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Starlight Kennel/Shawn Soldon / Fraud/Unhealthy Breeding

1 310 Catamount Road, Oxford, PA, United States Review updated:

In August of 2008 we purchased two pure-bred Spanish Water dogs from this breeder. We asked her about the parents health, and were assured that they were healthy and had no hip or eye problems. We were told that she would register the dogs with one of the dog registration organizations. We paid $3200 for the two dogs and left with a packet of papers. We failed to look at the packet to make sure the papers were in the tabbed folders. When we found that there we no papers included to prove the health of the parents nor were there any registration papers, we contacted the breeder and insisted upon receiving these papers. After many attempts and threats of returning the dogs she sent us copies of barely legible papers that showed the sire was rated in the 30% percentile for hips. The testing organization suggest that any dog that rates below the 50% percentile not be used for breeding. Thus, Shawn Soldon lied to us about the hip health of the parents. She also provided an OptiGen eye exam sheet with the dam's name on it and pre-printed with a Veterinary Ophthalmologist, but the rest of the form was blank. When I called the eye registry they had no record of the dogs eyes being examined or registered. Shawn Soldon said that she does not register the exam with OptiGen because it costs too much. Shawn Soldon also claims that the blank form shows that no problems were found. I called the Ophthalmologist and they had no record of the exam and said there would be some notes on the paper if they had done an exam.

With regard to the registration papers, Shawn bragged about how many organizations she could register the dogs with and said she would send us the papers in a month. We have not seen them after over 4 months. I tried to write to her, but my registered letter was returned.

After purchasing the dogs from her, I was contacted by another breeder of this breed that I had contacted earlier in my search for available puppies (they had none at the time). They contacted me to tell me that they had a puppy available. When I told them that I had already gotten my puppies and told them where I got them they said that I should be very careful about dealing with Shawn Soldon and said "I hope to God your puppies are healthy". Apparently Shawn has a bit of a reputation among breeders.

I intend to sue Shawn Soldon and Starlight Kennels as the State of Pennsylvania has a puppy lemon law allows me to recover 50% of my purchase price if the registration papers are not provided within 120 days, but I wanted others to be warned about this unscrupulous breeder. Aside from the registration papers, we hope to God that our dogs remain healthy. Only time will tell.

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  • Sg
      29th of Apr, 2009

    I also purchased a pure bred Spanish Water Dog from Shawn in Sep 08 and she said the registration was not available until after the puppy was spayed, so I spayed the puppy and asked for the registration, but have not received it.

    our puppy is wonderful, I hope she is healthy, the vet seems to think that the puppy is fine. And you can tell that she came from really good stock, but all the widgets that breeders have to go through does make the process very expensive and maybe Shawn didn't have the money. I paid 1, 800, which seems so high to me, but she was the first breeder I saw and I just decided to get the puppy. I am glad I found our puppy, even if Shawns breeding practices leave a lot to be desired. I do think her pups come from good stock - they are beautiful.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      9th of Jan, 2010

    My wife and I have been working for 18 months to get registration papers for our Spanish Water Dog. (We payed $1500 for her). For 18 months, I've been corresponding with her and hearing the excuses. We finally registered a complaint with the district magistrate and the default date was yesterday. After speaking with the magistrate, he told me I'll get a judgement in my favor and I can begin the collection process in approximately 30 days.

    I also discovered that Ms. Soldon has lost her kennel at her Catamount Road address in Oxford, PA. She has until 31 January to remove all of the dogs and then the property will be sold. I point this out because if there are other people out there that need and want to get redress, you may want to move fast. She may be difficult to find after 31 January.

    -1 Votes
  • Ka
      22nd of Jan, 2010

    My husband and purchased a Spanish Water Dog from Shawn in 2004. We still have not received papers, but really have not pursued the matter. We did pay a lot for our dog but we bought him with the intentions of having a pet and he was neutered so the papers don't really matter that much to us. We have a wonderful dog who is terrific with our son. He is very protective and we couldn't ask for a better socialized dog. When we went through the process of getting our dog we visited Shawn and the kennel (it was not in Pennsylvania) many times. We were well aware of the way Shawn raises the dogs and we were able to see the parents. Our dog is seen by the Vet regularly and we have not seen any health issues (other than him hurting his webbed feet by stepping on acorns in our back yard.)

    I hope that you are happy with your dog as we are and that you will get the papers that you are seeking.

