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3.7 3 Reviews

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Kinship Companions is generally doing well in dealing with customer problems, which is nice to see! But there is still a lot of work to be done (for example, responding to all incoming complaints). We suggest reviewers take some time to understand how exactly the company operates. Reading other customers' experiences can also give insight into how Kinship Companions handles challenging situations.
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6:21 pm EST

Kinship Companions Puppy Mill

Judge tosses Kinship Companions lawsuit Jason Smathers, Sheboygan Press Media 8:32 p.m. CST November 11, 2015 KC.jpgBuy Photo (Photo: Kali Thiel / Sheboygan Press Media) 46 CONNECT TWEET LINKEDIN COMMENT EMAIL MORE A Sheboygan judge is dismissing a case in which a dog breeder sued the town that stripped her of her permit to operate. Judge Angela Sutkiewicz tossed the case brought by Christy Tuchel, operator of Kinship Companions, against the Town of Wilson after Tuchel filed a 16-page "brief" saying the town had wrongly revoked her conditional use permit because, among other arguments, its regulations were preempted by state law and that town board supervisor Nancy DesJardins had approached the hearing with an "impermissible" level of bias. In that brief, Tuchel made several claims against DesJardins stating she is attempting to make Tuchel lose her "business thus her home and even her children." Tuchel also claimed she was "unable to fairly represent herself" at a Jan. 19 town board meeting, during which the board essentially revoked her license as a result of an email read into the record from her former spouse. Tuchel claims in the brief that she "collapsed from her Postural Orthostatic Tachyardia [sic] Syndrom [sic], which was enduced [sic] by PTSD immediately following reading of the email." An attorney for the town, Casey M. Kaiser, responded to the "brief" with a letter claiming that what Tuchel had submitted was, in fact, an amended complaint. As such, Kaiser told the court it would not respond with its own brief because Tuchel failed to file a brief in the first place. At the status conference Monday, Nov. 9, Sutkiewicz tossed the case altogether. The case is still open until Kaiser drafts an order, which Sutkiewicz would then sign. The town voted at the beginning of 2015 to issue a "non-renewal" of the conditional use permit for the business, which bred and sold dogs, based primarily on a violation found during a state inspection of Kinship Companions. That review showed the business didn't have enough floor space for the number of dogs being kept there. While it was only one violation in a list of more than 100 other requirements for a state license, the town said it had taken Tuchel far too long to comply with the regulations and pointed to earlier inspections with other violations. Following a hearing Jan. 19, her permit was essentially revoked. Tuchel fought back with a lawsuit, claiming the decision was made incorrectly. Several letters of support for Tuchel were sent to the court, including one from Tuchel's veterinarian speaking to her competency with the dogs being bred and denying that what Tuchel operated was a "puppy mill." The lawsuit ran into trouble when Tuchel's lawyer, Joseph Cincotta, withdrew from proceedings in late July. In a letter to the court, he claimed there were disagreements between himself and Tuchel and that Tuchel was no longer able to pay for representation. She then filed the brief referenced above on her own. Reach Jason Smathers at [protected] or [protected]@sheboyganpress.com.

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Kinship Companions misrepresentation

Breeder claims to have a quality breeding business but is willing to trash two breeds for the sake of money. Check OFA's as a consumer...how many of KInships dogs that are being bred have been certified? How often will you (the consumer) get the runaround regarding the health of the family ect. in order to not get your phone calls, and emails answered. Please we all have health issues and you are, after all, running a business. Please request as much information as possible, you will soon find they will not want to deal with you. OFA's, Heart, eyes, skin, clearances. Be informed! Nice enough people when it means money in their pockets. Did you request to tour the living space of the dogs? Can you come unannounced and tour the living area of the dogs? I can tell you one reason will be that they will have "newborns" they want left undisturbed. Please do not support the breeding of "blends" or breed mixing (muts)

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Baby j 107
, US
Oct 10, 2017 11:50 am EDT

This has been amusing. Tubie might find it interesting that this kinship kennel in Sheboygan had been shut down because 40 dead dogs were found in freezers. Seriously though, she is right do your homework. Whomever bought dogs from them just allowed them to keep freezing who knows how many dead dogs and abusing them over the years by keeping them in business.

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Oct 22, 2012 2:03 pm EDT
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For anyone still reading this - health testing reduces the probability that a puppy will develop an inherited disease. This is particularly true when there are several generations of tested dogs. This is a fact. It's true, health testing that simply looks at the dog and not at its genetic makeup is not a guarantee that the puppies from said dog will not develop an issue. However, those"little pieces of paper" tell you that the breeder cares so much about the puppies that they produce that they were willing to take the extra time and expense to go to experts in the various field (Orthopedics, Cardiology, Opthalmology) and make sure that the dogs they are breeding are not affected by those issues. Cleared parents = higher probability that the puppies will not develop issues. There are no genetic tests for Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, SAS (heart issue), or most eye issues that plague Goldens (and Berners for that matter). There is only the visual inspection. It just makes sense that those inspections should be done by experts in those areas.

