spot a puppy farm, broker a mile away. I am sorry it took this long for people to wake up and actually start paying attention. And as well, I hope it changes the way people "shop" for their next puppy.

    Someone mentioned that they contacted some of the "Irish" Jack Russell breeders out there and got either no responses or defensive ones. I have been saying for years that there are very few legitimate Irish Jack Russell Breeders ...so few I can count them on one hand. I am not surprised at all that many of them were not willing to discuss their practices openly.

    Please, go to my website and READ the pages devoted to this topic... And then re-read again later, when you go hunting for your next puppy. The rules really apply to all breeds as there are people like this in every dog breed.

    Keith, Thank you for taking a stand. My hat is off to you.

    Sheila
    www.connemaraterrier.com

  • Ch
      17th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    (I originally posted this in https://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/irish-jacksviolet-meadow-farm-c210164.html, but thought I should also post it here...)

    Hi everyone,

    I'm the webmaster for importedjacks.com (http://www.importedjacks.com), another breeder of irish jack russells. I think it's important for me to point out that not all irish jack russell terrier breeders are unethical, and they don't all simply import mass amounts of puppies from "puppy mills" in Ireland.

    I think it's terrible that Susan Sarao engaged in the sorts of activities that are described in all of the above comments. Dogs are truly man's best friend and they should never be treated simply as some kind of money-making machine.

    I wish everyone who happened to receive unhealthy jacks from irishjacks.com the best of luck going forward. If you have any questions about irish jacks (health-related, etc.) feel free to reach out to us at importedjacks.com (just fill out the contact form on any page and we'll try to answer your questions to the best of our abilities).

    By the way, Keith - what you did was brave and noble. It's good to know that there are people like you out there who are looking out for all the puppies of the world.

    ~Chris Einkauf (chris.einkauf@gmail.com)

  • Pa
      18th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    As a person who knows both Susan and Keith personally, has spent a great deal of time with them, and has worked on many projects with both of them, I have inside knowledge of what went on here. Keith suffers from an acute case of grandiosity – he knows absolutely everything about absolutely nothing. Susan suffers from an acute case of generosity, tolerance and concern for all animals. You will never meet a kinder or more spiritual person than Susan. She sells puppies because she loves bringing joy into people’s lives, and because she truly believes that her puppies are the best of the best, which I can tell you are just that. She also bonds with every single puppy that comes into her shop. In the evenings, she sits in the kennel and plays for hours with every one individually.

    Five years ago, she brought Keith into her home when he was destitute, and offered him a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to utilize his talents, while paying him handsomely. Now that he is going through one of his many psychotic, manic episodes, he literally blackmails her, then sets out to destroy her. Everything he has posted here are downright lies. Why would clients be invited into her home if she had appalling conditions to hide? And I can assure you, she was never, ever, remiss about vaccinations and worming, nor did she ever sell a puppy knowingly that was sick. This is why there are various older dogs available. She cures them, at enormous expense. To say that her puppies are not well socialized, well, look at the comments by folks who are thrilled with the social skills that her puppies display. Unfortunately, you cannot read the vast majority of these testimonials, because Keith has robbed her of her website, a sure felony, after unsuccessfully blackmailing her. Future employers beware! Sure, Susan has some human frailties that many of us cope with, but nothing even close to the salacious lies that Keith is trying to convince others of.

    As “office manager, ” he was constantly disappearing for days on end and letting his voicemail box fill up. Why? Drugs, perhaps? And this is what led to several of the complaints on this board. He would go for weeks without returning any phone calls, or answering any emails. He does not deserve to be called “noble.” He is a delusional, revenge seeking whackadoo, and you should not give anything he says any credence. I am so sorry that people are concerned about this totally fraudulent mess, made up and driven by someone so utterly sick and vindictive. Email me through the Complaints Board if you have any further questions.

  • Ka
      20th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Hi, oh I love what Patricia said so eloquently. I have known Susan since her days in Ridgewood where she owned a retail store and was so loved by all. She has a heart of gold and loves those little dogs! I knew Susan' mom and her dear old dad who died just one year ago of Alzheimer. And I also got to know Keith after Susan brought him on. To be honest in our first meeting the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I know he made several failed attempts over the years to steal the website main password. How sad, my heart go out to you Susan. I wholeheartedly agree with what Pati says here. To think that he got in a huff and left and took down Susan's site... oh, so sad indeed.