    +1 Votes
  • Do
      15th of Mar, 2010

    PLEASE check with the Pennsylvania Dept. of Agriculture/Dog Law enforcement bureau, and see their online kennel inspections reports on Shawn Soldon/Starlight kennels! Also check PA state court records. This person/entity has multiple charges either pending or found guilty and the state revoked/suspended her kennel license! Also, the Phila. Inquire reported online that the American Kennel Club (AKC) revoked her affilitation.
    In fact, reading the online report of the most recent 2/10 inspection, the conditions were so horrible that the inspectors stated they were filing/referring for ANIMAL CRUELTY charges against Soldon/Starlight kennels! The conditions docmented by state officials are enough to turn your stomach!
    Please, do not shop with this puppy mill. ADOPT from your local animal shelter!

    -1 Votes
  • Ma
      25th of Feb, 2011

    Dog purchasers beware: Soldon and her Starlight Kennels have moved from PA to Elkton MD, where she is jamming around 30 dogs into a glorified garage located on a small 1 acre piece of land. She was booted out of PA by the state but has just moved a bit over the state line. Nothing has changed except the location.

    -1 Votes
  • Do
      6th of Apr, 2011

    As someone who has worked for Shawn at her kennel i would warn anyone looking to get a puppy from her. Her dogs were always housed in horrible conditions and in rigged kennels that were neither secure or safe. I witnessed her breed male dogs to the point they became sterile and could no longer produce puppies and females bred back to back and at ages that dogs should not be bred just so she could get the money from them. Very Very rarely did any of her animals see a vet. One time someone came to pick up a kitten that was not socialized and almost feral and watched her talk these poor people into taking the cat home. Her cats were also kept in horrible condition's in the attic of her home with little human contact or sunlight and little care other then food and water every other day. Please if you are considering getting a puppy look else where. Shawn does not care about the animals all she cares about is how much money they can make for her. I have not seen or heard from Shawn in many years but i am very upset to hear she is up to the same things and feel so horribly for the animals in her care. If people stop buying puppies from her she would stop breeding.

    -1 Votes
  • Ji
      9th of Jun, 2011

    Shawn Soldon is notorious for withholding paperwork from owners. We paid, and then paid again...and again...for a dog. She kept upping the price and claiming it wasn't paid in full. We finally had to demand the papers after paying much more than originally agreed for the dog.
    Although Shawn breeds beautiful dogs, our experience with her has me writing on this complaint board. I advise that if you choose to purchase one of her animals, get EVERYTHING IN WRITING and follow up immediately. She is not to be trusted. As for the condition of her kennels, which I saw on numerous occassions, I will say that the animals were reasonably taken care of - but not by the standards of the law. She was always overcroweded and continued to breed. She did not seem to be able to keep the help she needed to keep up with the work required to keep the kennels in clean condition. Therefore, although it was clear she loved the animals, she did not do what was necessary to keep a clean facility.
    I am sorry to see these complaints continue as she has since moved from PA to MD. You will get a wonderful dog - but be firm on the price, and be aware you may have to eventually pursue legal avenues to obtain paperwork. For the record, overbreeding not withstanding, I have never seen evidence of neglect, or mistreatment. Her dogs are well socialized (cats not so much), and usually healthy. Perhaps there are occassions where veterinary intervention could have happened sooner, but was never totally neglected.

    +1 Votes
  • La
      27th of Jun, 2011

    We purchase a male Spanish Water dog from Soldon and her Starlight Kennels in Delaware in 2007. The dog was unstable and aggressive. I talked with one of the workers, the parent male dog was also aggressive and they had multiple problems but stopped breeding the male. She is greedy and abusive to her dogs. Whatever to save a buck. She was investigated by the Delaware authorities and moved to PA. She was shutdown in Delaware. Her husband /boy friend is from PA if he is still around. If she is still breeding dogs stay away. She is crazy abusive person that should not be allowed to breed animals. Looks like she is still on the move from Delaware to PA and now MD. Why don't the state authorities talk to each other?? And those other breeders in the business know what is going on, this has been happening for at least 5 to 4 years, shame on you. People that have the expertise should be policing their own.

    -1 Votes
  • Sh
      22nd of Sep, 2011

    Do NOT buy a dog from Shawn Soldon- she is the worst kind of breeder that keeps moving from state to state to keep breeding. She only cares about the money and not about the dogs. I neutered my Spanish Water Dog puppy that I bought from Shawn as a breeding dog. He had no socialization skills with humans and was very food aggressive. It appears that Shawn feeds her dogs only when it suits her. It sickens me to think that she continues to breed rather than getting a job. I hope Maryland finally closes down her down once and for all.


    -2 Votes
  • Jo
      15th of May, 2012

    My wife and I had the same problem -- paid for the dog just before I deployed to Iraq in 2008 and never received the papers as promised. We did sue and won the judgement at the local District Magistrate in Pennsylvania, but she has made no restitution. She was run out of Pennsylvania and now appears to be in Elkton, MD. WARNING TO ALL -- DO NOT PURCHASE ANY PUPPIES FROM THIS WOMAN.

