Life's a Beach Cattery — kitten breeder
Found Gretta Griffin's cattery online when searching for Scottish Fold breeders in Florida. Saw a little golden tabby long-haired baby on her Facebook page and fell in love with him.
11/9 - sent $500 deposit (+$14.80 paypal fee) so we could schedule a meet up at Gretta's house to view our chosen kitten in person. She wouldn't allow us to make the 7 hour drive one-way without a deposit! There were several females with litters all in cages in a bedroom, but she assured us that they were allowed to come out of the cages on a regular basis and some females stay with her friends
11/25 - sent remaining amount of purchase price ($1900) - $1400 (+$40.90 paypal fee). Agreed to pick up kitten after our cruise on 12/21
12/14 - Contacted Gretta to let her know that we were boarding the ship. She said our kitten and his litter were all sick with "head cold but not in chest" and she had taken them to the vet 12/10 for his health certificate, but not to worry as they were all on antibiotics
12/21 - 8am, we disembarked the ship and I texted her to see if kitten was ok for us to drive all the way up there to pick him up at her home. She said "yes ma'am" so we made the drive. Upon arrival, she sat us down and explained that he took a turn for the worse with his Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) and had lost a lot of weight. She took him to a nearby vet as her regular vet is a longer drive and that vet administered a 14 day antibiotic shot and said "he has a 50/50 chance of survival". His weight was 1.75lbs.
She pulled him out of a nebulizer and handed him to me. He had watery eyes, nasal discharge and was wheezing/congested. He also had a couple of spots on his chin and lips that turned out to be feline acne, no big deal. He seemed to be in good spirits despite being sick and since I was a prior vet tech and URI's are VERY common, she said she was ok releasing him to us. She said she could keep him another week if we wanted, just till he was over this URI, but we'd already driven 7 hrs and I've nursed lots of kittens through simple colds so we took him. She provided a hand-written health certification with one set of shots given at 9 weeks of age on 12.10.19 as well as a gift bag with food and toys. No Felv/FIV test was administered.
Stayed in a hotel that night because we were exhausted from the drive. He ran and played and ate and used the litter box so other than his URI symptoms, seemed ok. Noted that he didn't try climbing or jumping and he had a weird gait, but chalked that up to him being sick.
12/22 - Driving home he slept most of the way and sneezed a lot. Texted Gretta and she said "I told you I could keep him another couple of weeks for you" but we were already halfway home and again, I figured this was a simple URI and he'd be fine.
12/23 - Took him to our vet, as indicated in our contract (must be seen within 72 hrs). Vet said yes, URI is present, but the injection may not have been specific so gave us 14 days of Doxycycline and eye meds as well as antiviral Lysine for him and our other 3 cats since URI's are highly contagious
1/7 - 14 days of antibiotics were completed, but he was not any better so took him back to my vet. She put him on another antibiotic and I noted that he had crusty lesions on the tip of his tail as well as his feet. Diagnosed with Ringworm and given Lime dip. Also, he was digging at his ears, vet gave ear meds and suspected mites. Ears were VERY dirty.
1/9 - Kitten got MUCH worse. Screamed in pain whenever handled. Walked hunched over for a few steps and then would collapse on his side. Wouldn't eat or drink. Took back to the vet for a 3rd time in less than 3 weeks. Vet said with his short, abnormally thick tail, small legs, splayed feet, and symptoms, she suspected Osteochondrodysplasia but would take xrays to confirm. He never once tried to climb or jump up on anything like a normal kitten would. Confirmed diagnosis of severe OCD after several xrays were taken. Put on Buprinex pain meds and said he had a poor prognosis and quality of life outlook.
1/10 - He barely moved even on the Buprinex but seemed to walk a little better in the morning. By 10am he was hunched over and screaming again when touched. Dosed again with Buprinex. He refused to move, wouldn't leave his carrier and I had to carry him to food and litter boxes. Barely ate. Once in litter box, would pee and then collapse. Called vet and she advised to euthanize at this point. Made the heartbreaking decision that we could not watch him suffer and humanely euthanized. This completely devastated me and my family as I've always dreamed of a Scottish Fold kitten and to have one for only 3 weeks and was sick the entire time was just a nightmare.
Had kept in contact with Gretta along the way the entire time and she sympathized and said she had no problem with honoring the replacement/health guarantee in her contract. She also told me to euthanize him and refused to take him back, even though her contract required return. She said she would "gift" us another kitten, but in reality, this would just be a replacement as stated in her contract. She said she'd spay the mother of our kitten.
