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Last week I purchased what I thought was a pure bred Coton de Tulear from a legitimate breeder. I read through some of the posts in this forum about good breeders, but all the criteria was a little too much for me to consider. Anyway, I traveled about an hour to the breeder's home. The first thing I noticed was how the breeder and her two visiting friends were dressed. I asked if they were members of a religious sect, and she told me that they were Mennonites. She went on to explain they were similar to the Amish, but a little more modern. I liked one of the two Coton puppies she retrieved from another room in the house, and she then showed me the puppies' two parents, who were in an outside pen with about ten other dogs. She told me one of the parents was local and the other was obtained out of state. I was ready to pay the $700 cash I brought with me because that was the advertised price I saw on her web site, but she informed me she had lowered the price to $600. The paperwork (including the contract) she brought out indicated the Coton puppies' parents were ACA (American Canine Association) registered, had received some shots and had been declared healthy by some local vet.

Later that same day I brought my new puppy to a previously scheduled visit with a local Banfield vet. She informed me that the puppy probably was not a pure bred Coton (not AKC registered) and that the Mennonites had a reputation for running puppy mills. This came as a complete surprise to me. When I got home I googled puppy mills and Mennonites, and sure enough my vet was telling me the truth. Still, I'd like to think that the breeder for my Coton puppy was not running a puppy mill. She told me she and her husband were only breeding for a couple of years. Nothing on the breeder's property looked like a puppy mill like I'd seen on tv documentaries. My new puppy sure looks like a Coton, and I plan to have him neutered, so I don't care if he meets AKC standards. My vet said he has a slight overbite, but otherwise seems healthy. Some time in the future I may get a genetic test done to find out if my puppy is actually a pure bred Coton, but for now when people ask, I tell them the puppy is a Coton. I hope I didn't inadvertently buy my puppy from a puppy mill, but even puppy mill puppies need good homes.
 

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At this point it doesnt matter if he is from a puppy mill or not. You have that sweet tiny life to look after from here on out. I like you had no idea Puppy mills existed until I came to this forum and found out how horrible....

Now that you are aware.. You have this forum as a great tool to educate yourself for the future. You can gain knowlegde to take with you when you meet people in your situation. Knowledge is power.. You can use what you have learned to change many minds along the way.

Good luck and Id like to see pictures of your pup.
 

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The thing is, if it's not a pure bred dog, you should get your money back.

It sounds suspiciously like it is a puppy mill, unfortunately. For one thing, quality Cotons are much more expensive than that.

A dog being registered with AKC doesn't guarantee quality. But I have not heard many good things about the ACA.

Yes, puppy mill puppies need good homes, too, but buying from them supports their business and keeps them doing what they do. It's too bad you didn't come here and talk to people before you made this purchase.

But you have this puppy now and it needs love and care. Unless you're willing to return it and get your money back and look for a real Coton.
 

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Puppy mill or BYB - either way not what I would consider a responsible breeder. Any breeder that would just hand over a puppy to any random stranger that showed up with money is the biggest red flag. Did she really care what happened to that puppy? Or did she just want your $$. And certainly the ACA "registry" is a joke as well....a cover for puppy mills and BYBs.

When I was in college, my roommate and I bought a puppy at the flea market. That day, I contributed to the pet overpopulation problem and the misery of dogs who exist soley to produce puppies for sale. Honestly, I really had no idea! BUT, ignorance is not an excuse. I own what I did. That day, I was part of the problem. Once I did 'see the light' I decided to become a part of the solution...I can't "undo" supporting a BYB/puppy miller, but everything I do moving forward I hope mitigates my bad decision that day.

Love your puppy, but vow not to support irresponsible breeders.
 

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The cotons are not a breed that is recognized by the AKC yet- so I would not worry too much about that part.
As far as the other- who knows-- enjoy your puppy--pictures please.
 

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Last week I purchased what I thought was a pure bred Coton de Tulear from a legitimate breeder. I read through some of the posts in this forum about good breeders, but all the criteria was a little too much for me to consider.
Do you care to explain this? I just find it odd that you came on here, had access to all the good advice on this forum, and then chose to ignore it and do what you wanted to anyway.