    0 Votes
  • Jl
      22nd of Jun, 2013

    Do not buy from this breeder!

    We bought Autumn from Star Light Kennels. Autumn was housed in the owner's home. We estimated that more than 20 dogs were living in this house. The house was very dirty and foul smelling. Cages were stacked around the living room and dining room. (these were the only rooms we saw). Autumn at four months weighted four and a half pounds. She came to us but did not appear comfortable. We were told she was the "run" of the liter. We paid in cash and were told that akc papers would be mailed to us. We never received paperwork. As Autumn has grown( she is now two) evidence of genetic defects have emerged. Our vet feels these are evidence of inbreeding.

    - She has an eye defect. Her eyes incompletely developed. She has very limited vision. Her eyes rotate outwards.

    - Her ears are set higher on her head for a springer.

    - She has a flat tened top to hear head.

    - She has trouble going from lying to standing.

    - She is clumsy and falls frequently.

    - She is very hyper active and has problems focusing and learning.

    - She injures easily.

    - Her nose is always dry and scaly

    In spite of all this we love Autumn. She has become a loveable and loyal member of the family.

    Breeder Info:

    Email: [protected]

    0 Votes
  • So
      6th of Aug, 2013

    thank you for the internet. I was warned about her animals.

    0 Votes
  • Do
      7th of Oct, 2013

    I'm sorry to hear that some of you have had problems with your animal's. I have purchased a female Springer from Shawn in 2009. She was 9 months at the time. I took her to the vet with in a week. She checked out as healthy as good be. Her temperament was awesome. At the time I really was having sever depression and she was the best medicine in the world for me. She just made me laugh and loved me like no other dog did. We purchased her to breed and we are finally going to do that this year, she is now 3 and just as loving and funny. Just wish other people had the same experience as we did.

    Donna in De.

    0 Votes
  • Da
      15th of Nov, 2013

    For anyone reading that Shawn's dogs are healthy and you only need to worry about getting all the paperwork up front, I strongly disagree. JLocke and LabradoodleFan have it right. I believe these dogs are mistreated early in life and that has a lasting impact. Lucky is the person who get one of the dogs that is not affected by this treatment. We have also found that her misrepresentation of the blood lines is a problem. What may seem like a perfectly healthy dog as a puppy, can end up blind or unable to walk before too long. Of course, they will then be a part of your family and you will have to face the heartbreak of dealing with it. We have found that our male SWD is aggressive. At first it was only toward people outside the family, so we muzzled him when we had company. Last week he bit my 14 year old son as he walked in the front door. The female is totally neurotic. She seems to have dog ADHD. I know how to train dogs and have always been complemented on how well behaved and nice my other dogs have been. These dogs have deep-rooted issues. Our dogs are now 5 years old. While we love them, I wish we had never gotten them.
    Shawn continues to threaten me for starting this thread several years ago. I will not take it down. This is too important. If I must, I will file a criminal complaint against her and have her arrested. I suggest anyone looking for a pet of any kind look elsewhere.

    +1 Votes
  • Do
      17th of Nov, 2013

    Sorry to hear that your son got bit! But if you have to MUZZLE your dog I would have to question your cridentials in dog training. So now if he bit your son did you report it? Also if you purchased your dog's 5 years ago and the behavior is now coming out I would think that their enviorment may be a problem. Now if you have questions on the bloodline you could always DNA the dog's to make sure. To say that someone could end up with a blind dog or one that can't walk is uncalled for, this could even happen when you buy from a pet store. After all you do sign a pet guarantee. If anyone does not take any checked out is a fool. I have purchased a ESS from Shawn and have had her for 3 year's she is the best pet I've ever had. I have also breed her with one of Shawn's ESS and I have checked he's paper's and blood line as well. I do help Shawn with her Kennel's and all of her dog's and I love them and play with all of them. I have never seen her mistreat a single one of them. As for her SWD. They are all well behaved and play with all of her other dog's and I mean all of them and that is the English springer spaniels.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      17th of Nov, 2013

    D korrie who started this complaint in 2009 is wrong about me and continues to write libelous things with out any proof He has defamed my name professionally and personally He recieved his registration papers after he neutered his dog He would have recieved them sooner but he is so stubborn and vengeful he would not send them He recieved 4 page contract witht he pedigrees health guarentee, health records
    Now almost 5 years later he blames his 2 dogs behaviors on the breeder not ttaking responsibility for his so called training.A breeder makes choices in breeding and caring for the puppies but someone CAN TAKE A WONDERFUL PUPPY and ruin it.