As far as Cancer goes - it occurs in every line, in every country. Some lines are more prone to it than others. Golden Retrievers as a BREED are more susceptible than other breeds. There is not a genetic test for it but there are several different studies being done to try and find the genes responsible and create a genetic test for it: http://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/blog/category/dog/golden-retriever-health.html

This is not about club membership or selling puppies, it's about helping people see the difference between breeders who do everything that they can to create healthy puppies and those that don't.

Do your homework before you buy - go to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) website (grca.org) if you are looking for a Golden. Go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) if you want a Berner. In either case, make sure that the breeder that you are looking at is doing the best that they can to insure a healthy puppy - by doing the appropriate genetic and health testing!
Golden recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=GR
Berner recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=BMD

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Tubie is Bat Crazy
Monroe, US
Oct 21, 2012 6:59 pm EDT

Puppy Buyers Coming Across This.
I Know That Finding A Puppy Might Be Proving To Be Harder Than You Expected.
Unfortunately, What You Have Come Across On This Site Will Require You To Make A Decision:

YOU HAVE ONE OF TWO CHOICES

ONE
Believe Tubie, a women that is SO certain that she has the right to spread her propaganda and is so proud of her accomplishments as a breeder and member of the Golden Retriever Club of America that she has never told anyone here(in all of her 49+ posts) that she is a breeder and club member until being called out on it in THIS post. Concede that you are not able to make your own educated decision without working with this bigot. Agree that you must join a dwindling club of people that make a hobby of running in circles and judging other people. Ignore Tubies rhetoric and commit to buying a puppy from her or her friends ignorantly believing that when you some day disagree with them she will actually respect you more than she has respected the family here. A family which she has shamelessly and methodically slandered week after week although she has NEVER met them. You have the right to "contact the club" and become part of the very, very small percentage of people that will agree with Tubie and join her in her prejudicial efforts. If you do choose to join her ranks you may have to get rid of or devalue your Cockapoo or Goldendoodle because she considers all hybrids to be worthless mutts, but at least you will be able to sleep at night knowing that you chose a puppy with the "best chances of being healthy".. that is, until your dog falls sick to cancer, or defect and you are slapped with the hard reality that what Tubie is selling is a LIE.

OR TWO
You could admit that while the things Tubie is claiming about this breeder may sound scary in writing, she is writing them on a website in which the majority of the complaints are so vulgar, irrational, and ignorant the website is often blocked by programs intended to protect children from explicit content such as porn. You could ask yourself "Why am I even reading this garbage?", as so many hundreds of people have. You can decide to use your own discernment when choosing a breeder and remember that only you can make the decision about who really has YOUR best interest in mind. Let me be the first of many referrals to support that Chuck and Christy Mikula are nothing near what their competition has attempted to paint them as on this site. No, they do not bend over and take it from anyone attempting to take advantage of their family, however Chuck and Christy are very understanding and passionate about what they do. If life has not already taught you this, please carefully consider that pieces of paper will not protect you from reality. If you are healthy enough to see that this breeder is doing everything they can for their puppy families and have beautiful, healthy, and smart dogs you should go ahead and apply for a puppy. Then remember that whichever breeder you choose, you need to be a good enough home and trustworthy enough that the family can trust you. Every year the millions of dollars spent in researching canine health are discovering that we have grossly underestimated that the environment you expose your dog to has more to do with your dogs health that which uterus it happened to grow from. If you choose this option please refocus your anxieties into committing to truly providing the most healthy environment for your puppy you possibly can.

To Tubie and her little goodfellow(s).
You've attacked this family and now scamper off with your tail between your legs. (At least until you come up with another way to harm their reputation) You've already displayed your interest, and that of the Golden Retriever Club to blacklist breeders that are not part of your club. You have attempted to publish false information in order to form a BIAS in the minds of potential puppy buyers, and this you have done in the name of education?
I am sorry that you don't have families more important than your slander that you've wasted such time on this site. OR moments in your life so inspiring that you would never want to waste your time gossiping the way you have here and around the ring. Most importantly (from someone that used to be part of your club) I am so sorry that you are so caught up in seeing the world as a dangerous place that you will never share the sort of vision and compassion people like Chuck and Christy have for each of their puppies and their families.. not just the ones perfect enough to earn points in the ring towards healing your fragile ego.

This breed does not begin and end with your club and show ring. Dogs are meant to be members of the family, not cars.

