Proactive Response to Puppymills

This report was filed on Ripoff Reports.com regarding Hestekin Hills.

Thought y'all would like to know. There are many things we can do as Basenji Community members other than complain amongst ourselves about unscrupulous "breeders" and this is a start. Anyone's ideas are welcome and all of us should be willing to get in on it if we care at all about our historic dogs. Our breed seems to have been targeted for puppymilling and BYB's lately. We can put a stop to it if we are willing to work together.

The report:
This "breeder" produces pups by parents that have not been properly screened or DNA tested for genetic diseases specific to the Basenji breed ie: Fanconi, and has produced Fanconi affected pups. Her pedigrees are in question because certain color sires and dams CANNOT produce colors claimed on pedigrees. Believe this is a puppy mill for several reasons: multiple breeds of dogs bred, most pictures of bitches show them pregnant, many pups and former productive adults show up in rescue, information on the site is about the individual person rather than the breed or the dogs involved, quality of animals bred is questionable, some do not meet breed standard, complains about the cost of testing her dams and sires on her website, charges more money for pedigree than non-pedigree dogs, produces and sells non-pedigree dogs, exorbitant pricing even on "fixed" animals, seems to be unfamiliar with breed specific issues, no mention of whether her animals are shown or any awards won…..and on and on and on.

A reputable breeder will show exactly what test have been done ON THE PUPPIES AND PARENTS! Minimum for Basenji Puppies: Fanconi DNA swab when one or both parents are Fanconi Possible Carrier or Possible Affected, puppy vet visit for health cert, puppy shots. Sire and Dam: Fanconi DNA marker, Eyes CERFed, Hips, Patella, Teeth. Ensure at least breed standard.

Cheers...

I feel like there needs to be a litmus test, something easy to remember that can be used almost like a tagline or jingle.

For me the litmus test is responsibility for the dog's lifetime. first question asked is "will you take this dog back, at any time in its life, if for any reason I cannot keep it" Fanconi testing is the second question for me. This is because of my history working in rescue.

Other people look at testing for genetic disease as their litmus test, because they have lived with the ravages of disease.

What is needed is a good tagline, or jingle that can be taught quickly and easily in order for people to easily differentiate between the responsible breeders and BYB/PM's. (and of course the money to get the tagline or jingle wide distribution, but then again, if it can go viral on the web, it will get that distribution).

I have seen bumper stickers that say "if you don't rescue, don't breed." The line is catchy, but they don't quite fit the bill.

-Nicole

I so wish we could shut them all down..maybe someday.

Houston

Thanks for that update AJsHuman..
There is got to be a way to prevent these types of breeding practices from happening.

Educating buyers so there is no market for these puppies.

@lvoss:

Educating buyers so there is no market for these puppies.

Exactly…. Basenjis have been around in Puppy Mill and BYB for many many years, reason we hear more about them now is the vast media of communication we have these days, like the Forum.

@nkjvcjs:

For me the litmus test is responsibility for the dog's lifetime. first question asked is "will you take this dog back, at any time in its life, if for any reason I cannot keep it" Fanconi testing is the second question for me. This is because of my history working in rescue.

I know of several, well known and perceived to be responsible, long term breeders who would answer your take back question "But of course!" whom, on several occasions, have allowed dogs they have bred to go into rescue and to stay in rescue long term - without giving it a second thought! While this would ideally be a good indicator of responsible breeding practices, in my opinion it is not - as people know the "right" thing to say. The best thing folks can do is research a breeder who interests you, ask hard questions of them, then ask similar questions from their peers; read between the lines of both and you should arrive at a more well rounded and balanced picture.
Anyone breeding multiple litters every single year is not going to have the means to take them back no matter how well meaning they might be or act. This alone should be a red flag to run the other way.


Wholesale vaporizers

While I agree with you to a point, Linda…. I know breeders that do breed more then one litter and still do take back their dogs if necessary... but I know the ones you speak of too...

If new "want to be" owners would think of asking the rescue folk in their area, who is good and who is bad re breeders, they would learn what they needed to know.
At least, I share my info with anyone who asks.

@sharronhurlbut:

If new "want to be" owners would think of asking the rescue folk in their area, who is good and who is bad re breeders, they would learn what they needed to know.
At least, I share my info with anyone who asks.

Another good point Sharron

To tag onto what Sharron and Lvoss said - we don't need to educate the people on this forum.
It's the general public that needs to be educated: the folks that never had a dog before and decides to get one but haven't thought about the responsiblity; the family that wants a dog/any dog "because the kids need the responsiblity"; the person who wants a dog but not one that barks/sheds/jumps/sitsonfurniture/needswalks/cantholdpeefor14hours/needstraining.
These are the people who don't bother to do research but instead sees a dog show and "oh what a pretty dog, I'd like one like that" or watches the DogWhisperer and says I want a dog that does that and then they go out and get A DOG.

And to be honest, it's not always easy even for those who do their research. The first basenji I acquired I considered doing a rescue. While considereing BRAT, I found one via a newspaper ad (never mentioning a kennel) and so I was thinking rehoming; when I went to the person's house, I never saw a kennel or kennel sign. She never gave me papers to transfer registration and I figured strange but okay as I didn't care about the registration then. She just said she had shown him but was tired of it but didn't want him going to another show person. All along I was thinking it was sad but they simply didn't want the dog anymore. It wasn't long before I found out the dog had a cataract, had a strange but rare habit of throwing his head (and sometimes hitting the wall), and developed thryoid issues. And then I was told about the Hestekin puppymill…

You are correct Wizard, the general public needs to be educated, but so do the people on the Forum, as we get new people all the time that have come here maybe after getting their Basenji from a not so responsible breeder and now has issues/concerns.

The other thing too - when I acquired my first, the internet and all this wonderful information wasn't available (hard to believe how much it has exploded in a few years time). There's so much more information available today (though still no directory of puppy mills or breeders-to-avoid) and it is so easily accessible. I'm glad we have the forum where people can at least lurk around the edges and maybe learn something before they actually acquire a basenji.

Here's a second thought … what if we (the forum) put together a little checklist or short blurb for people who are considering a basenji or who just acquired one. This can list all the important things to consider (was the dog tested for fanconi, how to test your dog for fanconi, personality issues, etc.) without "the attitude" that sometimes comes across in postings to new introductions. This "Considering a basenji?/For the new owner" could go right at the top of the forum so when people surf into the site it would be right there - they wouldn't even have to scroll down to see topics - right there at the top.

@wizard:

Here's a second thought … what if we (the forum) put together a little checklist or short blurb for people who are considering a basenji or who just acquired one. This can list all the important things to consider (was the dog tested for fanconi, how to test your dog for fanconi, personality issues, etc.) without "the attitude" that sometimes comes across in postings to new introductions. This "Considering a basenji?/For the new owner" could go right at the top of the forum so when people surf into the site it would be right there - they wouldn't even have to scroll down to see topics - right there at the top.

Good Idea, but we have tons of sticky notes already that people never read. If there was a way to put it on the Forum that would drive people to "must read"… that would be great

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