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      27th of Nov, 2013

    Do not believe these lies about me Pa never harged me with animal cruelty or neglect, these people are just plain crazy! I have tried for years for complaintsboard and these "anonymous " posters to take down these lies and comments about me personally and professionally .They an't do it unless the poster will .I have sent messages to all of them and they have cowardly not responded . I have proof of these peoples espeially david korries lies about registration pedigrees and legitimate health testing. My dogs are registered with the AKC .
    My pedigrees and registration is correct.
    I never was booted out of De and passed all my inspections there I moved back home to PA to be close to my father who had bad health annd a series of strokes . He died in Dec. 2011.
    I did move to MD after we found out the property that we bought in Pa was not zoned correctly .
    These are personal comments not professional ones and I am deeply hurt by former employees who said they were my friends that have hurt me too . My dogs are my family and live in my home and I have small building or kennels where the dogs an ome in and out and have A/c, heat music and special pet cots too. I love my dogs and d korrie is has decided to try and ruin me I have been breeding since 1999 .I was a professional photographer and teaher with a graduate degree.. Just contact me and you will see how much I love them and judge for yourself .I can not believe all the ugly lies and comments
    The fact the woman with autumn has given out my personal info and contact info is an invasion of privacy .I have decided to get a lawyer to end the obvious defamation of my character and sue the people responsible for posting wrong info and outright lies about me .The editor needs to look at the comments and see the info is false and libelous and remove them without any proof.

    0 Votes
  • Fr
      9th of Dec, 2013

    I purchased an English Springer Spaniel puppy from Shawn in August, 2003 - the mother was Bijou and the father was Sundance Kid. Our dog, a female is now 10 years old. This dog has been perfect in every way. She gave us papers when we picked her up. We haven't had any problems with anything - she's as healthy as a horse and in 10 years she's only been to the vet for annual checkups - never any sickness whatsoever. She's also the most intelligent and sweet Springer that I have ever owned - she's like a human. I'm sad to read all of these complaints. If I ever had to buy another Springer, I'd definitely consider buying one from Shawn again...
    I do remember getting a letter from some agency years back regarding a lawsuit that someone was bringing against Shawn regarding the legitimacy of our litters sire. There was a female puppy who is a sister to my dog and was going to be bred. Apparently the DNA or some genetics showed the sire of our puppies may not have been the actual sire. I had no intentions of breeding etc., so it didn't bother me in the least. All I know is our Springer is wonderful and I wouldn't change a thing about her.
    If anyone would want to contact me, feel free to do so at 856-308-9371 my name is Frank

    0 Votes
  • Aj
      9th of Dec, 2013

    Purchased a 7 month old puppy from Ms. Solden back in 2011 at the Elkton, MD address. House was absolutely disgusting barely a place to sit in the living room, stuff everywhere. The house smelled and everything seemed to have a layer of filth. Tons of dogs in kennels stacked and lining the hallway and kitchen. Even more dogs outside. Despite being 7 months old the puppy had zero socialization, was not house broken, ate feces and ate her food incredibly fast. I should have walked out as soon as I saw the place but felt so bad for the puppy I decided to finish the deal and get out of there as fast as I could. Im surprised if her neighbors have never complained of the smell or noise.

    0 Votes
  • St
      16th of Feb, 2014

    I too have been a victim of this puppy mill operation. I purchased a 7 month old Springer Spaniel that Ms. Solden advertised on the website in April 2013. I live in Idaho and needed to have the dog shipped from Maryland. The problems started as soon as
    Ms. Solden received payment for the dog and shipping expenses. I was given nothing but excuses and delays plus an additional request for more money to cover shipping expenses, of which I never received receipts for the airline expenses, shipping crate, or veterinary exams. I even took 2 days off from work to spend bonding with the dog, however because Shaun delayed shipping the dog for 3 extra days from originally scheduled I had less than 24 hours to acclimate the dog to her new home before returning to work.
    Even though I have a signed purchase contract and have fulfilled all the stipulations Ms. Solden required to receive my dog's AKC registration papers, I too like many other individuals who have had the misfortune of purchasing dogs from this women, not received my dog
    's papers. Numerous attempts to contact Ms. Solden have either been unanswered or responded with more lame excuses, lies, and delays. What I have is a purebred mutt with some serious psychological issues including separation anxiety, timid, skittish, was not house or crate trained as advertised, was 5 pounds under under weight for her age per my vet's exam the day after she arrived which explains why still to this days she eats lawn debris and her own feces (since it's what she had to survive on at StarLightStars Kennel). I had wanted to compete in agility and obedience competition with my dog however because of her personality that will not be possible.
    It was only after I "googled" Shaun Solden's name that I became aware of her past history in Pennsylvania which resulted in authorities revoking her kennel license and now I have found this website where I can post my feedback of the negative experience I was subjected to because of this unscrupulous and fraudulent puppy mill breeder.
    I did not buy a dog from Shaun Solden, I "RESCUED" a dog from her puppy mill business.

    0 Votes

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