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Oct 19, 2012 5:16 pm EDT
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Some actual facts since T.I.B.S.C. seems to be making things up as he/she goes along:

1. I have had Goldens for over 31 years. I have bred exactly 1 litter and that was 20 years ago. I gain absolutely nothing when the people that I have educated don't go to T.I.B.S.C.'s friends and I have not referred anyone to a specific breeder or set of breeders when I've posted here or anywhere else.

2. The only Golden breeders who have ever confronted me have been the ones who could not/would not back up the inaccuracies and lies that they have posted. Almost without exception, instead of proving that what I say is not true, they choose to attack me in an attempt to deflect any scrutiny away from themselves. They also usually claim that I'm part of some group that is out to get them.

3. The database that T.I.B.S.C. speaks of, K9Data, locked the record of a Kinship dog after the owner removed the breeder information and the registration number from the dog's record multiple times. The administrator of the site added back the information that had been removed - information that had been verified as correct by the AKC records and then locked the dog to keep the information from being removed again.

4. I get my information from a variety of sources including the AKC records, and the OFA and CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) databases. Considering that the information in K9Data is user-entered, I would never trust it as being 100% true.

5. Yes, there have been cases of fraud with the OFA. That is why they instituted the Permanent Identification designation and check. Dogs that are permanently identified get a PI suffix. Those that aren't get a NOPI suffix. Penn-Hip doesn't take any more precautions than the OFA does to ensure against fraud.

6. In order to get the best reading possible, Penn-Hip, OFA and BVA/KC all require that the x-rays be read by a panel of Orthopedic specialist. It is highly unlikely that a general practitioner vet has this specialized training to look at hip and elbow x-rays and give an informed reading. Three sets of eyes are invariably better than one set.

7. The OFA doesn't evaluate eyes and hearts - they only record the results of examinations given by the vets that physically examined the dog. So if there are "inaccurate" reports in those two areas, they are not coming from the OFA. They are coming directly from the forms filled out by the vets that performed the exams.

8. With the exception of Penn-Hip x-rays, it's not the vet that submits the information to the OFA or CERF, it's the owners. If x-rays or eye exams aren't submitted, that is because the owner didn't send them in, not the vet. FYI: an exam done by a practitioner vet that does not have Canine Ophthalmology training is not even eligible to be sent to CERF.

9. The reason that a "Qualified" vet is not an appropriate option for doing genetic/health testing is simply because most of them lack the specialized training needed to accurately assess the dog. AVCO vets (Canine Ophthalmologists) and ACVIM vets (Cardiology specialty) get an additional 3 years of training in those fields. They are trained to look/listen for things that a practitioner vet is not. They also have specialized equipment that a practitioner may not have. It's the difference between a human going to their general practitioner to have a heart condition checked versus going to a Cardiologist to have it checked. A GP might be able to hear a murmur but not necessarily diagnose it correctly.

10. If a breeder chooses not to work with the OFA for hips and elbows, I have no problem with that as long as they use a recognized authority (Penn-Hip, BVA/KC) to get their health/genetic testing done. The OFA is perfectly willing to accept and list results from BVA/KC and Penn-Hip in their database as well as CERF results (and other genetic tests as well.) What I have a problem with is when people choose not to use ANY recognized authority to do their checks and then blame it on their dislike of the OFA.

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Oct 19, 2012 2:24 pm EDT
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Copperfield Goldens aka Tubie is Bat ### Crazy - get a grip. It looks like you have 2 litters of puppies on the ground. Why don't you go play with them and calm down?

If/when you want to post something rational, I might respond to you again. Or you can continue to rant on and I will ignore you and continue to post HELPFUL information for people who are willing to listen. Your choice.

Do your homework before you buy - go to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) website (grca.org) if you are looking for a Golden. Go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) if you want a Berner. In either case, make sure that the breeder that you are looking at is doing the best that they can to insure a healthy puppy - by doing the appropriate genetic and health testing!
Berner recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=BMD
Golden recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=GR

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Bernese lover
Greendale, US
Oct 19, 2012 1:10 pm EDT
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Some people may just love bernese mountain dogs and want one. I don't think Kinship Companions is trying to breed Westminster winners. They are breeding wonderful Berners and Goldens, it is that simple. Why does everyone care so much what this breeder does or doesn't do. You know why, because its those people who want the money and Kinships customers. Like I said before, just leave them alone to do what they do best, breed great dogs. If you spent the amount of time and energy focussing on your own businesses and lives then maybe you could be successful too. But you know what they say "haters are haters".

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Tubie is Bat Crazy
Monroe, US
Oct 19, 2012 10:47 am EDT

Tubie and M Rifkin

I knew that Club Membership was dwindling, but coming here and bashing a breeder you don't even know with hopes to win just one more follower is VERY LOW!

