Sturbridge Breeders AssociationBad Breeders

1 Review updated:

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.

Jan 18, 2015

More Sturbridge Breeders Association Complaints & Reviews

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  • Ma
      Apr 05, 2015

    I am glad that this site allows both sides of the story and I am Marlene... discussed in the above complaint... about myself... Mary Klinedinst and Sturbridge Breeders Association.. I would very much like to address the other side of this.. First of all I would like to address the woman’s contention that myself and Mary are running a "scam" as nothing could be further from the truth. My website speaks for itself... and there is nothing dishonest about it.. I raise and show Boston Terriers and French Bulldogs and have done so for 35 years and in this time I have acquired MANY trusted friends in my breeds as well as some who do other breeds... So since I am certainly NOT a "puppy mill" cranking out multiple dogs for only profit... many times I do not HAVE puppies of my own and if any of my trusted friends DO have them... I of course will pass that information on to people looking for pets OR show prospects.. This is exactly what I did in this situation.. I did not have puppies.. Mary did.. and I put the two parties together...
    At this time I would like to discuss Mary Klindinst... I have known Mary for 12 years... she raises Bostons, Frenchies and Pugs... She has a total of 20 breeding dogs... which in an informed persons mind would NOT qualify as a "puppy mill" .. Despite this woman’s claim that her vet said anyone with THREE breeds is a backyard breeder or a puppy mill... In my 35 years of breeding and showing dogs... I have met MANY people highly respected in their breeds, who have TWO breeds and sometimes three.. Backyard breeders are normally people who, without care to linage or health, purchase two or more dogs and decide to breed dogs to make some money... Mary, nor myself come CLOSE to falling in that category. From 2008 (when Pennsylvania implemented NEW and strict dog laws) til 2014.. I was on the Dog Law Advisory board for the state and almost single handedly took charge of the "safe harbor" program.. which allowed the REAL puppy mills in our state to call ME and come and get dogs they were planning on "dumping" because of the new laws, so they could either go out of business (which the new law forced them to) or move out of state to states that have no dog laws... Since I do not glean my knowledge OF puppy mills from advertisements on television... but have seen them first hand.. up close and personal... when I went in to them to rescue thousands of dogs... I take REAL offense at that label being stuck on myself OR on Mary... How ironic that this woman’s complaint calls Mary’s--heated---air conditioned--full access to grass yards--state of the art SAFE kennels... "SHEDS" so she can conjure up visions of dirty, horrible rabbit hutch type things to the reader of her complaint.. I own 6 acres and most of it is devoted to my dogs... I am proud OF my kennel as Mary is of hers.. we are BOTH licensed kennels with the state and we both pass inspections at 100% EVERY time... As to Mary NOT being an AKC breeder... Amazing... since the puppy this woman got from Mary is AKC registered... and Mary is ALSO inspected (as am I) by the AKC.. and has ALSO passed all of THOSE inspections with a 100%... FYI... there is no such thing as a "registered" AKC breeder... You either breed dogs with AKC registration or you do not.. We BOTH breed dogs who are AKC registered... Mary in fact stands her own CHAMPION AKC Boston stud... I bred him.. Mary took him to his championship...
    As to this womans assertion that the puppy was SMALL... Her puppy was NOT a "runt" by any means and was the proper size for a puppy of its age... Again the inference is somehow the puppy was TOO small to leave... Which is NOT true... The only mistake Mary made here was allowing a puppy to leave WITH a cold brewing... and WITH medication.. Once this woman’s vet talked to Mary’s vet.. the conclusion WAS that the medicine prescribed FOR the puppy was a medicine that YES people CAN take... but dogs can also take it... and was actually the generic version of the same medicine that the woman’s vet put the puppy on... Mary DID try to fix this problem tho... and Mary DID pay this woman’s vet bill FOR the cold... Even though she asserts the cold the puppy had was kennel cough... HER vet did NOT state that in the vet report... or in speaking with Marys vet.. Even had it BEEN "kennel cough" --that is just another strain OF a "cold". Once again the complaint is worded to make the reader think the very worst.
    In closing... This woman’s complaint is worded quite well to make the reader really question myself, Mary and our association of SMALL, GOOD breeders...I can tell you its a far cry from the nasty, emails filled with foul language that this woman’s fiancé sent to us regarding this issue. We have NOTHING to hide... ANYONE is welcome to visit us and see for themselves the WAY we raise dogs... We do not ship them on planes.. so eventually ANYONE who gets a puppy from us WILL meet the breeder and SEE the facility.. It’s sad that the Internet seems to be a place where mud can be slung... When 99 percent of people who got dogs from us are beyond happy with them in every way... . I thank you for taking the time to read our side of this story..
    Marlene Lippert

    -1 Votes
  • Lm
      Aug 06, 2018

    @Marlene L I purchased a pug from Marlene in November of 2004. I have nothing but positive things to say. He is by far the greatest dog ever. Thank you Marlene for giving me a best friend for over 13 years! I highly recommend buying from this association. It's been a long time, but from what I remember the puppies were very well taken care of, and had plenty of love given by the breeders. Again, I would not hesitate to buy another dog from them!