I was ready to pay the $700 cash I brought with me because that was the advertised price I saw on her web site, but she informed me she had lowered the price to $600. The paperwork (including the contract) she brought out indicated the Coton puppies' parents were ACA (American Canine Association) registered, had received some shots and had been declared healthy by some local vet.
Why was the price lowered? Were you going to co own the dog and show it for the breeder? What vet did they take the puppy to? Did you get to see the vet records? How can they prove that the puppy they took to the vet was the one you took home?

If you don't know the answers to these questions, I would say that you've been had by a BYB. But, per what you said earlier, you could have avoided it but chose not to.



Still, I'd like to think that the breeder for my Coton puppy was not running a puppy mill. She told me she and her husband were only breeding for a couple of years.
And how does this make them not a puppy mill? If a bad breeder breeds for even one time, they're doing the breed a disservice.



but even puppy mill puppies need good homes
I'm glad you feel that way, because you definitely bought from a puppy mill.
 

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The cotons are not a breed that is recognized by the AKC yet- so I would not worry too much about that part.
As far as the other- who knows-- enjoy your puppy--pictures please.
The Cotons are an FSS breed though, so I would expect any reputable breeder to be selling puppies with FSS papers (it looks just like the AKC paperwork except it's orange for full registration and... pink? (I think? I'm not sure, the only set I have here are Lizzie's :p) for limited registration.) or with papers from the single breed registry. ACA is like CKC and other puppy mill registries, no one reputable would use them.

I would say that yes, your chances are very high that you did buy from a puppy mill or BYB. (The exact definition isn't really important, because the lines can be blurry- I define the difference as a puppy mill is someone who sells to brokers at least some of the time, whereas a BYB always sells direct and is just irresponsible; it's not JUST about number of dogs). There are a LOT of Amish and Mennonite puppy mills and BYBers.

Enjoy your puppy - and next time, you'll know better.
 

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Like Sammgirl said, if you didn't want to support a puppymill/byb then why did you not continue your research?
I think a 10+ year commitment is worth months or years of research.
You should not justify supporting a puppymill/byb by saying "puppymill/byb puppies need homes too." Yes they do need homes, but by paying for that puppy, you're paying for another future litter.

I hope your pup has a clean bill of health and a great long life with you and your family. Enjoy the ups and downs of puppyhood and in the future, if you're not willing to do your research to find a reputable breeder, rescue.

Why buy dogs when there is plenty to adopt. :) I just dont get it. When someone wants to adopt a human child, he/she does not "buy" a pure bred baby, right?

Firstly, you cannot compare human adoption to dog adoption.
Secondly, what on EARTH would constitute a "pure bred" baby? Adopted children are mutts?? Please clarify what you mean because that is very offensive.
 

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So your pup is from some form of BYB, sorry about your luck and I certainly won't join the bashing or suggest taking the dog back for a refund to get a "real" coton. IMO some here are just a bit to demanding on what people should do when it comes to getting a dog and though I don't agree with people who breed willy nilly and profit off of ignorance, what's done is done. You are now a proud dog owner and you get a great companion for the next 10+ years.
Side note to add that while I'm sure there are mennonite puppymills and BYB, there are also catholics, baptists etc that are doing the same thing. Not sure what the religion of these people has to do with anything....
 

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so your pup is from some form of byb, sorry about your luck and i certainly won't join the bashing or suggest taking the dog back for a refund to get a "real" coton. Imo some here are just a bit to demanding on what people should do when it comes to getting a dog and though i don't agree with people who breed willy nilly and profit off of ignorance, what's done is done. You are now a proud dog owner and you get a great companion for the next 10+ years.
Side note to add that while i'm sure there are mennonite puppymills and byb, there are also catholics, baptists etc that are doing the same thing. Not sure what the religion of these people has to do with anything....
so true, i totally agree
 

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so true, i totally agree
The problem is, if more people are 'relaxed' about the standards, the problem will only continue.