All of this attack against a family with seven children TWO of which are special needs just to try and convince people that Club people are better? WOW

You are both clearly here trying to PUSH The Golden Retriever Club and scare the reader looking for a new puppy into buying your puppy. You are both members. Your remark that this breeder is producing "pet quality" puppies is WRONG. Again, you are misleading the reader.

This breeder has VERY high quality lines. You can see right on their website that most of them have nearly all Show Champions going generations back. They are clearly working with a reliable lineage.

Do they show dogs? I know I've spent time with them beside a ring watching you all run in circles. I've watched as you show fanatics roll your eyes and talk down to their children. I was even there once when their little daughter was told "this is no place for kids" as she stood with the other bystanders watching the dogs.

I find it honorable that Chuck and Christy choose not to waste their time and expose their children to your back biting culture. You've proved on this site how nasty and obsessive your people can be. Why would anyone want to join you?

You are claiming that they look as if they are not working to better the breed because they do not show? Do you really think that the majority of the American puppy buyers agree with you? They DO NOT. Most buyers find your SHOW WORLD detestable. Many have crazy neighbors and cousins that are show people. The success of the movie "Best In Show", is due much in part to the fact that MOST Americans find Show or Club people to be neurotic, eccentric, narrow minded control freaks that spend more time washing and blow drying their pretty little dogs than actually contributing anything to humanity.

Sure there are "nice" people in the Golden Retriever Club, and at shows, but they are becoming more few and far between.

The Golden Retriever is the fourth most popular breed. You represent a VERY small percentage of people. I would challenge that less than 5% of Golden Retriever owners even want to be in the Golden Retriever Club and an even smaller percentage of them actually choose to show or breed dogs.

Tubie and M Rifkin the times are changing. Americans are choosing breeders like Kinship Companions because they want to work with someone who is like them. Someone that has children and treats their dog like part of the family. They want to be treated as an equal, they do not want to just be part of a list of people that are lucky to buy your show rejects. They want to meet their puppy before committing and remain friends with their breeder long after. THEY HAVE NOT FOUND THAT WITH YOU.

You are talking about dogs like they are car? Something that you use and park in the garage? And you think you represent the interest of the American puppy buyer? YOU DO NOT

Your club members are known for condemning hybrids, calling them MUTTS? You kick out members of your club that raise hybrids for therapy use. Your club forgets that the Golden Retriever itself started as a hybrid in our Great Grandfather's age. You are so full of contradictions, and then you spend your time stalking breeders on websites like this?

Your remark that this breeder is not working to -better the breed- and claim that they are -in it for money- is narrow minded and judgmental. You may have your moment on this website and succeed at scaring a few nervous buyers away from some breeders such as Kinship. BUT you are loosing in the long run.

Nine out of Ten people reading this make their own determination that this entire posts is about CRAZY SHOW PEOPLE attacking a breeder they don't even know. The other one person may be so worried that your lies really do scare them and they find a breeder like you to work with. BUT the truth will not change. Members of the clubs are NOT finding greater success in the health of their dog anymore. Tubie you are honestly going to claim that you and your friends have never had a dog with a defect? That is impossible.

In the end what you are missing is that the people that buy a dog from Kinship Companions do not do so because they are foolish idiots that didn't do their homework. The hundreds of happy puppy families Kinship has work with choose them because they have ALREADY dealt with show people like you. They have had dogs that were very sick even though they were "health certified". They have been lied to. They have been to court against you. They have lost their dogs at 6 years old to cancer. They have learned that your dogs are just dogs and that it is a mistake to trust these judgmental show people that claim that their dogs are genetically elite. Any dog can get sick and statistically a small percentage of the best WILL. The people that choose to work with Kinship do so because they know that Christy is there for them day and night. Good or bad.

That is why I left the ring. That is why I will always value what Chuck and Christy are doing. That is why your slander will always be confronted by their clients that adore them

What you are doing here is libelous. God help you.

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Oct 19, 2012 8:07 am EDT
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Do your homework before you buy - go to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) website (grca.org) if you are looking for a Golden. Go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) if you want a Berner. In either case, make sure that the breeder that you are looking at is doing the best that they can to insure a healthy puppy - by doing the appropriate genetic and health testing!
Berner recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=BMD
Golden recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=GR

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Tubie is Bat Crazy
Monroe, US
Oct 18, 2012 10:25 pm EDT

TUBIE when did you lie? When did you make sure to TELL THE TRUTH? You are not disclosing that you use this site because it is not moderated. It has very high ranking in Google searches AND it requires NO FACTS or proof of your claims. IT is the back alley of the internet. IF you were acting as an advocate you would have your own website and put your real name beside your slanderous remarks.

