Zoe Burba (Madison, OH)zoe does not stand behind the puppies she sells

I purchased a puppy from Zoe Burba who lives in Madison, Ohio, when she was 3 months old, along with breeding rights for $500. Zoe thought her hips looked really good because of how she stood. We had agreed I would have the preliminaries done at 4+ months of age. They came back as Borderline Displastic. My vet said he would never save a puppy for breeding even at this age, with this rating, and to make sure to disclose this. I had originally thought I might be able to sell her, but realized that I would not be honest to SELL her. (I would need to place her.) Upon calling Zoe she said she would refund ½ the breeding rights and this after puppy has been spayed. I asked for the purchase price plus the 1/2 breeding rights she offered (even though I could not breed the puppy) OR a puppy to replace her from a different dam. She and her partner will not stand behind their puppy. Also, in advertising it says our puppy has a champion for a father and he was only a JUNIOR CHAMPION from the Ukraine and also has Excellent rated hips, which is also a rating from the Ukraine, not from OFA in our own country.

  • Updated by Maria Vincent · Mar 26, 2018

    Zoe also advertises on Puppyfind.

  • Updated by Maria Vincent · Mar 26, 2018

    Also, Zoe advertises new and unborn puppies on Puppyfind.


  • Zo
    Zoe10 Mar 27, 2018

    We have made numerous attempts to work with Maria. This has transpired in less than 5 days. She viciously blackmailed us threatening us if we did not meet her demands in less than a 12 hour period. She is unwilling to follow protocol, work with us, our vets and OFA. We have requested xrays and documentation, no information has been provided. We requested to speak with her vet, she did not allow it.

    We work with two top vets in the country who have also requested to see the xrays and documentation. "Leary" and "skeptical" are the words they used to describe an owner unwilling to provide documentation.

    We have spoke to many specialists like vets and doctors at OFA. None recommend testing before 6 months because the growth plates have not finished developing and everything is loose due to immaturity. This puppy was simply tested too young. "Over 50% of borderline turn to fair." -Dr. Keller, examining doctor for OFA.

    We have no contract or guarantee on this dog. She was sold at reduced (by nearly half) pet price for $900. The rest of the puppies from the litter were sold at $1, 500 with limited registration.

    Even with such unreasonable demands we were still willing to go above and beyond moral and legal code, solidifying our excellent reputation. However still no documentation has been provided.

    Other offers were made before placing the dog. I offered to hold her until she was old enough to OFA test by my skilled veterinarian, she did not accept. I offered to place her with limited registration, at an even lower price, then upon the dog passing preliminaries sell the full registration breeding rights, she did not accept. I offered her a puppy out of dogs with more health testing, she did not accept.

    She made it very clear that money is an issue for her, stating they only have $1, 100 a month in income. She is strictly a profit breeder looking to fast track her business. Her reason for going against vet and OFA recommendations (retesting the dog at an older age) was that she was unable to afford her food bill.

    She refused and was unwilling to follow protocol and our recommendations as well as the vet's and OFA's recommendations. Borderline hips is not hip dysplasia. OFA states for the study to be repeated in 6 months. OFA does not like to prelim before 6 months. Our vets will not prelim before 6 months. Some specialists will not prelim before 12 or 18 months. We never prelim our own dogs before 12 months.

    Positioning for the xray is incredibly crucial. Dr. Davis at Troy Animal Hospital has become famous for reexamining hips. Many come back inaccurate due to improper positioning. You can look up his website and YouTube videos explaining this in greater detail. He performed a study on a dog, taking 3 xrays of it. Each with a slightly different position. The same dog came back with passing good hips as well as failing dysplastic hips.

    We have never had a genetic fault in our line, so we strongly urged her to keep the dog and retest in 6 months, or even retest her at a different vet. She refused. 40% of hip dysplasia is caused by environmental factors. Upon mentioning some of the factors she was completely unaware. If the dog even does have borderline hips (no proof has been obtained) it was likely caused by an environmental factor. Keep in mind she has 9 children so who knows what could have happened to the dog, with or without Maria's knowledge. When a dog comes from good genetics and has lower rated hips, that's your sign that the problem was not genetic but environmental.

    We as well as others have concerns as to why she is testing a little 4 month old puppy. A puppy who is not even 1/4 of the way grown and developed. Many are under the impression she had no intention to wait until the appropriate age and wanted to breed her the first cycle, in order to make money.

    She is trying to trade up for a dog worth over 4x the value. She never mentioned wanting a dog with OFA good or better hips. Even the top breeders in the world we know do not offer the type of compensation Maria has demanded to receive. In the matter of hours at that. She wants to take advantage of us, our company and our dogs. Knowing her claims would never stand in the court of law she resorted to vicious blackmail and slander.

