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North Country Kennels / Puppymill

Ironton, MN, United States Review updated:
4.6
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We purchased a Yorkie Poo from them and 7 months later she died. We were never allowed on their property. We were charged additional monies when we picked our puppy up. Our dog had kennel cough the minute we picked her up. She had a seizure within 2 months and died at 7 months. The kennel has around 250 puppies. 100 breeding females. It is a puppy mill.
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Mi
  15th of Nov, 2008
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I also wonder the validity of this business and their practices. I purchased a pup from here in 2002. Yesterday I had to put her down at the age of 6. While being the sweetest tempered girl, her life was mired by continual problem that could only be connected to bad genetics and over breeding of her parents.

-First and foremost, she had worms when I picked her up from their kennel (when they still allowed their customer to pick the pups up from there). While Mike told me she had a clean bill of health, our vet stated she had the worms long before I picked her up. This obviously made it much harder for her house training as she had to go all the time while the medicine worked its way through.

-She had numerous food allergies which gave her yeast infections in her ears, and turned part of her stomach black. After 3 years of searching and numerous conversations with our vet, we finally found a food that agreed with her and reversed this problem.

-We also found out after one surgery that she was allergic to the common sutures (stitching thread) used to mend the cut. This resulted in extra undue pain to her, extra vet bills and prescriptions.

-She had joint problems which left her unable to fully enjoy life by being able to run and play. At the age of 4 1/2 she couldn't jump onto our couch. At the age of 5 1/2 she couldn't walk up stairs, and within the last few months, she could barely walk because of the pain. The poor thing couldn't even go to the bathroom without rolling on the ground because she couldn't keep her balance.

-Finally, she had seizures which are the ultimate reason why we had to put her down. Every seizure she had (almost 3 a day in the last few weeks), made it progressively worse for her to live and function as a dog. Play time would consist of me throwing the ball to our front door (about 8 feet away on carpet) and watching her hobble to retrieve it (She loved to play, even when she wasn't in the best health). I would expect that out of a dog that was 12, 13 or 14 NOT A DOG THAT WAS 6 YEARS OLD!

Am I mourning my dog, yes I will admit that. Am I mad? Yes because there are questions that need to be answered on why I had to put down a 6 year old dog that had health problems from the start.
Ju
  9th of Dec, 2008
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I hope that more people speak out against this kennel so that the suffering ends!!
Zi
  22nd of Jan, 2009
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
First, let me tell you that I am so very sorry to hear about your loss. We had to put our Keeshond, Cagney, to sleep a few years ago...and my heart still aches. I wanted to comment about North Country Kennels as a consumer and a proud Mama of a Yorkipoo named "Cricket" that we have had for almost 3 years. Cricket was bred and born at NCK, and all of my interactions with Lucy and Cindy were professional and positive. I was looking for a puppy with the natural inclination to be a therapy dog. When my turn came up on the waiting list, Cindy told me that the puppies that were available were not the best suited for what my needs/desires were. Although I was so incredibly anxious to get a puppy, I appreciated their honesty and concern for placing the perfect disposition dog in my care. I went through about 3 more puppy selections before "puppy B" became my Cricket. This kennel knows the puppies in the litter...they know the personalities, and all without being prompted or placing you on hold to get the information. When my parents had to put their Bichon to sleep a few months ago, they knew how amazing my experience had been with NCK, and what an incredible dog Cricket is...so they got a new Pekepoo puppy from them. When my Mom called and spoke with them, she mentioned the parents of the litter and they knew exactly which puppy it was they were interested in. They described her to a "t" and knew her personality without having to refer to notes. My experience with NCK has been nothing but positive, and my puppy was even more wonderful than they had described. She is a happy and very well-socialized dog. She had been put in an area of the kennel where boarders or grooming clients came in, and as a result was loved on and met many different people. The kids at NCK also interact with the puppies. This is so evident in Cricket, and she is amazing with children and has a love for everyone. I am sorry that some people have had a negative experience, and again I am so very sorry for your loss. I can say with all honesty and sincerity that I plan to "adopt" my next furbaby from NCK...I did a lot of "homework" on breeds, breeders and training before deciding to get a puppy from them. Everything they tell you from training to breed characteristics is right on the money. I am a firm follower of the ideology of the Monks of New Skete and Karen Pryor Clicker Training, and NCK was of the same mind and heart. ((((Furbaby Kisses and puppy breath HUGS))) Lisa :)
Ch
  16th of Apr, 2009
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
How can you stop these people from operating? Can't the Humane Society step in and investigate? These stories are awful. I feel terrible for these animals. I am looking for a dog and was recommended to their web site. I had a bad feeling when I went to their site. It just didn't seem right to have so many puppies available. I am glad I started to research them before I bought a dog from them. They have to be stopped. Christine
Ne
  14th of Jul, 2009
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
We purchased a yorkie poo from Lucy in 2005. I was amazed at what a credit card can do. They charge it and a 8 week old puppy is flown to your airport. This puppy was one of the luckiest in the world. We give it outstanding medical care, helped along because I am a pharmacist, no over immunizations by reading alot, and very very good organic food. We have had no health problems so far. I was put off by the fact that after receiving the puppy, Lucy was suppose to be available to answer questions and help with problems. I would call, and leave a message, she would not repond, only once, there after, never, and not respond to my emails. I gave up on contacting her. I wanted another yorkie poo but due to my experience I would not buy from her. Since she had my money, she seemed not interested in having any more to do with us. She also should not ship the pup with a stuffed dog that Rowdy had chewed the eyes out of and could have swallowed. I contacted her with this information, but with no reply. We have a very healthy 4 year old pup, we just pray it will stay that way.
Ka
  16th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree +2 Votes
First off I want to say there is no way your dog died from kennel cough months later!! its a COLD, and goes away within a couple of weeks. I got one from the shelter once that had it. it is VERY easy to catch.