I did not "stalk" you, I simply clicked on your name to see your posting history. You could easily be sued for libel and you know it. I owe you no explanation. You know that just because a dog is not listed on your data base does not mean he or she doesn't have clearances. You are attacking this breeder and are full of lies.

Based on your continued efforts to harm this family's reputation I will make one correction to my previous post. You really are more of a malignant narcissist than a benign and clearly very antisocial. You claim to be "educating people" on a site where people post pictures of their cheating boyfriends and slam their mistresses.

READER PLEASE BEWARE!

TUBIE has made over 49 posts over the last TWO YEARS attacking breeders on gossip websites. SHE DOES NOT KNOW THIS BREEDER

She has intentionally withheld the fact that she is A BREEDER of GOLDEN RETRIEVERS HERSELF and benefits from disparaging this breeder. She hides her name and even her gender to allow herself the free rein to say whatever she wants without any PROOF. She CLAIMS to be acting as a vigil anti on behalf of The Golden Retriever Club of America. HOWEVER she is hiding her name because most Golden Retriever Clubs require their members to commit to not malign others by making libelous, slanderous, or malicious criticism regarding another person, their dog or kennel.

She lied over and over about this breeder. Claiming dogs do not have clearances that actually do. Claiming Kinship owns dogs they don't. Supporting other posts that call this breeder "Liar", "Greedy", etc. She claimed that two different dogs are the same dog. This is not the first breeder she has done this to.

She ADMITS to getting her information from a database hosted by her FRIENDS using information that is NOT controlled by the dog's owner but by a fellow zealot. She admits that breeders are not ALLOWED to remove or change information that is inaccurate. But justifies this by accusing the breeder of wanting to LIE if they do try to delete a dog. In Feb 2011 she was confronted by another breeder about the grossly negligent dishonesty she uses to manipulate YOU THE READER into believing that a breeder does not have healthy breeding dogs simply because their VET didn't publish results onto a DATABASE. She has ignored them and moved on to attacking more breeders.

TUBIE acts like an innocent advocate BUT has already been confronted about her LIBELOUS LIES and MISREPRESENTATIONS by other breeders and Golden Retriever club members. She is well aware that TO THE SATISFACTION OF EDUCATED PUPPY BUYERS an increasing number of BREEDERS have decided to work closely with their QUALIFIED VETERINARIAN and proven, quality lines to produce healthy puppies and choose NOT TO WORK WITH OFA because even the Chief Veterinarian at OFA "DR KELLER" admits that fraud is a major issue with these "clearances" and data bases. Many Veterinarians have stopped using "OFA" because of how inaccurate their reportings are. For the protection of their puppies breeders are "choosing" (NOT NEGLECTING as TUBIE claims) NOT to work with OFA.

Contrary to TUBIES claims breeders like KINSHIP are actually having great success with the health of their dogs and most importantly they have the morals to work closely with their clients so that only the most bitter and dishonest of people turn to gossip websites like this when things don’t go their way.

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Oct 18, 2012 10:45 am EDT
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Tubie is Bat ### Crazy and Bernese Lover - I post what I do so that other people can make informed choices when they are looking for a breeder. You don't care for what I wrote, that's fine. However, if I can educate one person and help them get the healthiest puppy that they can, I'm happy.

Tubie is Bat ### Crazy - obviously, you've been stalking me as well since you think you know everything about me. Obviously, I have touched a nerve with you since you created a username that specifically calls me a rude name. Since you've been stalking my postings, show me one thing that I wrote that is not correct. Show me where anything that I wrote could be proven in a court of law to be false. You can't. If you and your breeder friends are so proud of the health/genetic testing that your dogs have, why not put it out there for everyone to see? Most reputable breeders do. So put your money where your mouth is and post the results.

Bernese lover - I'm here because I use this site to educate others. There is absolutely nothing in the rules of this site that prevents that. If the site owners didn't want comments on complaints, they wouldn't have enabled them in the first place. I can also ask you the same thing - why are you here? You have no complaint either...

Yes, I belong to the Golden Retriever Club of America - a group that is at the forefront of canine genetic and health issues. The GRCA has raised MILLIONS of dollars for health research for Golden Retrievers. Their latest project is a lifetime study on Golden Retrievers with the aim to identify risk factors for development of Cancer and other diseases. https://www.caninelifetimehealth.org I am proud of what the GRCA does and proud to be a member.

BTW, I don't give my name because there are people who have threatened me and threatened harm to my dogs because I pointed out the inaccuracies and outright lies they posted about their dogs. Just look at the fact that you, Tubie is Bat ### Crazy, created a user name that insults me and wrote additional slander in your post when you have absolutely no clue who I am or what I'm about. Do you honestly think that I am going to give out my name to someone like you?