    0 Votes
  • Ed
      Dec 20, 2018

    @Marlene L I purchased my dog from Marlene 15 years ago. He just past on in September . And in those 15 years he was never In poor health right up to the end.
    He was an amazing creature full of health love and with a great temperament and intelligence. He was the 4 Boston I've owned in my life starting at age 5 and I'm 52 now. So while not an expert I am well versed in dealing with the breed. And I can tell you this . You would be hard pressed to find a better Boston then those bred by Marlene . I have coresponded with her throughout my dogs 15 year life at least annually and have never had to wait more then a day for a reply. Does that sound like someone who does not care for the dogs she breeds. 15 years after "the sale"
    And still cares enough about her dogs to reply!

    +1 Votes
  • Aw
      May 08, 2015

    I purchased a pug from Mary for my wife 6 years ago. When I arrived to pick out which puppy I wouof be getting she showed me all of her "sheds". Let me tell you, I've seen houses that aren't as nice as those. I am actually looking forward to getting another puppy from her very soon. I highly recommend Mary and like I said, well be returning shortly as Archie needs a buddy. - A. Warner

    0 Votes
  • Ss
      Jul 22, 2015

    In March of this year, 2015, I contacted Marlene about her website and about purchasing a Boston puppy. She advised at that time she did not have any puppies but her friend that was in her association did indeed have a few puppies. Marlene did all the calling for me to her friend so to make it easier for me. Within a week we were on our way to meet our potential new family member. I then contacted the other lady, who was very nice and she was very acomadating to my husband and my schedule. She even advised that she still had two females from a litter from December and told us if we were interested she would be willing to take a lower price. We ventured out on our 2.5 hour drive and when we arrived we too did see the so called sheds, however they were more like a very clean, well heated building. She showed us the older puppies as well as the younger pups so that we could make our decision. We ended up taking one of the older girls, as we instantly fell in love. As far as these ladies only doing this for the money, well I highly doubt that as my husband made her an offer for the puppy and she accepted with no hesitation and I will tell you it was well under half the price she had been asking. I have to say that I would have no hesitation returning to these ladies for another puppy. Also to add, our little Remi is very healthy and received a glowing report from our vet.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
      Jul 24, 2015

    I got a Boston through Marlene & Mary in Sept 2014. My dog is great tempered and has been very healthy. The area the dogs were kept was large, clean, and generally well kept. I would not hesitate returning to them for another puppy.

    0 Votes
  • Er
      Dec 17, 2015

    I'm sorry that you had this experience. Although I can't speak to Mary's breeding conditions, I bought a Boston terrier from Marlene's son and daughter-in-law August 2013 and I could not be HAPPIER. Dexter has a wonderful, gentle temperament and has not had any health problems. When I went to pick him up, her son spent an extensive amount of time chatting with me about Bostons and general information. He was so knowledgable and absolutely lovely, as was his wife via email. I actually came across this complaint because I forgot Marlene's website name and googled. I'm thinking of giving Dexter a sibling, and my first stop will be to Marlene.
    Again, I can't speak to your specific situation, but breeders are allowed to breed more than one dog ESPECIALLY if the breeds are similar such as Bostons, Frenchies and Pugs.

    +1 Votes
  • To
      Feb 29, 2016

    I can speak very highly of Marlene and her dogs! We have 2 of her puppies and they are beautiful loving dogs- they are ages 8 and 5- have had few health problems- other than an ear infection on occasion- I got my second pup from Marlene- she also had a sniffle- I do not think this is too unusual for a puppy to have a sniffle- I have been given poor advice from veterinarians before- there is no proof in the above story. I have contacted Marlene for advice through the years- most recent when we took in a rescue and were having behavior issues- she gave us good advice and still remembered us from 8 years ago when we met her to buy Topper Jr. She was positive about us helping our new rescue boy. I do believe she really cares for the dogs and the people who buy them from her. If she were out to get more money and sell more dogs- she would not have encouraged us to keep trying with our rescue as we are loyal customers.

