New Website: The Breeder Ratings
Catch-all public ratings websites like Yelp and Kudzu let you review and rate all kinds of businesses, services, and events. Then there are the specialized ratings sites, like Rate My Professor, Rate My Teacher, and Rate My Boss.
And now wagging onto the social media scene: The Breeder Ratings. The mission of The Breeder Ratings is to expose bad backyard breeders and puppy mills, and to help people choose responsible breeders. Of course, my preference -- and that of many Dogsters -- is that people adopt. However, most people don't. Some 2/3 of the 53 million dogs in the US come from backyard breeders, according to the site. If that's anywhere near accurate, a site like this could serve a valuable purpose.
The people behind The Breeder Ratings (a not-for-profit organization) say it's the first website that's dedicated to providing 100 percent user-generated ratings of dog breeders. And they're no strangers to bad experiences with breeders. In fact, a dealing with a breeder/broker is what got them started. Co-founder Wayne Yung relates this story to Dogster:
When we contacted our English Bulldog breeder, they were adamant about bringing the puppies to us. They did not want us coming to their house at all. This should have been the first clue to go with someone else. The breeder seemed to be really nice and genuine when they got to our home. They indicated that we would receive our AKC paperwork within 2 weeks of purchasing our bulldog. After the purchase was made, the first thing we noticed was that the birth date on the contract did not match the birth date on the veterinary paperwork. After several months, we still did not receive our AKC paperwork. They kept giving us the same story..."The AKC paperwork should get there any day now."
After about 3.5 months, and a few threats of getting an attorney involved, they finally sent us the AKC paperwork with no signature on it. Just a blank application. Throughout this entire process Hank (our bulldog that we purchased from them) had to be taken to the emergency vet. He had collapsed with blood coming from his nose and mouth. We ended up paying thousands of dollars on vet bills. We later found out that they do not breed any of their bulldogs like they indicated. They are bulldog brokers and have no experience in breeding at all.
Did they hire a lawyer and sue? No. They did what any smart, savvy recent college grads with social media web experience would do:
Instead of going after them legally we decided that we would try and make a positive impact on such a negative experience and thats why we decided to start this site. Hopefully this becomes a place where people can visit before they purchase a puppy from a breeder. In our opinion, there is nothing out there more valuable than past customer experiences.
Got a story -- positive or negative -- about your dog's breeder? Head to The Breeder Ratings and share it with others. This is a new site, and rather light on ratings right now, so your words will have impact.