Theresa Hestekin, Eau Claire WI

Hi All,

I was looking up some info on the recent puppy mill legislation in WI (I'm from Eau Claire, WI) and i came across a thread from last year wondering about some basenji breeders in the Eau Claire, WI area. A woman named Theresa Hestekin came up and some were wondering about her pups and I just wanted to let everyone know that she is NOT a reputable breeder. According to the USDA, she has a class-b dealer license, that's a red flag in itself. Additionally, she has been under investigation several times by the Wisconsin DNR (she owns a black bear that is confined to a small dog run), and she has sold several breeder dogs at the Thorp dog auctions, which is where class B dealers sell their worn out breeder animals. She is a TERRIBLE woman. In addition, she constantly accuses the local humane association of breeding animals for profit and the only reason she is not sued for slander is because she does not use the organization name explicitly (however, she does copy their mission statement word for word…). Please do NOT purchase a puppy from her. Her intentions are not those of a reputable breeder.

Thanks for the alert. Her name comes up on the forums periodically, and I've never seen anything good when it does.

Bad news that one!

She also sold dogs at the SW Kennel Auction in MO in 2003. There were several Bs, older pups and breeding dogs. Some of the breeding Bs were sold to an OK USDA licensed breeder, kennel name WL's-Walter and Lois Choate. I know one of the male Bs found its way to BRAT via a rescue group who bought him at an auction when WL's got out of the breeding business.

I would also recommend that if you have a dog from her, please get it DNA tested for Fanconi as only some of her dogs have been tested.


She actually has on occasion posted on this list because someone told her she was a 'topic of conversation". She is a CGC examiner (which requires breathing and a pulse) and uses that as her good character with the ACK. IG's have had issues with her before as well.

In MN - we are VERY familiar with the 'kennel'.

A couple of years ago I "rescued" a dog from a dog park acquaintance that had purchased him from Teresa Hestekin. He found himself ill equipped to handle a basenji puppy as his first dog.
We found he had lots of minor health problems( as would a normal animal shelter recuse, not a purebred only a short time with a new owner) but also some other issues such as a luxating pattella.
I contacted her to try to obtain his certificate of neutering and rabies vaccine. I found her to be quite disinterested in the disposition of her pup and his health. Considering the patellar issue is heredity I was shocked.
I am so glad that I don't live nearby as I think I would find myself trying to be sure she could no longer breed basenjis. I can't imagine spending any time at all with this breed and willfully allowing anything such as what I am seeing posted here.
The good news is our boy is a star! A very popular B in our evergrowing Los Angeles group of B friends. A very happy and now healthy part of our family!

Do you have any additional pedigree information regarding your boy? I am familiar with health issues in one of her older lines that she used. I have not heard of her lines having luxating patella problems.


His sire was Hestekin Hills Oscar Nominated
His dam Hestekin Hills Love My Princess.
It looks like she sold him as pet quality to the previous owner. We had an amazing local vet and physical therapist evaluate him for his leg and she found the luxation slight but present. We work on exersizes with him regularly so it doesn't act up, but it is a problem for him, he wails and won't put weight on it until we gently massage it and the patella "pops" ( yes, it actually feels like a pop) back into place. Last summer it was a drama for us trying to figure it out!
All is good now, but the vet said we should let the breeder know. However she has not returned calls to us to discuss.
Anything you can tell me would be super, thanks for the reply:)

There is no record of your boy in the Basenji Pedigree Database which is She has no record that the sire and dam had ever been bred. Please e-mail Sally Wallis at and give her the information regarding your boy. She will need his registered name or if he is not registered his call name, his registration number, date of birth, color, and his sire and dam.

It appears that the sire and dam have both been DNA tested for Fanconi, sire is affected and dam is clear so your dog should be a carrier. I would have him DNA tested for Fanconi to be sure. You should also be urine testing him for glucose monthly if he is over 2 years old.

I am familiar with the background of the granddams of both the sire and dam. They go back to the Hofer kennel. I have actually seen a couple of the dogs in his pedigree. The two Hofer dogs that I rescued in 2001 did not have luxating patellas and they were 6 and 7 years old. These dogs did have eye problems and I would suggest that your dog have an eye exam done by an opthalmologist.

Your boy will probably have to have surgery to correct the luxating patellas especially since they are already popping out of place. Is he on a glucosomine supplement and arthritis/pain medication?

Is he the tri in your photo?


I am not surprised by the luxating patella diagnosis. The rear assemblies of many of her dogs are very poorly constructed. If you look on this page and scroll down to the NOT FOR SALE area, many of those dogs have no rear angulation and no muscling on the thighs. A very common problem with structure like this is "popping hocks". With the dog stacked, if you press one fingertip on the back of the hock and gently push forward (towards the dog's head), the hock will pop out of place. Luxating patellas are also common in dog's with this structure.

Oh My! Look at the feet and no tuck up. And what's with the huge bellies? Straight back legs, no front angulation-am I missing something? Not my style at all!

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