Do your homework before you buy - go to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) website (grca.org) if you are looking for a Golden. Go to the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) if you want a Berner. In either case, make sure that the breeder that you are looking at is doing the best that they can to insure a healthy puppy - by doing the appropriate genetic and health testing!
Berner recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=BMD
Golden recommended testing: http://www.caninehealthinfo.org/brdreqs.html?breed=GR

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7:36 pm EDT
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Kinship Companions Payments and Service

My family and myself decided to go and look at puppies at this breeders facility. We went in with our 4 kids just after losing our 12 year old companion Charlie. We spent about 1.5 hours there and then we decided that we would make a purchase. We were told we would not be able to take the 10 week old dog home for another week. We left a $300 cash deposit and received a receipt for the same with no stated policies. On the ride home we made the decision to not purchase the dog for several reasons. We were going to be gone for a week out of state and we felt after having the dog for only one week to make him go to a kennel would not be good for the dog. Also we felt that as we were getting close to school starting and my wife being a teacher and all the kids in school we would not be able to spent as much time with the dog as would be needed. We then called Christie Mikula the breeder the next morning and did not receive a call until about 6 hours later. She said that her policy was to not refund a deposit and would hold it until we did purchase a dog. We had no intention to purchase a dog until June 2012 so we would be able to spend more time with him. I stated that that policy is not printed on the receipt and we never signed a contract nor did she say anything about the policy when we were there. For the next several days we tried communicating with her and had very little success. The best way ut seems to connect with her is via text but she will not answer her phone at all. I had decided to file suit with the county court and even explained that to her so she understood that. I told her what time I was going to do that and received no response. I texted her 10 minuted before I filed and gave her yet another chance and no response. Then as I was walking out of the courthouse she texted be back and asked if I filed and I said yes. She seems to be very untrustworthy. Another thing that seemed strange is that when we were there we were not allowed to see the parents of the dog we were looking at. She said her husband ususally handled that and he was ill. What was odd about this was that the person she uses for dog training was there and I am pretty sure that she could have handled that for her. There were several sidestepped questions that we asked and looking back on this I just dont feel comfortable recommending her at this time. On a good note we are looking forward to getting a beautiful Bernese Mountain Dog next summer however it will be from another breeder.

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Trumpsucks
, US
Oct 07, 2017 10:54 am EDT

what about the 40 dead dogs you keep in the freezer? What of the 113 count against you are you most worried about?

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Bernese lover
Greendale, US
Oct 17, 2012 1:01 pm EDT
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I did a little research online and deposits are never refunded on puppies! That is the name of the game.

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Bernese lover
Greendale, US
Oct 15, 2012 1:30 pm EDT
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I had a wonderful experience with Kinship Companions back in June 2012. Me and my 5 year old daughter went out to look at the Bernese Mountain Dog litter. They met us in the driveway and we looked at the puppies. They were happy, round, and fuzzy little balls of fur. We fell in love. Christy and Chuck brought the puppies in their customer area one by one so we could evaluate each puppy on its own. We picked out a gorgeous girl. We named her Abby. Everywhere we go, people go NUTS over her beauty. We went out to this festival called "berner fest" and numerous people commented on how well marked she is. She is now almost 7 months old and is in perfect health. I highly recommend Kinship Companions. I had a terrific experience and will be buying another Berner one day. I always communicated with Christy via text. I never answer my phone either. I text. My 62 year old mom never answers her phone, she texts. Mr. Zerbel, you wasted Christys time while they were having major health issues in their family. Buying a puppy is something you need to think long and hard about. Obviously, you didn't do that. If that were me, I would NOT have given you your deposit back. She is running a business. Her time has to mean something. Christy breeds lovely dogs. I am facebook friends with many owners of her dogs. We are all supportive of one another. These nasty complaints from people make us all upset because we have her dogs in our lives as family members. We know the truth. You vicious people need to get lives and stop! It makes me sick.

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kferry
, US
Jul 08, 2012 9:50 am EDT

Thanks to the Mikula's, I have the best golden retriever (my best friend) in the whole world! She is my first dog... very healthy, well behaved (never chewed on anything in the house even as a puppy), playful, calm, very smart (smarter than a lot of humans even), cute as can be. In the beginning, I didn't have much knowledge about dogs. I would email the Mikula's when I had questions, and they always responded back within a day (which to me I think is a quick response knowing the Mikula's are busy caring for their own family and other dogs). I have heard of and met other breeders, that don't even come close to the expectations I would want (which the Mikula's definitely meet) when looking to purchase a dog. I get so many compliments from everyone I meet at dog parks or around the neighborhood on how wonderful of a dog I have and I always recommend Kinship Companions. I will definitely go back there in the future, and would highly recommend them to anyone.