Nathan Winograd estimates that we only need to up the percentage of new pets that are acquired from shelters (isntead fo breeders) by about 5% per year to completely eliminate the euthanasia adoptable animals for space from most (not all) shelters- we've made HUGE strides as a country at reducing the number of pets that end up there. (It's still too high, but it's down by an order of magnitude from what it was just 15-20 years ago!)

If everyonne who bought a pet, who wanted a puppy instead of a shelter dog, would go to a responsible breeder? We would have essentially NO purebred dogs in shelters, because a PRIMARY part of a responsible breeder is that that breeder will always, always, always take the dog back. The dog could be 10 years old, the reason could be anything. The breeder will always take their dog back and take responsibility for him/her- that dog never ends up in the shelter system.

A lifetime safety net, screening owners (to minimize the need for that safety net), health testing, and a desire to breed for some purpose BEYOND the miracle of life/pocket money/cuteness are the core features of a responsible breeder. I don't think that's so much to ask of people.
 

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For one thing, I was agreeing with mostly "what does the religion have to do with it?" and there is alot of bashing on this forum and putting people down for the choices they make. True, if we all did our homework before we bought a pup we would be the wiser but..... some of us learn as we go along. People need to be aware that they need more manners
 

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My children are adopted. I didn't "buy" either one of them. I don't know what you would consider to be a pure bred child. There is nothing on the adoption decree indicating breed. I adopted my dog from a rescue. She is pure bred but I have nothing to prove that either. I love them all. Adopting children is nothing like adopting a dog. I just don't get the comparison. I am positive that neither of my children came from a "baby mill".
 

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My first Aussie was registered with a National Stockdog Registry, Inc., and may or may not have been part of a puppy mill in Missouri. We bought her from a petshop and back then, didn't know better, BUT

That dog was the bestest girl in the entire world and we miss her everyday now that she has gone to heaven, after 14 years, last February.

No matter where she came from, she was the most wonderful dog that money could have bought, at any price.

She loved our family and protected us with her life and her heart. She was bright and energetic and a magnificent dog.

Never mind AKC or whatnot; she will be in our hearts forever.

National Stockdog Registry Photo

 

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Why buy dogs when there is plenty to adopt. :) I just dont get it.
Actually, more people get a new dog every year than the total number of dogs (around 2 million) that are killed by shelters. The number of animals that die in shelters has dropped every year since 1980, while the number of people who get pets every year has gone up in the same time span -- from 51 million homes having pets in 1988 to 71 million today. Overpopulation has been dropping as pet ownership is increasing.

In reality, if everyone who wanted a dog only went to a shelter, the shelters would not have enough dogs, since in reality, very few dogs end up in shelters at all (74 million dogs live in the U.S. total) 2 million dogs out of 74 million means there is only a tiny fraction of dogs ending up with no home every year. It's not a 'crisis', but it is a tragedy that they are basically dying needlessly.

So it's actually not true 'shelters have all the pets anyone could want'. Especially since many people have specific needs with a dog (dog sports, allergies, aesthetic preference, etc) that often require specific traits that not every shelter dog can offer.

As it is though, more people COULD adopt than already do (currently, 60% of pet owners get their animal cheaply from a friend/oops litter while only 40% get them from either a shelter or breeder). There IS a definite need for more advertisements and outreach on the behalf of shelters to get their animals into homes. Thankfully, the AdCouncil is planning on working on that this year.
 

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Why buy dogs when there is plenty to adopt. :) I just dont get it. When someone wants to adopt a human child, he/she does not "buy" a pure bred baby, right?

Yes, people DO buy human babies (even though it's illegal) to get what they want. Also, buying a purebred dog from a REPUTABLE breeder is a far different world than buying from BYB or puppy mills. You have alot of learning to do about the realities and differences of reputable breeders and BYB/Puppymills.

RS09, yes, it sounds like you get your dog from a less than ideal breeder, whether or not they are a puppy mill depends n several factors. As someone else said, there can be a fine line between a BYB and Puppymill and they often cross over from one to the other.
 

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Responsible breeders don't contribute to the overpopulatin problem, they take their dogs back and rehome them, many also do rescue to help the overpopulation problem. Therefore buying from a responsible breeder is just as good as adopting from the shelter or rescue.
 
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