    Maria is a brand new "breeder" and doesn't understand the industry or genetics. We have spent countless hours trying to educate her on the breed, industry standards, genetics, etc. As well as refer her to other educated vets to help explain the matter to her. She has a closed ear to knowledge and refused to listen to us, reputable vets and OFA. Most breeders in this situation would have simply blocked her number due to harassment. She contacts us at all hours of the day and night with unreasonable demands, vicious blackmail and slanderous threats towards ourselves, our business and our dogs. This has all transpired in less than 5 days. Again, this dog was not under guarantee or contract and NO documentation has been provided to us or our vets.

    I truly hope that anyone reading this will see through Maria's false statements. I will be more than willing to discuss this with any concerned party as well as refer that party to veterinarians for more information.

    We actually hate the fact that someone feels negatively towards us because Maria, as well as all of our other customers, know just how much we love and care for our dogs. Our dogs are our family. We feel poorly for Maria as we were her greatest source of knowledge and her best ally. We love that puppy like family and just wish she was in a home that loved her like we do. Again, if my dogs or I were even remotely unreputable she would not be attempting to aquire another one.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Maria Vincent Apr 20, 2018

    @Zoe10 I want to make it clear first off that I am not trying to be vicious with this reply.  I did not in any way want to damage Ms. Burba's good name. (I'm sure she has had many customers who have been very happy with her puppies.) I was only trying to share these facts with others who might have business dealings such as I experienced. We are very happy with our Abby's personality; we just have this physical issue (because we bought her specifically to improve our breeding Golden Retriever lines) and we would appreciate it if Ms. Burba would stand behind the health of the puppies she sells. Abby lives in our house. Everyone loves her as she IS part of our family.
    I am kindly trying to refute what Ms. Burba has said about MY character and of what she has accused me. I will try to explain here in my answers to her comments.
    The Golden Retriever puppy (Abby) I purchased was born on September 29. I got her at the age of
    16 ½ weeks. Her OFA hip x-rays were taken on March 7, at the age of almost 23 weeks.
    When I purchased this puppy, I was excited to have a puppy, according to her advertisement  (FALSE ADVERTISING), to better my bloodline with a champion sire  (I found out later that he got his JUNIOR championship--first year--from the Ukraine and NOT from AKC in the U.S.) and also he had A rated (excellent according to Ms. Burba) hips. This rating was not from OFA, in the U.S.A., but from Europe. We had Abby shipped from clear across the country. If we didn't want the good hips and great background, then why would we not just have purchased a dog for breeding locally? We spent $1400 for her, including $500 for breeding rights, and also almost $300 to fly her here along with the cost of the crate, and the health certificate required by the airlines. In addition to these costs, we paid Ms. Burba $50 to compensate her for taking Abby to the airport etc. Once we received Abby, we spent almost $200 for the preliminary hip X-rays.
    OFA requires that a puppy should be at least four months old. Our female was five months old. Evaluations from December 2017, on the OFA website show an evaluation of the hips from 152, 272 Goldens that 19.9% were abnormal, while 77.5% tested normal.
    Following are a list of comments made against me in Ms. Burba's reply:
    1. “She was sold at reduced (by nearly half) price”
    Why was this puppy sold at a reduced price? Did Ms. Burba know she had hip problems? Was there something wrong with this puppy that I was not informed about? I understand, we don't know until we test. (I just ask that she stand behind this puppy.) Unlike most reputable Golden Retriever show breeders, Ms. Burba gave me no health guarantee in writing even though she charged me an additional $500 for breeding rights, and no contract. The litter was started at $1500, but the price kept getting reduced as the market was flooded and her puppies were getting older. (They were $1200 at one point.) I purchased Abby when she was down to $900 (plus the $500 for breeding rights). So in actuality we purchased her for more than the $900 + $500 = $1, 400. Ms. Burba has a litter to be born in May, 2018, advertised right now on Puppyfind for $1200 with Limited Registration of course, so she could easily replace with Abby one at a since at one point she was advertised at $1200. I have placed a screenshot with this taken on On her AKC ad she states she will take a puppy back purchased from her”under all conditions”. I am a attaching a screenshot of where she says this in her AKC ad.
    2. “We have made numerous attempts to contact Maria”
    We got our report from OFA on Tuesday, March 20, 2018. This is when I called Ms. Burba and she offered to refund $250 (AFTER she had proof that the puppy was spayed) which was only half the breeding fee (even though I will not breed her due to her borderline dysplastic hips). I wanted the full breeding rights fee of $500 refunded that we paid, since I cannot breed this puppy. Ms. Burba said they would think about it for the night. Then her partner and father, Mr. Burba, called me the next day to ask if I had spoken with the vet. Then the following day he called me again. While we were talking he said his battery was going to go dead so he would call me back in about 5 minutes. About 2 ½  or 3 hours later he called me (Thursday). I did not hear from them since this day. On Sunday I emailed Ms. Burba a copy of what I was going to publish on Monday morning if I had not heard back (almost 6 days later). I was NEVER unavailable. It was a total of 20 hours later that I posted it online.
    3. “We have requested x-rays and documentation.”    