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ParkersMom
, US
Aug 28, 2011 1:27 pm EDT

I know the owners of Kinship personally. Mr Zerbel was unsuccessful at getting the readers of this page, the BBB, or an attorney to support his claim. He filled a small claims suit and then withdrew it. Kinship is innocent of any wrong doing. PLEASE BE AWARE that several responses to the original post have been removed by the host of this website. ALTHOUGH they claim that they never remove posts. Complaints Board is NOT hosted in AMERICA. This website is intentionally libelous. There were several people and other posts that have already posted on this page stating that they felt Mr Zerbel was being ridiculous, explaining the law as it relates to deposits and defending this breeder. Some of these people were past clients of Kinship Companions who are eager to defend their name. Why were their responses removed? For the same reason that Complaints Board continues to be sued for slander year after year. Shame on Complaints Board for conducting this sort of behavior in the USA, especially in the current economy. If you want to have a real opinion about this breeder speak to the BBB, their Veterinarian, Trainer, Groomer, or hundreds of happy families out there.

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Murphy2009
Milwaukee, US
Aug 01, 2011 7:05 pm EDT

Mr. Zerbel, you are a victim of your own neglegence. You obvisouly did not do the research you shoud have. When one is serious about purchasing a companion from a breeder, there is much work to be done beforehand. It sounds like you suffered from "buyers remorse" and jumped the gun with your deposit. I'm very grateful that you changed your mind. Purchasing a companion is an enormous responsibility and should never be done in the manner of which you attempted to do. Christy and Chuck are excellent breeders! I have a wonderful companion in Murph, my Golden Retriever, and would not hesitate to purchase from Christy in the future. You sound like you are looking for someone to blame for your own error!

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relo
Cedar Grove, US
Aug 01, 2011 3:53 am EDT

I am the handler who was present the evening that this complainant visited and ultimately chose a new puppy for his family at Kinship Companions. This complaint just disgusts me. I, as well as several other people, have attempted to work with Mr. Zerbel and what he is claiming about Kinship Companions is false. In typical "Complaints Board" fashion (where there is no need for any real accuracy) Mr. Zerbel leaves out several facts:

1. "We went in with our 4 kids just after losing our 12 year old companion Charlie" Actually, he stated to us, and we later verified, that the family had surrendered another puppy just that afternoon to a different breeder and as such forfeited over 1/2 of the large purchase price to that breeder.

2. He and most of his family visited from roughly 7:26 p.m. to 9:16 p.m. Friday evening. Mr. Zerbel was made aware when he called en route that Mr. Mikula, who suffers from a degenerative disease, was very ill and would need to go into the hospital that evening. Not only did Mr Zerbel still come, he showed up earlier than stated and stayed until well after 9 p.m. Mr Mikula actually ended up waiting for the Zerbel's to leave before he could go to the hospital. And, inconsequentially I also canceled my evening plans to meet this family.

3. Joel Zerbel was told several times about Mr Mikula's health needs and current crisis. This is the only reason why Mrs. Mikula was unavailable to answer his over 40 texts and phone calls in the following 5 days. However; she did respond to him over 16 times and up until he began to threaten them. Ultimately, Mrs. Mikula was advised to limit her communications with Mr Zerbel to the written form because of his aggressive behavior.

4. Said puppy had just turned 9 weeks that day (not 10 weeks) and as such needed more time and another vaccine before leaving. (The policy of the Mikula’s, to not release puppies until they reach an older age speaks to their high level of care and concern for all of their puppies and the families who welcome them) Mrs. Zerbel came ready to purchase a puppy and asked to leave a deposit. Mrs. Mikula specifically asked "are you sure?" as well as clarified the fact that she would not release the puppy if their intention was to board him in a commercial kennel while they vacationed the week following the pups homecoming.

5.Yes, Mr Mikula typically shows the adult dogs, however this family requested to see every available puppy and showing the parents was simply not a high priority as Mrs. Mikula was anxious to get Mr Mikula the medical care he needed. I do not typically work with the adult dogs. She did in fact tell the Zerbels that they could visit with the adults before taking the puppy home the next weekend.

6. Mr. and Mrs. Zerbel had 3 children with them, not 4. I know this because I spent nearly two hours with them helping them carefully pick a puppy and review training tips. As Mrs. Mikula was attempting to get out the door that evening, the Zerbels were trying to arrange for a second visit during the week to bring their 4th child to see the puppy.

7. The non-refundable deposit: This is standard in the industry. It is well posted in the office and on the website that deposits are a very serious step and are non-refundable. We spend a lot of time making sure each puppy is placed well, often at a sacrifice to our own time and families. A buyer cannot walk away from the purchase, and at the same time, once a deposit has been made on a puppy, a seller cannot sell the dog out from under the buyer. The nature of deposits is in fact not only to declare that a buyer is serious about adding a puppy to their family, but also to offer some sort of reimbursement for any inconveniences the seller may have if a buyer has second thoughts.

