Mittelwest Kennels- Julie Martinez — Sold us 2 Sicks Puppies- 1 Died
On March 11th, 2012, we purchased two 15 week-old (brothers) German Shepherd puppies from
Mittelwest Kennels in Wonder Lake, Illinois, owned and operated by Julie Carroll Martinez. We were met by Grant, her kennel manager and boyfriend, who showed us the pups.
He never asked us one single question about our experience with German Shepherds, our home or the environment the dogs would be living in.
There was no:
· Application process
· Bill of sale
· Health history provided
The only question he asked is if we would be paying by cash or check. We asked Grant if the pups were vet checked, and he said no because it wouldn’t be possible for them to bring every single pup to the vet, making it sound like there are too many pups and it would be too expensive.
Prior to going to Mittelwest Kennels, we searched the internet, and we found customer complaints, on the rip-off boards as well as other German Shepherd boards, filed against Julie Carroll Martinez and Mittelwest Kennels. We asked Grant about the complaints, but by this time, we knew the pups were coming home with us.
We took the pups to the vet the very next day, and both pups had parasites and worms. One of the pups, Rocco, was biting and scratching in the car on the way home from the kennel after purchase. He was diagnosed with a yeast infection, as well as a bacterial infection that he’s been fighting to this day. He scratches and bites his fur continuously, and when we informed Julie Carroll Martinez of Rocco’s issue, she didn’t want to be bothered and made the comment to us that it (Rocco’s problem) could be anything. Milo, his brother, had been healthy except for a yeast infection in his ear, which was successfully treated.
On June 11, 2012, Milo suddenly died after our daily evening walk. Needless to say, we were devastated by the loss of our 6 month-old puppy. We had a necropsy performed ($600) to determine Milo’s cause of death. Although the test came back inconclusive, it ruled out intestinal twisting, bloat and anything we could have been responsible for. Three DVM’s (our vet, the vet performing the necropsy, and the vet who examined the tissue) all stated the findings were
consistent with ventricular arrhythmia (sudden death heart attack).
We immediately sent the report to Julie Martinez as soon as we received it, expecting her to proactively replace the puppy. She said she would give us a $500 credit towards the purchase of a new puppy. Knowing that we were distressed and angry, she then countered with a $1000 credit towards a new puppy.
We had already spent thousands of dollars on the purchase of the puppies, $750 on the necropsy and cremation for Milo, and over $1000 in vet bills on Rocco, who is still suffering from an autoimmune issue.
At one point, after trading several e-mails with Julie Carroll Martinez, she knew we were very upset and concerned with Rocco’s well-being. She extended an offer for us to bring our family out to the kennel stating that we have all been through a loss like this and we all know how tragic it is. Even though we were very angry at Julie for being so insensitive, we thought it might be her way of offering some empathy, and we decided to ride out to the kennel (this was the night after Milo died). As we drove past their electric gate into the property and kennel, Julie was outside, and when she saw our car driving through the gate, she immediately went in the house, never to be seen again that evening, sending her boyfriend, Grant, to meet us over at the kennel.
Grant never once mentioned Milo’s name or uttered any words that he was sorry for our loss, nothing about Milo at all. He did, however, go into the kennel and bring out three different puppies, telling us to take each one for a walk with Rocco. We were completely blown away at the lack of sensitivity and professionalism on both their parts, as it was Julie who invited us out to the kennel in the first place, and she never left the house to come out to talk with us or even offer us any condolences.
After this incident, we told Julie we would like a refund based on the fact that she sold us two unhealthy puppies, one of which is now dead. Julie’s response was “We cannot replace every dog who has died that we have sold.” Well, our puppy, Milo, was only 6-1/2 months old, and our other puppy, Rocco, has had health issues since the night we brought him home.
Unfortunately, after the fact, we have talked with other people that have had similar experiences with Julie Carroll Martinez and Mittelwest Kennels. This has been a tragic experience for our family and the surviving pup, Rocco.
Please do your research and Google Mittelwest Kennels and Julie Carroll Martinez complaints. Check out postings on germanshepherd.com/forum AND pedigreedatabase.com/german_shepherd_dog/forum.html before you consider purchasing a dog from Julie Carroll Martinez and Mittelwest Kennels.
If we can prevent one person from experiencing the heartache, upset and sadness we
experienced with Milo’s death, it will be well worth our time of writing this. We are happy to talk with anyone considering purchasing a puppy from Julie Carroll Martinez and Mittelwest Kennels, or we would happily talk with any owner of one of her unhealthy dogs that is afraid to come forward.
We strongly believe in ethical breeding and showing these beautiful animals for the love of the breed, the animal and the sport, but not solely for the love of money.