    Nothing of this sort was ever requested from Ms. Burba or Mr. Burba, but I am attaching it. I have the x-rays on a CD and I will be happy to copy this and send it to whoever may want it.
    4. “...demands in less than a 12 hour period”
    I contacted Ms. Burba on Tuesday, March 20, when we got the OFA results, and I did not hear anything at all from Ms. Burba or her partner since Thursday March 22. This is what I put at the beginning of the email I sent on Sunday, March 25, in the afternoon at 2:27 pm. I didn't post in until 20 hours later:
    “I am going to post this in many places on the internet starting tomorrow morning, stating the facts about what I have experienced and warning other people that you do not stand behind your puppies. I do not want anyone else to lose over $2000 as we have done. Before I do this, are you sure you will not change your mind about a replacement puppy?” [I had asked Ms. Burba if she would prefer to replace this puppy with one from another litter after I sent this one back to her to place elsewhere.]
    It was after 10:00 a.m., March 26, that I posted on scam report. There was the rest of Sunday that Ms. Burba could have replied with any comment she had on this. I had not heard from them since my talk in the afternoon with John on Thursday, March 22.
    5. “I offered to place her with limited registration, at an even lower price.”
    You are not allowed to SELL AKC papers. Ms. Burba could not give full breeding rights after purchase. This was upon purchase by me. I could not consider this because I knew better about the AKC laws of registration.
    6. “She is strictly a profit breeder looking to fast track her business. Her reason for going against vet and OFA recommendations was that she was unable to afford the puppy's food bill.”
    I never said I could not afford dog food. We give our puppies the very best puppy food we can find. We want our puppy to be strong and healthy from the very start and are willing to do whatever is best for her. What I said was I did not want to continue to feed a puppy with bad hips until a future time of OFA testing (I am NOT going against the vet or OFA’s recommendations). When my vet said he would not keep a puppy for breeding with prelims that are borderline dysplastic, I wanted to return her and get my money back or get a replacement. When we talked, Ms. Burba told me I should sell her and could probably recoup most of what I paid, but I realized later that I could NOT honestly with a clear conscience SELL a dog without disclosing the borderline dysplastic results. Who would even want to pay $200 for a dog that might be crippled in 2 years or so, and even though I am not the breeder of this dog, it could ruin my reputation as a reputable, honest breeder. (Also I found out the father is a PRA carrier which is blindness.) I might have to refund the money a new buyer would pay me, saying I knowingly sold a puppy with a prelim OFA rating of borderline dysplastic hips. An owner with a dog with hip dysplasia would be spending somewhere around $2000 for just one hip replacement.
    7. “We requested to speak with her vet.”
    When I first talked with Mr. Burba on Wednesday, March 21, he asked if I had talked with my vet and said he “wouldn't mind talking to him either.” First of all it would have to be a veterinarian to veterinarian conversation, not a lay person like myself speaking to my veterinarian.
    8. “She made it very clear that money is an issue for her, stating that they only have $1100 a month in income.”
    This was our present income (my husband does home remodeling), since people don't do much remodeling in the winter. The reason I said this was that Ms. Burba only wanted to refund half of the breeding rights cost, and I asked for the full amount of $500. I wanted the full amount and that is when Ms. Burba said they would think about it for the night. She never got back with me on this. Wednesday (the next morning) was when her partner Mr. Burba called to discuss the results, but he did not address the breeding fee – ever.
    9. “She never mentioned purchasing a dog wanting OFA good or better hips.”
    Contrary to what Ms. Burba claims, I told her this was the whole reason I wanted to purchase a new dog that would be good for breeding. I was excited to hear the father had excellent rated hips (not knowing these ratings were not from OFA, but from Europe – false advertising) Like I said, I would never have even considered purchasing from across the country if I had known the truth about the sire NOT being an AKC Champion (attached is the certificate showing Junior Championship) and NOT having OFA-rated hips.
    10. “We have spent countless hours trying to educate her on the breed, industry standards, genetics, etc.”
    Ms. Burba told me where to go for genetic testing. The “helps” I got on my own previously to contacting her were from the AKC website, OFA, our two vets, and talking to other local show breeders, etc.
    11. “She has a closed ear to knowledge and refused to listen to us.”
    I only want either my money back in exchange for sending Abby back to Ms. Burba, at least the breeding rights, or a replacement puppy (I would send Abby back to her). We have asked for a replacement puppy and we would send this puppy back. We would be happy to return the puppy, and receive the $900 and the $250 Ms. Burba said they would return of the $500 paid for breeding rights. Again we only are asking that they stand behind their puppies. She has a puppy she wants to sell at a comparable price that she could offer as a replacement.
    12. “She is trying to trade up on a dog worth over 4x the value.”