Also, there are not hundreds of reports against this kennel.. Maybe a couple, but with all the pups they sell in the last 36 months (BBB) they had ONE complaint against them and it had to do with the contract, and it was resolved.. they have an A+ rating!

Now for MY experience... I bought a beautiful little shihpoo and she was healthy and beautiful and very well socialized. I send people her way all the time and they are also happy with their puppies and the kennel and owner.

These are good people who may have a lot of dogs, but that doesn't make them a "puppy mill".. The person making this report is leaving a lot out, I can see that myself.

Grow up for crying out loud people! get off the animal rights trip.. animals are property and they have a right to breed and sell puppies. And I would buy from them again.. Just waiting for her to have a litter of yorkies..I have been waiting months for her to have a litter..
Cm
  16th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
Animals are living, breathing creatures that feel pain like you or I do. Dogs, especially, thrive off of companionship and are very loyal. It is outrageous for you to suggest that because they are considered "property', that the conditions in a puppy mill are acceptable. It is unfortunate that there are such sick, twisted people in this world that would consider the suffering and maltreatment of animals an acceptable form of human behavior.
Ia
  17th of Jan, 2010
Agree Disagree -2 Votes
I agree one hundred percent with the above, animals are living, breathing creatures. I "normal" human would purchase a puppy to love and have as part of the family. I never suggested above that she died of kennel cough. But kennel cough is not "common" and not "healthy" and you cannot cure it like a cold. It takes months and sometimes permanent damage to their lungs. Our puppy had three visits to the vet for this. But like I said, she suffered seizures and other ailments along with this. Do you honestly think it is normal to mass breed dogs? I am all for breeding and having a liter of puppies, but mass breeding? And then you can't go on their property? You sound like you would have been all for "slavery" too with the language you use. "Property" and "breeding". Your the sick one dear!
Nk
  1st of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree +1 Votes
I bought a pup from NKC and have had no problems with her. Lucy, Cindy and Mike were very professional and great to work with. They described our puppy's temperament perfectly. We love this dog and would definitely do business with NKC again.
Dm
  21st of Apr, 2010
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I bought a puppy from them three years ago. He suffered from parasites and would not eat. We had him at the vet the next day to get help. I received only one phone call back from Mike. The rest of my calls were never returned.

At one year his blood work was off and they thought he had leukemia. It did improve over a years time. We had it checked every couple months. Still do not know the cause. We had it checked to see what was causing the random aggressive behavior.

Now at three years he extremely anxious, suffers from seizures, has allergies. and can be very aggressive at times. He tends to try to protect whoever he is with at the time.

