Melissa Zobell — Dogs
To Whom It May Concern,
I have quietly been aware of the issues on this site for years. I have been advised by my atty not to say anything, however I have made the decision to stand my ground and tell people the truth.
It is obvious to me that I am damned if I do and damned if I don't. Complaint Board has issued personal threats to me and their website does not require ANY documented proof as to the claims made by people who have never had the decency to contact me. These claims are slanderous and people need to watch what they say, as they could be held liable.
First and Foremost, I list ads for SEVERAL of my vets clients, my email address is used, so many people ASSUME all ads are my own dogs. I have NEVER bred mixed breed dogs, nor do I agree with it. I breed and show Miniature Australian Shepherds and Pomeranians. My minis have all had age appropriate health testing done, including but not limited to PRA (progressive retinal atrophy) HC (hereditary cataracts), MDR1 (multi drug resistancy gene) Eye Cerfs, and OFA-hips/elbows. My pomeranians have all been thoroughly examined by my orthopedic vet and had their knees checked, heart checked, thyroid checked, etc. All my dogs are current on annual vaccinations, dewormed monthly, microchipped, yearly dentals and are loved, valued members of our family. My puppies are all sold either already spayed/neutered, or on contract to be spayed/neutered by 6mo of age. All my puppies are micro-chipped back to me, in the event they ever end up in a shelter situation they come back to me. I will always take my dogs back for ANY reason and I have a legally binding contract, and a 1yr guarantee on my dogs. I have documentation for ALL my animals, as well as letters of recommendation from veterinarians I have worked with for over 10yrs.
I also still actively run Australian Shepherd Rescue of Utah. I was NEVER kicked out of PETCO, PETSMART etc. I have chosen NOT to waste my time doing adoptions there as I have the ability to do adoptions during the week at my vet clinic. This allows me to have my weekends free to spend time with my family. I have many emails from many rescue adoptathons asking me to participate. I choose not to, as my family is more important.
I am a volunteer, I am funded out of pocket. So anyone criticizing my rescue efforts, I would like to see YOU step up to the plate and allow total strangers come to your home all hours of the day and night to adopt dogs, I would like to see you run 5 cars into the ground driving rescues all across the country, I would like to see you sacrifice your yard, home and family time to save the life of homeless animals. How many of you are willing to risk your children being bitten? Your own animals being attacked?
I have been criticized by people saying I have something to hide by NOT allowing the public to come to my home to look at dogs. Considering the FACT that I have had many breeder friends who have had parvo virus brought to their home by people coming to look at puppies, I am not willing to risk my puppies to disease. I am also not going to risk my children's safety by having perfect strangers coming and going all the time. Even with first vaccines, puppies are NOT fully protected until all 4 sets are given. It is not worth the puppies lives to have people come here. Nor is it worth my children being targeted by perverts who are always sneaky about finding ways to get to young kids. Would you allow perfect strangers to come to your home??? Back when I used to have people come to my home, I had kittens left in boxes on my porch, dogs abandoned and tied to my fence, dogs poisoned, my home vandalized and personal threats made against me and my family. My home is my private sanctuary, and it will stay that way. If you do not want to buy a puppy from me because you cannot come to my home, until I know your intentions, then I will gladly recommend another breeder or rescue, just keep in mind that you are not the only person going to see their puppies, and Lord only knows what the other onlookers have brought to their puppies. Disease can be carried on clothing, shoes, etc. It often takes up to two weeks to show symptoms of illness.
The people who have made complaints that I have sold them sick animals are greatly mistaken. I have adopted out many rescues over the years who may have had something unknown to me at the time of adoption, and my rescue contract is perfectly clear stating that we cannot/do not guarantee health or temperament of any rescued animal. The shelter contracts read the same way. It is a risk you take adopting a rescued animal. The reason I have cut back on rescue is because the disease rate in shelters are so high I am no longer willing to risk my own animals. Being I am funded out of pocket, and with the state of the economy, I am limited as to what I can do. How many of you are willing to spend THOUSANDS of dollars a year feeding, vetting, boarding dogs that are NOT yours? Just to do the right thing?
I stand behind my dogs, and I will always go out of my way to answer questions, educate potential buyers any problems that may arise, I do my best to make the situation right and fair. We are dealing with living animals and there are things that can happen beyond our control. Does not make me a puppy mill because I breed dogs.
In my 30yrs involved with the animal industry, I have NEVER had one of my own bred dogs end up in a shelter (remember ALL are microchipped to me) I have always done my best to improve the breed with each breeding (quality over quantity) and I have no problem telling people NO, if I do not feel they will do right by my dog.
Rescue people out there are against breeding, period, so they will say whatever they can to make people who breed look bad. The media is bought an paid for by HSUS and PETA type organizations so they only say their version of the truth. Breeders who do it right are NOT the reason so many are dying in the shelters. If all animals were spayed or neutered there would be NO companion animals in just 10yrs time.
I believe it is a matter of personal choice whether people want to go to a breeder or a rescue, I am happy to help them either way. I feel all breeders truly dedicated to the breed they claim to love, need to support rescue in any way they can. This is part of being a responsible breeder.
I will no longer deal with this website, nor am I threatened by it. I am not doing anything illegal, or unethical. It is my right to have my animals, it is my right to breed as I see fit, it is my right to rescue as I see fit. Anyone who has a problem with it, go live in a communist country, they will tell you how to eat, how to dress, how many kids you can have, if that is what you expect to be able to tell me, go somewhere where the shoe is on the other foot...