    Ms. Burba is currently advertising a future litter with puppies that will be sold for $1, 200. That is only $300 more than we paid for Abby.I do not care if it's worth four times more in value. I am NOT asking for this. I am simply asking for a replacement puppy from a different dam. When I talked to Ms. Burba in January, she did say they were having another litter in July. But the father of that litter was working on his championship, so at this time she doesn't know what she would charge for a breeding female.
    I assumed this puppy (Abby) was at least as good since she, understandably, had a champion for a father. I could get her right away, without waiting another 8 months or so.
    13. “We never had a genetic fault in our line, so we strongly urged her to keep the pup and retest in 6 months.”
    All dogs of all breeds and all bloodlines carry some genetic issues, if you breed long enough and test enough, you will eventually find them. There is no such thing as an animal with no genetic faults.
    14. “40% of hip dysplasia is caused by environmental factors... Keep in mind she has 9 children so who knows what could have happened to the pup.”
    I spoke with Dr. Keller of OFA at 1:41 on March 28th about Abby's hip results. He said that NO INJURIES cause borderline bilateral dysplasia. (An injury would be noted on the OFA report if it were dysplastic due to this anyway.) It is genetic. I also found out this is a progressive disease, it does not normally get better.
    15. “Many are under the impression that she had no intention to wait until the appropriate age and wanted to breed her the first cycle in order to make money.”
    I don't know what Ms. Burba means by “many”. As far as I know she has not had contact with anyone that knows me in Idaho and I don't know anyone that has ever heard of either Mr. Burba or Ms. Burba.
    Money is NOT an option for us with our dogs. We have never bred before our dogs are two years old and only after we have OFA testing done. We will not breed a dog at all that does not have at least FAIR hips. Dr. Keller of OFA told me that even if Abby's hips improve (it is a progressive disease, that usually gets worse, keep in mind) I would never want to breed a fair (hips) dog to anything less than good, or preferably excellent.  In addition, we never breed a female more than two times in a row, since we are concerned about the health of both mom and puppies.  I know that a Golden Retriever is not full grown until the age of 2 years. That is why I got the prelims done in the first place. I do not need to keep a puppy with less than acceptable hips for two years before taking permanent x-rays and finding out the hips are unacceptable for breeding; this would be a waste of time. This is why a reputable breeder has prelim x-rays taken.
       16. “He performed a study on a dog, taking 3 x-rays of it. Each with a different position”

    OFA said that after filling out the CVC form and getting the information from the form, which shows the proper positioning of the dog, the vet performs the imaging.
       17. “ Maria, as well as our other customers, know just how much we love and care for our dogs. Our dogs are our family.”

    I wonder why Ms. Burba wasn't going out of her way to get our Abby back if she is truly part of the family and doesn't think we love Abby that much.
    18. “If my dogs or I were even remotely unreputable she would not be attempting to acquire another one.”
    I am NOT and was not trying to acquire another puppy. I did ask, before this one was shipped to me, if they had another female from this litter left. I thought that if this was such a superb dog as Ms. Burba’s ad stated, and the impression I got from talking to Ms. Burba, then wouldn't it be wise for me to get two, if available.  Now I am actually glad I did not get another.
    I told Zoe that I wanted to “better the breed”. I am not in this for the money either. (Ms. Burba says this in her ad.) I will ONLY breed according to proper standards and with good OFA elbows and hip certifications. There are reputable breeders in our own country, such as North Star Goldens (not Ms. Burba, another Golden breeder in a different state as well as many others) that give a 2 year health guarantee. Others offer even a longer guarantee. In Ms. Burba AKC.org advertisement
    [ http://marketplace.akc.org/breeder/north-star-retrievers/golden-retriever/121367 ] she claims that “I provide a health guarantee for the puppies I sell” and “If the puppy buyer cannot keep a puppy purchased from me, I will take the puppy back under all conditions.” More false advertising from Ms. Burba.
    I hope that these answers are not taken that I am viciously blackmailing or threatening Ms. Burba or her partner, as was stated at the beginning of THEIR comments, but rather I feel that I needed to give these explanations to keep my own good name and the principles for which I stand. I do have lots of documentation and copies of her OFA x-rays etc. that I will be happy to provide to anyone who requests this.

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