Sturbridge Breeders Association — Bad Breeders
My main complaint with this organization is that I feel they are running a group of puppy mills, and they are selling unhealthy dogs.
My fiancee and I just adopted a little Boston Terrier girl in mid-December. When I contacted Marlene LIppert, the owner of the organization after finding her on the AKC website, she referred me to a "friend" of hers named Mary Klinedinst. I contacted Mary who had a girl puppy available within the next two weeks. It was really easy, she gave me a pick-up date, gave me directions, and we were all set! My fiancee and I went up two weeks later, I sent her a text a few days before to confirm, and we were all set. After driving over 2 hours to her house, we arrived to find 3 sheds that were all filled with dogs. She handed us our VERY tiny little baby Boston puppy, and we noticed that she had snot bubbles coming out of her nose. Mary then informed us that she had a "cold" and that she was on antibiotics. After hearing this, we were both a little weary about taking her, but at this point my fiancee was already holding her, falling in love, and Mary assured us that she would not even have put the puppy on antibiotics but with the stress of going to a new home she felt that she needed them. We felt that she would be okay.
I contacted our vet at Matthew J. Ryan Penn Vet Hospital 2 days after getting her and she instantly told me that the antibiotics that our puppy was on are really meant for humans, and they don't easily absorb into a dog's body. We couldn't take her to the vet right away because she couldn't be outside for a few days. If she were to get a chill this could result in pneumonia and probable death. We took her to the vet the following week and we were then told that she had kennel cough. We were shocked! So, at that time, they switched her antibiotics, told us to keep her warm and inside, and we were told that she would have to be on her new antibiotics for 3 weeks!!! I couldn't believe that our poor baby girl had to be on antibiotics for another 3 weeks after already being on the first set that Mary gave us for a week!! I immediately contacted both Marlene Lippert and Mary Klinedinst. Mary basically told us that we were not covered for kennel cough, yet, the problem was that when Mary sold us our puppy she had already been on the antibiotics for 2 days. We were not contacted with this information, and both Mary and Marlene had access to my cell phone number and my e-mail address. It became very obvious that she did not want to tell us until we saw our puppy and fell in love that she was sick so that she would still get paid her $1500 for the puppy. We felt that is was Mary's duty to pay to get her healthy again. Seemed reasonable to us! After about 4 go arounds with e-mails, she FINALLY agreed to pay for her bills. (My vet also sent her vet a report, and we sent Mary and Marlene the vet report.) The total amount was $200.00 which included the vet bills and the antibiotics. She then sent us a check for $100.00, saying that she was not paying for the first visit to the vet as we are supposed to get this anyway. I can see her point, yet, the fact still remains that she NEVER contacted us to let us know that our puppy had been taken to the vet, and prescribed antibiotics 2 days prior to us picking her up, and she sold us a sick puppy. We did not nickel and dime her by charging her the gas to take her to the vet, the amount of time that my fiancee had to take off of work to get her to the vet. (In total we had to go to the vet 3 times, the first visit, again to pick up the second round of antibiotics as they expire after 10 days, and again as a follow-up.), as well as our extremely expensive heating bills so our little girl wouldn't get a chill. Yet, we really felt that Mary would do ANYTHING to not pay us back.
Our vet also told us that anyone breeding more than one breed is typically a backyard breeder or a puppy mill. This woman had Boston Terriers, French Bulldogs, and Pugs. (She may have more as we only saw 1 out of 3 of her "sheds".) I also think that this is a little scam that these two women are running. Sturbridge Farms' website shows many awards that Marlene's dogs have won, and it seems incredibly reputable, yet here she is referring us to someone else. (Mary also informed us that Marlene sells all of her dogs...interesting!)
I am in the process of reporting her to the AKC as I think that they are using the organizations good, reputable name to basically promote their puppy mills. Marlene is a registered AKC breeder, yet Mary is not on the website. It's interesting that only one of them is listed as an AKC breeder, yet it seems to us that the majority of the puppies come from someone who is not an AKC breeder. I am appalled at their behavior, and the fact that they love the almighty dollar more than this wonderful breed.