We love him dearly but do not know what to do to help him and make his life easier.
An
  6th of May, 2010
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
I purchased a puppy from North Country Kennels, and although I was unhappy with the puppy I received (it did not look like the picture), I found Lucy and Cindy MORE than professional to work with. They refunded my money no questions asked and they really stand behind their guarantee. They also replied to my emails and phone calls quickly at all times during the process.
Am
  2nd of Sep, 2010
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased the love of my life from NKC. Individuals and even strangers who see my dog ask where did I get her. I have sent many co-workers her way..and every single one is more than happy with NKC. The puppy I originally choose - after having her final vet check before being released to me, was diagnosed with weak knees. Lucy was up front with all of this information. She could have chosen not to inform me. I choose to be an informed pet owner. I don't feed supermarket shelf dog food..(do you know what is in that-take a minute to do some homework) -because they are what they eat as well...I feed organic food. All natural treats, stay on top of dental and digestive health. I also supply filtered water, my girl is now four, and she has not had any health issues. When she sends home instructions and anti-biotics, you have to be diligent in your effort, remember this is a baby--new to the environment. My vet also instructed me, to not put my puppy on the ground outside until all of her shots had been given. She was actually 16 weeks old before my vet okayed me to let her walk on the pavement. My vet may be over cautious to some - and yes she was a bit kennel shy...but I feel that advice paid off greatly. I love love Lucy - and Cindy---- they are top notch. Your compaint sounds suspiciously like the "blame game".
Ma
  12th of Jan, 2011
Agree Disagree -1 Votes
Baahhh really?? Anyone who would even consider buying a puppy from a place like this is basically contributing to the huge pet over population problem and to the THOUSANDS of puppies and dogs that are put to sleep every month. Go to your local rescue or else find a reputable breeder who interviews you, does a home check, lets you come and visit with the puppies, both of the parents and see where they are living. Have you seen the crap that she is feeding them? Have you read the FAQ's its disgusting and her cute little answers trying to hide the truth (that they are a puppy mill) make me sick!
Su
  24th of Apr, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased a Yorkie Chon from NKC in 2006. He passed away last week, just a few months before his 5th birthday. He was never a big eater and vomited on a regular basis. Other than this he never displayed any other signs of illness and would chase a soccer ball for hours on end. He became clearly ill about 6 weeks before his death. His liver enzymes were off the chart, then his pancreatic enzymes went through the roof. He was hosptalized and put on antibiotics, but could not fight off whatever was brewing inside of him. I have contacted the breeder to see if any of his siblings had any problems similar to this and am waiting for a response. In looking into this to find answers I am horrified that I ever did business with this place. I am so glad we had Sully in our lives for the short time that we did, but will speak out to anyone considering getting a puppy. The general public and uninformed people looking to get their first dog (such as myself) need to be informed of such puppy mills.
Ag
  24th of Jun, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased a pure bread Standard Schnauzer, and when I got him, he had no papers, as they had not registered his father prior to breeding. When he arrived, he was almost scalped, his coat was down to the skin. He was critically dehydrated, so much so he had to spend the night in the vet with an IV. He was and still IS terrified of males. Makes me wonder what happened to him as a baby. I adore my gorgeous guy, and feel that, looking back on it.. it was a RESCUE. I am horrified that I ever did business with that place. They think only about the $$$ and not about the poor animals they are spewing out.
Ro
  3rd of Oct, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I went on to their property yesterday to buy some dog houses. The place wreaked with urine, the man on the premises told me that they had 40-50 dogs housed in a pole building, the pole building was no bigger than 20x40. I saw cages stacked outside, they were small and all wire, no bottom, there were no runs for the dogs to play as she suggests on her website. She is also moving to St. Cloud mn. There is no one living or staying on the premises to take care of the animals, she also has horses. I got the dog houses home and when I lifted up the top of them I about fell down from the smell of the urine. There was poop and dried on papers and bedding all over, the houses also had algea growing all over them. These houses were never cleaned, ever. I washed them with bleach and dawn, I spent all day washing them, they are metal so there shouldn't be anything hiding on it after the bleach bath. Had I known that she ran a puppy mill and had known the condition of the houses before I drove 3 and a half hours to pick them up, I would have never bought them, also I picked them up in the dark so I did not know the extent of the damage until I got home. Never do business with this women, puppies or anything else.
Co
  27th of Nov, 2011
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
We got our puppy from them 6 years ago. He arrived on a Friday, and he slept all weekend and wouldn't eat. When I took him to the vet on Monday, he told me that the pup had an upper respiratory infection, kennel cough, and parasites...and recommeded that we return him to the breeder. By this time, we were already in love with him, and also didn't want to send him back to that place. So we had to feed him with a syringe to get nourishment in him. The vet also said that the pup probably wouldn't have survived another week with them. We felt it was meant to be that we "rescued" him. Lucy responded to my first couple of emails, saying they would pay for his vet bills...but of course, they didn't pay, and they stopped responding to my messages. He was fine for the first couple of years, but then started vomiting fairly regularly. We determined it was because he couldn't tolerate any kind of dry dog food, so now I cook chicken and rice for him weekly. He also has had lots of problems with his ears. I wouldn't trade him for the world, but I would never buy from them again, nor would I recommend them.
Ny
  15th of Jan, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I purchased an adorable shi- poo 11/09. She has a wonderful disposition, but is plagued with many health issues. My vet has diagnosed her with food allergies, digestive disorders and the like. If I would of understood the what kind of breeding establishment this was, I would have never purchased the dog. She has constant ear infections. She came to me with giardia... That parasite infection has long term health ramifications. Lucy and her band of thieves should be ashamed of themselves. I'm certainly ashamed of myself for purchasing from her... I hope the state of MN shuts this operations down.