Her website states that she is all about the health of her kittens, but she does not PKD and HCM scan them all and when I asked to see those results on the parents of the kittens she sent me to consider as a replacement, she said they weren't done but I could pay $500 for them if I wanted to. After shelling out $1900 ($1950 if you count the fees) and another $500 in vet bills over 3 weeks, she wants ME to pay for health screening of the parents of a replacement kitten? She absolutely REFUSED to give me a refund and said that if I wasn't interested in the 2 male kittens she currently had, I could wait another 5 months for new ones to be ready. I'm out more than $3000 and cry every day over my little baby and I had NOTHING from her but "I'm sorry, this is the contract you signed and most breeders wouldn't even offer you a replacement so I'm being generous". No, you're legally BOUND to provide at least a replacement!
To add insult on top of injury, the $450 area rug we bought 2 yrs ago was covered in urine, because he couldn't always make it to the litterbox, and I had to rent a steam cleaner for that, plus the furniture and bleach all of our floors due to the Ringworm infection he had (that I also now have). I also have to watch my other 3 cats for signs of it.
I was then pointed to a complaint made online by someone last month saying Gretta sold her a sick kitten as well and it also had Ringworm AND mites. Gretta misrepresents the health of her kittens and breeding females, keeps them locked in a bedroom in cages, and farms them out to her friends to breed and breed. She can't remember who the father of the litters are, their birthdates, or anything. Frankly, I don't even KNOW who the parents of my kitten were because I can't believe a word she says.
She lied to her vet's office (according to the report I received from them, the vet called Gretta on 12/20 asking for an update on my kitten and she said he was totally fine and not congested. I picked him up the next day and she handed him to me straight from a nebulizer and he was SUPER congested. I have text messages to prove that).
She lies to cover her [censored]. I have proof in texts that she admits to having ringworm in her cattery, yet told the former complainant that there was NO way the kitten contracted it there.
Had several text conversations with her asking about a replacement since she refused to refund. She only had 2 males available and they were at her friend's home being raised there. She sent me photos and videos and I chose a blue, short-haired tabby.
1/18 - Made the 14 hr round trip visit to Gretta's again to pick up the replacement kitten. Travel to her place 3x now has cost me well over $500. She was very sweet at the beginning, but as soon as I said I was NOT signing another contract, she went into a tirade (while smiling the entire time) about how this kitten would not be covered if something happens with his health, she would ignore a judgement against her in court if I sued her with the state law and would NEVER pay me a dime, she'd rather QUIT breeding Scottish Folds than ever refund me one penny and it's all about principal with her now. She claimed the original contract would extend to this new kitten (I contacted an attorney and the language in the contract does NOT state it would extend to another kitten or that I'd be obligated to sign another contract for a replacement). She got really rude with us and tried so very hard to get me to sign a new contract. I refused and left with the kitten.
This kitten developed runny eyes the very next day and I had already had a vet appt with my vet to have him checked out. Again, URI. Put on 14 days of Doxy. Another $85 spent. He is terrified of regular household noises like the microwave beeping or the dishwasher turning on. He seemingly has never seen a man before because he runs from my very gentle husband. He does run, jump and climb and now I'm reminded of just how bad off my first kitten was because he would never be normal, nor ever acted normal.
Gretta is the epitome of a backyard breeder. She doesn't care about these cats, nor the people she sells them to. All she cares about is the almighty dollar and she has made that perfectly clear! Please NEVER buy a kitten from her. And if you do, do NOT sign her contract waiving your right to the Florida Pet Lemon Law. That screwed me with my first kitten and you can see how important it is to her to have you sign away your rights to sue her. She was all sweet until that moment. Even said how much it broke her heart about my kitten and how it has never happened to her before and that she initially considered not breeding anymore, but her vet told her to continue since my kitten was a fluke. [censored]. He was never fit to be sold in the first place. No one will ever replace him and I would've rather just had my money refunded so I could go to another REPUTABLE breeder and chosen a kitten I really wanted instead of having to choose from only 2 or wait almost a half a year.
Oh and she just purchased FIVE French Bulldogs to start a breeding program with them called "Paws in the Sand Frenchies" so be aware of that too. She has multiple FB and IG pages under different names like Sunsettropics. Just be extra diligent when researching breeders and never sign away your rights to state law. The vet at the dept of agriculture said that is the biggest red flag she's ever seen. And Gretta's vet is her buddy. How she could certify that my first kitten was healthy and then prescribe antibiotics on the same day the health certificate was issued is beyond me. Do not trust her!