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If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

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Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 9:58am PST 
Well that's wrong. Puppyfind is a listing site that makes no claims about its breeders. Lots of BYBs have used it, but responsible breeders use it as well, particularly with less popular breeds who may need additional marketing. I would far prefer someone who doesn't exactly know what they are doing at least having the CHANCE to end up with a good breeder rather than removing all odds by going somewhere that deals exclusively with mill breeders in PA.

Many of the videos show puppies down on socialization, there is no health testing, no pedigrees to research, no titles.

You need to pull your head out from under a rock. I researched GSD puppies currently listed, and simple research yielded the following from their breeders....

1) John Blanks. "Warrants issued earlier in the day charged Blank, 54, with three misdemeanor counts and 10 summary counts of animal cruelty. By the time the raid ended after about 31/2 hours, 21 summary counts of neglect and lack of veterinary care had been filed against Blank, said PSPCA program officer Elaine Scapalla."
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2) Aaron Fisher. ""In 2005 a male Bichon Frise/Poodle mixed breed puppy was purchased from the Planet Pets Plus in Conshohocken, PA on March 25. The puppy, supposedly born on January 17, 2005 and obtained from commercial breeder Samuel Fisher in Logantown, PA, began experiencing difficulty seeing at approximately 12 months. Now, at 2 years of age and with both eyes entirely clouded over, the dog has been diagnosed with congenital cataracts." Second pup from that litter with such diagnosis.

The other of the three breeders is Aaron Fisher, who could well be the son of above. Keystone Pups KNOWINGLY agents for known abusers of humane law.

Puppyfind is only a listing site. It lists whether or not the pups have champion parents, direct links to breeder websites, and most importantly a TUTORIAL for puppy buyers to investigate a breeder on their own.

BIG difference than Keystone's lala "We work with breeders that meet our high levels of care for your future pet." What a load of horse hooey that is! They are listing for breeders who have been ARRESTED for violations of humane law! "High levels of care"???? For real.



Edited by author Wed Jul 3, '13 10:01am PST


Member Since
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 10:32am PST 
Have you ever visited any of the breeders listed? I doubt it. I have dealt with many breeders from pa and they are not all bad. At least they are making an effort to work with people who care about dogs. I have never owned a dog with a champion bloodline, I have never owned a dog that was genetically tested, but I have owned many dogs in my life, bought from the kind of breeders that you call "BYB" and have had pretty good experiences. I am stating a fact, now go on and try to call me a liar, but I know my own experiences thank you.

Edited by author Wed Jul 3, '13 1:59pm PST


When the night- closes in I will- be there
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 10:41am PST 
Guest did you actually just say that people SHOULD buy from Keystone puppies?

*bang head on desk*

This is a puppy mill network. They are producing puppies like cell phones. Sick, poorly bred, under socialized puppies that will be sold to silly, unsuspecting buyers who after weeks or months or years of battling health and behavioral issues will dump said pups in shelters, give them to BYB's or just dump them.
A large number of Dogsters, including myself, own the products of these type of places and the heartache and expense of living with these animals is unending. We all love our dogs, however messed up, but would wish better for not only the pups that are the end product but the breeding stock that will spend lifetimes as puppy factories with no care or concern shown to them.

Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Wed Jul 3, '13 11:08am PST 
I am not calling you a liar. I am calling you ignorant. That is not a slam, it is a wakeup call.

Keystone Puppies houses mill breeders who have been ARRESTED for humane violations. I do not need to visit that. I do not need to visit someone who housed 150 breeding dogs in a converted chicken coop barn to see if they are a good breeder or not.

There is absolutely no acceptable protocol to not health test your breeding stock. Breed clubs say so, registering bodies say so, the ASPCA says so, the HSUS says so, and more to the point commonsense and decency says so. Breeds have propensities towards certain conditions, many painful and some life threatening. If you are not willing to take the extra time and spend the extra money to ensure you are not bringing puppies into this world to suffer from something that would have been ONE HUNDRED PERCENT preventable is unconscionable. No one here is going to agree with you. NO ONE.

It is equally unconscionable to be breeding dogs without limited registration and/or speuter clauses, allowing people who buy your puppies to simply go on and breed more. There is a shelter/rescue crisis and that is where many of these irresponsibly bred dogs end up. The same holds true for no take back clause in a contract. This is the sort of nonsense that KILLS DOGS.

I was recently contacted by the head cheese of Dogster to write an article for novices about obtaining their puppy. So I do know what I am talking about. I have been mentored by the dog fancy for more than thirty years and also co-run a dog rescue that pulls dogs out of the high kills in the deep south.

I know the benefit of good breeders. I know the tragedy of bad ones.


Member Since
Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 7:43am PST 
I am looking for a Choc lab pup for our boys. I found they were being sold for $400 and was excited cause that's reasonable. Yesterday we were also looking for Husky pups and came across a scam. Well after that I have been googling the phone numbers from the ads or emails addresses. I figured why not google Keystone Puppies. Well in doing so I stumbled upon this site and a few others saying don't buy from them. Cause of this site alone I will not be buying my puppy from them. I don't want to buy a puppy from a puppy mill. I've heard so many horrible things about puppy mills. I am not going to buy a puppy an have it be sick and die on me and crush my kids. Not only that but what they are doing to those dogs is inhumane. I know they breed those dogs every chance they get, don't even let them heal. Keep them in cages ALL the time, poor dogs are scared of grass. I mean come on I hope something is done to shut them down.
Snowberrys- Shinning- Star HIC S

I'm a little- shit- disturber!!!
Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 8:22am PST 
Tiller applauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplauseapplause I totally agree with you. I too would have bought that female beagle for $10 or just taken her.