I am happy to say I have found a holistic vet that is working with my dog. She is making good strides and I hope to have her with me a very long time. IF ANYONE IS CONSIDERING BUYING A DOG FROM THIS BREEDER... RUN OR PULL THE PLUG ON YOUR COMPUTER.

SHUT THIS OPERATION DOWN.
Mw
  22nd of Dec, 2012
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
I also purchased a goldendoodle from NCK 2 years ago. When we picked him up from the airport (wouldn't let us come there even though I live in MN and less than an hour away) the kennel he was in was soiled. Our little dog was so cute, but had MAJOR aggression issues. I took him to a trainer first and he displayed aggression there, so I then took him to a behavior specialist where he displayed the same problems. The specialist told me that under no circumstances should I allow this puppy to be near children as he could not be trusted. She felt that even if she spent the next 2 years with him, we still shouldn't trust him. That was a problem, because we do have a child. The specialist asked where I had bought him from, she stated that she had worked with several other NCK clients and had the same problem. I had called NCK immediately to let them know what was going on and what I was doing about it. After spending over $1000 on vet and specialists bills (not to mention the cost of the dog) I wanted to return the dog. I had a difficult time getting a hold of them, but finally did. It took several weeks to get my refund and several unanswered messages. I feel so bad for those poor dogs. Someone should be checking in on them and making sure that those poor animals are being cared for.
Ke
  25th of Jan, 2013
Agree Disagree 0 Votes
Just about 10 years ago we purchased a schnoodle that we named "Kumari" and she was great. Sometimes she seemed a little scared of things when she was a puppy but nothing really bad. As she grew we noticed that she would bark at anyone coming to the house and would not stop for about 10 minutes. If the person coming to the house tried to pat her, she would lunge at them as if trying to bite them. We talked with the vet, the humane society and even hired a "dog whisperer" to help. What we found out was that Kumari had what is called the "small dog syndrome". Basically the dog becomes aggressive until she no longer feels threatened. So we started telling visitors to ignore Kumari as though she was a piece of furniture. Sure enough after about 5 minutes Kumari would realize the person has no interest in her and Kumari would try to be their friend. Even jumping into their laps and trying to lick the visitor. She is very smart and obedient and does everything we ask. She still barks at visitors unless she recognizes them, and she will bark/defend us against strangers instantly. We love her so much we bought a second schnoodle from NCK a year ago. We named her "Tala". She is the complete opposite of Kumari, never barks and is your friend instantly. She is a pure lap dog and wants to be cuddled all the time. Both dogs are very precious to us and we cannot express enough how satisfied we are with NCK and how they talked with us during the adoption process. We received complete medical records with both puppies and vaccination records. We brought both puppies to our vet within a week of receiving them to have a complete physical and the vet told us that both dogs were healthy and well taken care of. It is clear from the posts that some people have faced hardship over dogs received and I feel bad for your experience. However mine is completely different and I would recommend NCK to anyone looking for a specific breed.

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