    +1 Votes
  • Ed
      Dec 20, 2018

    @Topper Smith You got a topper baby! Outstanding bloodline !

    0 Votes
  • Mr
      Jul 15, 2016

    I purchased a puppy from Marlene 9 years ago and he is the sweetest guy. However, he had to have surgery twice because of stanotic nares. I really trusted her and as soon as I purchased I took him to the vet and she said, he had the above problem. He had trouble breathing and would almost pass out on us. He had surgery twice and insurance would not pay because the vet noted this problem. Between the both surgeries I spent over seven thousand dollars. I would never suggest anyone buy a puppy from Sturbridge Farm and Marlene because she knows more than the vets who treated Boomer. The one vet I know for 30 years and basically she sold me a puppy with a serious problem. Till this day he can't run around a lot because he gets out of breath. Very sad and dishonest!

    +1 Votes
  • Tr
      Nov 03, 2016

    I agree with ErinBee I purchased a Boston pup from Marlene directly in December 2013. I purchased one with a known defect (nasal) that did not cause any health issues (I think she can actually breathe BETTER if anything). She also had an umbilical hernia but this is something that is very common in any puppy. I cannot say enough about Marlene and the time she took explaining things to me about the breed and temperament etc. We had numerous phone calls and emails back and forth. I got lucky because this puppy was promised to someone else who ultimately then didn't want her so I was able to take her. She is the BEST dog EVER! So friendly to everyone and cuddly! She gets along with all other animals- dogs, a new cat- as well as people and children! I have other dogs in my home that do NOT have this temperament and so I really APPRECIATE this in my Mika. This is not something you can find just anywhere. It saddens me to see the above post trying to bring harm to the reputation of the wonderful breeder. Are all pups going to be perfect? No. Are all customers going to be happy? No. Unfortunately the negative ones seem to be the ones who always post and finding this post is what prompted me to post my own comment which I otherwise would not have done so shame on me! This is what given businesses a bad name- the lack of action of those who have a positive experience. As with the other above reviews, I came across this post trying to find Marlene's website again and I am glad I did! At least it gave me the opportunity to post a positive response and hopefully dispel of any negativity the original author has perpetuated. I tried to attache a picture of my beautiful Bonton baby but the website won't upload it for some reason!

    As with any purchase I suggest the buyer do their research and homework and find a reputable breeder. I have been to Marlene's property and it is NOT a puppy mill!!! You can tell by the puppies personality they are well cared for and loved prior to going to their forever home. Unlike some of the mills that come out of the Lancaster area where you never know what you are going to get! Marlene breeds for temperament and to further the breed and anyone she works in conjunction with I am sure does the same. She would not associate with or tolerate anything less that that and to suggest such is just unfair to the operation.

    Anyway, I've said my part now. Great dogs, great temperament, I would highly recommend and am myself going to be a repeat customer!!! Don't believe every negative thing you read online! The angry ones post, the happy ones don't!!!

    0 Votes
  • De
      Mar 29, 2018

    I came across this post while looking for Marlene's website. I purchased a Boston pup from Marlene in 2007 and I still have him today. Unfortunately I was a victim of buying a puppy from a puppy mill. That puppy had to be put down 2 days after we got him because he was diagnosed with distemper. My daughter was devastated as the puppy had been a gift for her. I went online to do some research and I came across Marlene's website and I called her. She was very knowledgeable and sympathetic to what had happened. To make a long story short I asked or if she had any puppies and she did she told me that I could come and take a look at them, there were two at the time, and she will give me a health guarantee. I took the 2 hour drive with my daughter to see more lean and the puppies. I can't tell you how impressed I was with her kennels. I can't tell you how impressed I was with her kennels. They were clean they were climate controlled and they had doggy doors so that the puppies can go out and do their business. The puppies were well, she had A young son in the puppies were brought in the house so that he can play with them. I can tell you that my Berkeley had no health issues, he was already house trained when I got him at 9 weeks old I believe and has made me a Boston terrier addict I currently have 3 of them to of which I rescued. My Berkeley is full of energy, loves to play, hes loyal, has a wonderful temperament and has made my family members also Boston Terrier addicts. I will be every I will be a repeat customer of Marlene's. I Trust her, she has integrity, she really cares about her dogs and she's honest. I would highly recommend Sturbridge to anyone looking for a Boston or a Frenchie.

    +2 Votes
  • Ed
      Dec 20, 2018

    My beloved shockey. Best dog I've ever owned .

    0 Votes

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