  • Ka
      20th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    Chris from importedjacks, tell us that Kathleen bought her foundational female about 8 years ago from Susan, oh, forgot that point did you. And then tell us how Kathleen went to Ireland and tried to tell Susan's breeder there (of 30 years of experience with beautiful farm) that she would pay more if she stopped selling to Susan... forget that one, oh and how Susan's breeder hopped her off the farm faster than you can say 'Greedy Yank'. I think you did... And how do you know that 'that Susan Sarao engaged in the sorts of activities that are described in all of the above comments'. I think it might be better if you try not make money off of the suffering of others, for God's Sake, 'reach out to me for help!"

  • Ka
      20th of Apr, 2010
    -1 Votes

    And Sheila, another copy cat/dog... oh your hat is off to poor Keith... have you ever even been to NJ? or met Susan or Keith.

  • Di
      21st of Apr, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Nowhere in past posts does Connemara attack a specific broker or breeder or recite rumor or otherwise. Connemara does however, list pertinent, educational information for all puppy buyers looking for a puppy of any breed.

    Now, Connemara is being accused specifically of being some kind of copycat/dog? Well, now you have opened this question and by doing so, have invited a comparison to be made:

    CONNEMARA:

    1.) PUPPIES ARE BRED AND RAISED IN HOME
    2.) DOGS DO NOT LIVE IN CRATES, STACKED UP IN A BARN - pictures on site of entire property and dog areas.
    3.) DOGS HEALTH TESTED FOR A MULTITUDE OF HEALTH DISEASES BEFORE BRED
    4.) LINEAGE & BREED DNA TESTING DONE ON FOUNDATION STOCK
    5.) NOT ONE FAMILY HAS EVER COME FORWARD CLAIMING WE DO NOT STAND BEHIND ALL GUARANTEES
    6.) WE TEMPERAMENT TEST ALL PUPPIES
    7.) WE MATCH PUPPIES TO FAMILIES & GUARANTEE PLACEMENT
    8.) EXTENSIVE PERSONALITY PROFILES DONE ON ALL DOG PARENTS
    9.) SMALLER OPERATION WHEN COMPARED TO COMPARISON HERE
    10.) USUALLY HAS A WAITING LIST FOR PLANNED LITTERS - IN OTHER WORDS - HAS HOMES WAITING WHEN LITTER IS BORN.
    11.) PUPPIES PLACED AT OPTIMAL TIME IN THEIR YOUNG, IMPRESSIONABLE LIVES (AT 8 WEEKS OF AGE). PHD, animal behaviorists guidelines.
    12.) EMPHASIS ON HEALTH TESTING, TEMPERAMENT AND PLACING THE RIGHT PUPPY IN THE RIGHT HOME AT THE OPTIMAL TIME IN PUPPIES LIFE
    5 year comprehensive guarantee offered -
    passes on actual shipping expenses when pup needs to fly to new home


    IRISH JACKS (BY THEIR OWN ADMISSION)

    1.) PUPPIES PURCHASED SPECIFICALLY FOR MARK-UP AND RESALE
    2.) NO PHOTOS OR EVIDENCE AS TO WHERE DOGS AND PUPS ARE KEPT
    3.) NO MENTION OF HELTH TESTING ANYWHERE ON WEBSITE
    4.) NO MENTION OF ANY BREED TESTING OR OTHER DNA TO DOCUMENT LINEAGE
    5.) THE LIST OF COMPLAINTS GROWING
    6.) FAMILIES ARE ENCOURAGED TO PICK PUPPY DUE TO “CUTENESS FACTOR”. NO MENTION OF ANY KIND OF TEMPERAMENT TESTING
    7.) NO MENTION OF PLACING FOR TEMPERAMENT OR MATCH
    8.) NOT FORTHCOMING AS TO WHO THE PARENTS ARE OF SEVERAL PUPPIES SOLD.
    9.) SELLS AT LEAST 200 PUPPIES PER YEAR - AND/OR 15 PUPS EVERY SINGLE MONTH (source: documented minutes from two town hearings)
    10.) PURCHASES (BROKERS) PUPPIES FOR MARK-UP AND RESALE AND THEN SOLICITS BUYERS AS PUPPIES AGE.
    11.) ROUTINELY PLACES PUPPIES AT 12-20 WEEKS OF AGE. PHD, animal behaviorists warn against this practice.
    12.) EMPHASIS ON IRISH NOVELTY, STATUS SYMBOL (RARE COLORS ETC) & CUTENESS FACTOR. PUPPIES PLACED AT ANY POINT IN TIME AND USUALLY AFTER THE PUPPY HAS SPENT SEVERAL MONTHS WAITING FOR A HOME.
    13.) 1 year minimal guarantee offered -
    14.) marks-up airline shipping prices by approx. $100 per puppy.
    *when questioned in town hearing, stated they sell each puppy for $1500... yet website clearly states $1650-$2500 per puppy.