too old to eat- any more KD
Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 8:53am PST 
Guest...good for you for doing your research. I'm so glad that Tiller posting this thread helped someone make a good choice. We don't post these things lightlty..they are meant to inform & warn folks. Best of luck with your new pup when you finally get one cheer

Member Since
Barked: Sun Jul 28, '13 8:22pm PST 
Thank you! it's just frustrating to me. I am trying to find a decent dog for the kiddos and I know labs are GREAT dogs for kids. I see the Keystone puppy ads and I was like YES! a puppy within our price range. So I did research and find this. I'm glad I did, but it just breaks my heart knowing that those puppies are in those conditions along with the mothers who get bred every chance the owners have. I wish I could save ALL the puppies from them and do something to get them inspected and shut down so they can't do this to those poor animals.

Member Since
Barked: Fri Aug 2, '13 8:58am PST 
I am have a similar dilemma as some others have posted. My family would like a puppy. We have researched "reputable" breeders in our area and they are asking $2000 to $5000 for a puppy. We could never afford that. We have researched the shelters in our area. The majority of the dogs state that they are not recommend for small children (I guess because of previous abuses). Also my son is highly allergic and can only have a non shedding dog which is extremely hard to find at the shelters. Recently I was in Hershey PA for a family vacation. On our last day I did a search for puppies in Hershey and found the Keystone site. I know about puppy mills but out of curiosity I called one of the numbers from that site (I don't want to mention the name because I have absolutely not connection to them) and an Amish women answered. We asked if we could come and see the dog that was listed on the site. She gave us her address and said we could come that day. So we went. Pulling up the women had the puppy we were interested in along with 5 other puppies out in her yard and on her porch. They were playing were very social with us and the women. They were clearly very familiar with the lady because after we talked for about 30 minutes she opened her door and told the puppies to go in. They all listened to her and went right into her kitchen. The women explained that she is a commercial breeder. She had two brand new buildings on her property that housed around 60 dogs. She stated that she only sold puppies through the Keystone site to people and not to stores. I asked to see the parents of the puppy we liked. She went and got both parents. They were both clean and healthy looking but not social at all. They looked like very nervous dogs. Seeing the parents was hard because we are aware of puppy mills and these dogs were clearly not family pets. We left and did not buy the puppy. Afterwards I did as much research as I could on this place. I was able to find proof that her facility was rebuilt according to the new laws in PA (act 119). These new laws were mandatory for all breeders in PA starting 2011. I found out that because of these laws most of the kennels and mills (over 300) in PA closed down. I found a newspaper article about this place as one of the first to ensure her kennel was up to code as required by the new laws. I even found all of the state inspections done on her kennel since 2006. She has never had a violation and the number of dogs she keeps was exactly what she told us. I look at other inspections from other kennels and found long lists of violations. After all this I still have not bought this puppy because I really understand the "big picture" and I am trying to do the right thing.

My question to you good people is .... Can it ever be OK to buy from a commercial breeder like the one I described? The puppies were very social, the place was new, she has a clean history and record as far as inspections, she allowed us to visit her house and facility, she showed us the parents and was honest in telling us how many dogs she keeps. For someone like me who can not afford $2000 - $5000 for a puppy, who has small children and son who is highly allergic to shedding dogs, who has looked at shelters with no luck .... is this OK?
Tiller- (Skansen's- Ira in the M

I DO Exist...To- Drive You Batty
Barked: Fri Aug 2, '13 11:58am PST 
Well, firstly, there is the big picture. No matter how "far less worse" someone might be, they are still contributing to the shelter/rescue problem if they don't do the speuter clauses (thereby supplying other backyard breeders) or have take back clauses.

That said, I think there can be less difference between "commercial" breeder and "ethical" breeder at times. Plenty of show breeders have large breeds who, yes, do primarily live in a kennel. Some show breeders usually have a litter on the ground. Can dogs be undertaken as a profit making enterprise and still fall under the "ethical" moniker? Actually yes, sort of. Certainly with something like German Shepherds, some people spend a lot of money importing promising dogs with the intent to, yes, enjoy the breed and try to help it, but also, yes, to make money.

The big picture for you to think about, in addition to the top paragraph, is the "what you put in is what you get out" theory. If you are getting a puppy from parents not screened for health, that money you just saved may come back at you threefold. I have a friend whose indiscriminately bred Maltese cost her around $18,000 in vet bills. No exaggeration.

And then the matter of the parents' temperament. Is that behavior because they are unsocialized, or for something more than that? You don't know, and that may make a difference down the line, particularly when you have kids in the mix.

We talk a lot about ethics as they relate to the S/R crisis, but removed from that are other ethics....are these puppies bred to be the healthiest and best tempered possible? Some are and some aren't. And both require your hard earned dollars to get and care for. Come what may.

In addition, and this SO undermentioned generally, what you in the end are TRULY paying for, the best value, is to have someone (the breeder) always in your corner always sure of your dog's genetics, always able to guide you. On issues of health, on issues of training, on issues of temperament. That is the most fundamental thing I think I am paying for when I get a puppy, and through the years, so many instances, where I'd hate to think of where I'd be without that breeder to query and refer to.

IMO, you are a lot better off saving up for the dog of your dreams if you want to go to a breeder. There also are dogs in rescue, particularly with transport rescues being what they are. If you vacationed in Hershey, who knows....maybe you are regional enough to where I could help you. Or, if you wanted to state the breed of choice, I'd be happy to give you breeder examples that aren't so high as that $2,000.

There are always options.
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