|Barked: Fri Nov 30, '12 11:31am PST |
|DO NOT get a dog/puppy from "Debbie" of Forever Friends Animal League. This woman does not run a rescue. She is a puppy mill breeder in disguise.
My husband and I were looking for a boxer, but we wanted to get one from a rescue rather than a breeder. After searching various shelters, we came across FFAL, who lists themselves as a rescue. I called the number provided and spoke with a woman named "Debbie" (I doubt this is her real name). When I inquired about how her "rescue" came across a litter of boxer puppies, she told me that they were the outcome of an accidental meeting between two boxers, and that the owner of the female didn't want them (seemed like a crazy coincidence to me that 2 purebred, unfixed boxers had a date night, but I took her at her word. Of course, if you look at her list of available dogs, they're all purebred or popular mix puppies. Again, ironic).
I asked her if I could meet her at her shelter location (no address is provided), and she informed me that she runs a mobile rescue out of her home (should have been red flag #1). She offered to meet me outside of a Denny's, which I thought was odd but gave her the benefit of the doubt that she was a caring woman who was legitimately trying to adopt out rescued animals (I could see myself doing that...), but that the "adoption fee" was $500 (really? $500 for adoption? Again, should have been red flags #2-6!). There was another family at Denny's waiting to meet up with her when I got there. She arrived in a beaten up van that reeked of urine and feces. Debbie herself appeared to know very little about personal hygiene, so I shouldn't have been surprised that all of the puppies, the boxer and 3 shih tzu/daschund mixes, were being kept together in a crate that was full of diarrhea and urine (red flag #7). All of the puppies looked way too young to be adopted out. When I picked up the boxer I could tell he had worms, and said to Debbie, "On the phone you told me all the dogs have been de-wormed. This guy looks like he's full of worms," and her response was, "Oh, well, I saw him make a little tootsie roll poop earlier today, but here is some medication I've been giving him. We medicate all of our animals at our home." She gave me some random, unmarked white pill with no medical description at all (red flag #8). At that point I realized that this wasn't a legitimate adoption and that she was a con artist dog breeder, but I couldn't bring myself to hand the boxer back to her. He looked so pathetic and I didn't trust how she would care for him. So I adopted, I mean, bought the dog from her, and she told me that he had tested negative for coccidia and gave me the name and number of a "vet" that she works with who would neuter him for free once he was old enough (turns out the vet is just some unlicensed guy, nice).
This pup looked so bad that I took him straight to the vet office my cousin works at (I'm very fortunate to have a family member who works in a vet clinic), and he immediately exploded with diarrhea everywhere (very embarrassing, but I knew he had worms based on his distended belly). He turned up positive for coccidia, but thankfully he was negative for Parvo (several of the vets were extremely concerned based on his appearance and behavior). He had fleas and was malnourished and dehydrated. When I showed my cousin the "medication" Debbie had given me she couldn't identity it. Everyone at the clinic was really upset to know that a puppy mill breeder was going around pretending to run a rescue.
I called Debbie the next day to tell her that I took the dog to the vet and that he was positive for coccidia and worms. Her response was that she wasn't surprised, but that she gave me medication for it. My response was, "Well, I figured you'd want to know so you could separate the puppies and get them proper medication", and she got upset, insisting that they are properly medicated at her "facility".
In the end, our dog, Jackson, has become a wonderful member of our family. But the only way it worked out was because we were fortunate enough to have the money to pay for all of his vet bills. Please, do not go to this woman. I would have given zero stars if that had been an option. She is breeding and selling dogs, not rescuing and adopting them. Go to a legitimate shelter like Wayside Waifs. They will hook you up with great dogs/puppies that are fixed and healthy.
Edited by author Mon Aug 12, '13 12:35pm PST
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