    Where is the copycat/dog pattern in this? I ask this of the average and reasonable reader... Not the writer who made the frivolous & unfounded claim.

    I would be happy for anyone interested in learning more when looking for your next puppy, to read our website as it has many pages of valuable, resourceful information that can be applied to any breed or breeder. My intent was to give good information for families to use in the future - Not attack this broker or get into a back-and-forth with the ill informed. With that I will go away peacefully.

    www.dirt-dogs.com
    www.connemaraterrier.com

  • Ch
      21st of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Katemartin,

    To answer your questions, let me first offer some background about myself. I don't make any money whatsoever from importedjacks.com. Kathleen (the owner/breeder) is my cousin and I offered to help design her website for free, since I'm interested in web design and wanted to learn some things along the way.

    I started helping her with her website this January, and as such, I had nothing to do with the website 8 years ago, and am not aware of any of this bribing that you're talking about. Your facts do strike me as odd, however, in that 8 years ago Kathleen would have been 15 years old, but whatever...

    But even if most of what you said is true, it seems to me that your point is: my cousin went to Ireland and asked to get exclusive rights to a bad breeder and got turned down. I would say that turned out to be a good thing, based on what I've read on these boards about that breeder. Maybe because of that, or maybe because she just decided it was best, she breeds and cares for her puppies herself - she doesn't import them from some puppy mill in Ireland (they're of Irish descent, but they're not imported straight from Ireland).

    There's nothing I "forgot" to include or am trying to hide in my above post. All I know is what I've seen since I started working on the importedjacks.com website, and that's just pure love and dedication from my cousin to the puppies she breeds and cares for.

    As far as my statement "I think it's terrible that Susan Sarao engaged in the sorts of activities that are described in all of the above comments" -- is this some court room where I have to say "allegedly"? Is that the only way I can reference the fact that numerous people have complained on these boards about bad interactions with Susan and about receiving unhealthy puppies that Susan didn't seem to care about?

    Lastly, I want to address this statement you made: "I think it might be better if you try not make money off of the suffering of others, for God's Sake, 'reach out to me for help!'" -- first of all, like I said, I stand to make zero dollars off of any puppy sales from people coming to importedjacks.com. I am not paid to make the website, I am not paid to advertise it, and I am not paid if the website makes more money in any way. Secondly, the offer to answer people's questions was clearly directed at people who have already bought a sick puppy from Susan. They already have a puppy - I was saying my cousin would help them answer their questions, not sell them a puppy. Just because the website I'm helping happens to also sell puppies, doesn't mean we can't offer a helping hand to other people that already handed their money over to a competitor. Do you not understand that sometimes people (even people who run a similar website) are just trying to be nice?

    I understand why you'd be skeptical of someone who comes on a board and posts a link to their own site, but please don't point fingers at me and insinuate that I'm some sneaky money-grabber.

  • Di
      22nd of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    Chris,

    Well put. I too have offered information in an effort to help these families and educate them. In fact, I did have a couple of interested parties who already had a puppy from Susan and wanted to place deposits on a pup with me. I graciously and ever so tactfully, did not let this happen. My intentions (as clearly yours) are honorable and taking money from anyone here would cloud that.

    Other breeders are too watching this topic very closely and it has been "the buzz" about how karma catches up and so on. However, none of the more established and intelligent ones (to date) have stepped in and hung their ### out there to help these families like Chris and I have. We stand more of a chance as having "targets put on our backs" than selling puppies stepping forward. Anyone in the dog world knows this much.