The Mikulas are known for being generous and honest people. As with all of their clients, I feel they went above and beyond for this family. If it had been my decision, they would not have been allowed to come that evening for the following 2 reasons: First because of Mr Mikula's emergency, and second because Joel failed to submit an application as requested before visiting. To behave in this manner and then to publicly slur the Mikulas (never mind that the Mikulas had a medical situation at the time) when he doesn't get his way is in my opinion, shameful. Their Veterinarian, The Better Business Bureau, their attorney and I are all eager to defend their honesty and intentions. To make statements such as: "sidestepped questions" is ridiculous! I have been a professional in the animal industry for over two decades and there was no "sidestepping", we both discussed at length with this family why they may have had issues with the puppy they returned to another breeder that day. Feeding, grooming, pedigrees, training, etc. etc. were all discussed. While she should have been on her way to the emergency room, Christy instead stayed to make sure that the family was comfortable and that they had the very best experience with this new puppy. Christy even spent one on one time with Mrs. Zerbel to make sure she was confident in her choice. The Zerbels may have flipped back and forth all day long in their mindset and decisions, but Christy was committed to doing her job well. She clearly wasted ample time with the Zerbels. She then spent the night with her husband at the hospital and in the morning whelped a litter of puppies. Christy (not spelled "Christie") could not have done anything more for this family. In fact, there was another client that had to wait for information while we attempted to appease the Zerbels that night. Also, to label Christy as "Untrustworthy" because, as her husband is sick in bed and she is making breakfast for 7 children after whelping puppies, she takes the advice of her attorney to not respond to the texts Mr. Zerbel was sending every 2 minutes demanding “money by 8 o'clock or else” is ludicrous.

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Trumpsucks
, US
Oct 07, 2017 10:55 am EDT
Replying to comment of relo

Don't care about dogs but what is with the child abuse charge?

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tubie
Wilmington, US
Jul 30, 2011 10:04 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Without commenting on the whole deposit thing, Kinship Companions has a lot of red flags that anyone who took some time to research them would have seen. Biggest of all is that very few of their breeding dogs have the clearances that are recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of America - final Hip, elbow, & heart clearances (all done once in a dogs life after they reach 2 years of age), and eyes (done yearly).

Their studs:
Imapup's Hoalie Alaskan Asher - OFA heart clearance done by a Practitioner (regular vet) instead of by the recommended Cardiologist. No verifiable hip, elbow, or heart clearances.
Taul-Imapup's Add A Sunshiny New Day - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Imapup's Pistus Elpis Agape Dieu Parmi Nous - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Chien D'Or's Cprflds Easy Money - no verifiable clearances of any kind.

Their dams:
CPRFLD Imapup's On My Honor I Will Do My Best - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Starr Lighting Up The Night - OFA Elbows and Cardiac (done by Cardiologist), eyes done in 2007, no verifiable Hip clearance.
Imapup's Chasing Rainbows - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Imapup's Tish Tosh Tallulah - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Imapup's Gnothi Seauton - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Kalocsahazi Ugocsa (listed only as 'Dori' on the website) - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Imapups Quintessential Puppy Girl (listed only as 'Legacy' on the website) - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
Cprfld Imapup's Happily Ever After - no verifiable clearances of any kind.

Former breeding dogs:
Strong Stael Ulkalla - no verifiable clearances of any kind.
CPRFLD Imapups Duck. Duck. Goose! - no verifiable clearances of any kind.

This kind of lack of basic health testing alone should be enough to warn people about what kind of breeder this is.

If you want a healthy Golden puppy, the breeder should at the very least have:
1) Final OFA clearances done on Hips and Elbows. These must be done after 2 years of age. Preliminary reports or x-rays are not acceptable because most Golden Retrievers are not finished growing completely until this time and the structures of the hips and elbows can and do change.
2) An OFA heart clearance or heart report done by an ACVIM (American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine) Board-Certified Cardiologist. These vets are trained to hear things that a regular vet may not hear and/or recognize.
3) An eye clearance report or a CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) certification done within 12 months of the time of breeding. These should really be done yearly as some diseases show up throughout a dogs' lifetime.

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Perfect Trust Endorsement: Kinship Companions achives 100% ligitmacy per Complaints Board. Highly recommended, yet always stay vigilant.

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Kinshipcompanions.com regularly updates its policies to reflect changes in laws, regulations. These policies are easy to find and understand, and they are written in plain language that is accessible to all customers. This helps customers understand what they are agreeing to and what to expect from Kinship Companions.

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  • The website belonging to Kinship Companions has a low number of visitors, which could be a red flag for users. However, it's important to conduct additional research to fully evaluate the website's legitimacy and trustworthiness.
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