    If Chris and I have to take a little heat for it, then so be it. It is time for people to wake up and think twice about who they get their next puppy from. I am SO TIRED of hearing people justify their ignorance by saying; "Well, at least I saved/rescued a puppy form a bad breeder. ...NO, in reality, YOU DIDN'T: You just help sentence its mother to a lifetime of misery. Take responsibility for the part you played in it, learn from it, and do not ever let this happen to you or a pups mother again. If everyone would get on the "same train", the bad breeders would not be able to make copious amounts of money, and they will be shut out.

    Instead of looking at your pup with endearing eyes - Look at your pup and wonder where its mother is now... if that doesn't sober you up enough, you are a lost cause.

    *Not directing this to families of irish Jacks - I am simply being a bit dramatic to drive a point home and make us all think. Even if 2 years form now someone finds this topic, reads it and it helps them, I will be satisfied. Rescue from legitimate shelters or take the time to find an ethical breeder. Your puppy's mother deserves that much.

  • Ki
      8th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Dirt Dog - I am very curious - is there a reason why you would not sell an individual one of your puppies just because they had already purchased a pup from Susan? Even with a spay/neuter agreement? It just seems to me that you are taking a very "snobbish" and "uppity" position with your pups, as if to say, that if you ever dealt with Susan Sarao, then you cannot have one of my puppies. I am just really curious as to why you take that position.

  • Su
      22nd of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have to say that my 2 girls who are now 8 years old and came from Violet Meadow Farm as well as another 2 a year older are the healthiest dogs and happiest dogs and most social dogs! I do not know all of the details of what has ocurred but it would seem that at least 8 years ago things were very good at Violet Meadow. Does that seem to be before certain people got involved?

  • Ki
      22nd of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    Sunset Dawn - Bingo! "Before certain people got involved." And now that good folks are NOW involved again, everything is great. I am definitely thinking about pup No. 4. I love my three that I have, and they are happy, healthy, and thriving - I could not ask for anything more.

  • St
      18th of Dec, 2011
    0 Votes

    Those of you who have had good experiences are just lucky. There is no doubt in my mind that this breeder is doing things that are less than honest. We were sold a JR that has been nothing short of a nightmare. Our dog has bitten almost everyone is the house so we have resorted to muzzling her because we can't bear to put her down. I recall when I purchased our JR I had to call over and over again to get the paperwork promised to me when we purchased our dog. We eventually received a binder of a dog which didn't look anything like ours and the shipping info was suspect. Addiotionally, I have a friend who also bought a JR from Violet Meadow and I believe the dog passed away within the first month. There is no doubt in my mind that Violet Meadow Farms is a sham! Stay away!

  • Di
      20th of Sep, 2013
    0 Votes

    I'm posting this in order to warn other folks who may want to buy an Irish Jack from Violet Meadow Farms. I have two of these dogs from Susan purchased 9 and 10 years ago. Both are spayed females. The second dog had active Parvo virus which manifested itself on our drive home with the puppy from New Jersey to our home in Michigan. I managed to keep her alive with a syringe and some Pedia-Lite until we could get her to a vet. She did survive but the vet bill was $2300.00. Susan only refunded the price of the dog--$1700.

    Though we took both dogs through puppy training and socialization, they have grown to be so "dog aggressive" that they can not both be out of their crates at the same time for fear of vicious fights between them. This appeared in their second year with us. Susan had no advice to give except to say we shouldn't have bought two females [though she did not advise this when I bought the second female].The behaviorist we consulted [another several hundred dollars] had advised us they can't be trained out of this, it is so severe and advised us to either put one of them down or continue our having to always have one in her crate. This behaviorist also suspects the dogs were in a puppy mill environment in Ireland where they were bred and this may have lead to the dog-aggression.

    So, think twice before getting a dog of this breed especially from this importer!

  • Kf
      18th of Dec, 2015
    +1 Votes

    Blah Blah Blah...Fred and Kathy Rowlette - Shamrock Kennels - ABSOLUTELY THE BEST BREEDERS AROUND!

  • Ti
      12th of Apr, 2016
    +1 Votes

    Hear! Hear! Shamrock EJRT. Down to earth... Rowlettes are great people and breeders.

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