Do you think this unethical practice? And is there anything I can do?

(59 Posts)
EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 14:17:28

Ok - am prepared for "I told you so" but hope that you won't as what I need right now is help sad

I posted on here recently asking advice on choosing a cockapoo. I explained that I had put a deposit on a planned litter (show cocker mum) but was then offered the chance of a puppy from a litter (working cocker mum) just born that had one extra puppy in it. The deal was that I was offered the chance to visit the puppy and if it didn't suit I would remain on the list that I had paid the deposit on.

Well, having considered all the helpful advice that I had received on the thread, I thought perhaps I should take more time to consider my options. Especially as we have had some family circumstances arise which I have found rather stressful and I didn't want to make such an important decision whilst I feel unable to think clearly. So I emailed the breeder and explained that we were not in a position to continue at the present time and could she return the deposit.

She has refused telling me that she had turned away good families and that she would now have to go to the trouble of re-opening the list.

My issues are as follows:

A) I asked breeder to email me T&C at the time of deposit - she didn’t
B) I dont recall her at any point telling me the deposit was non-refundable
C) the deposit I gave was for the next litter - not the current one - as far as I am aware at the time of the deposit the list for that planned litter had not even been opened.
D) our deposit was not transferred to the first list as she suggests - She told us explicitly that we would remain on the 2nd bitch’s list and just have the option of a pup from the first litter - i.e. we were merely offered a chance to have a puppy sooner if we wanted one.
E) given that we were on the second list, which has barely been opened, the deposit should be fully refundable as she would NOT yet have had to turn anyone away - the bitch isn’t even in season yet for heaven's sake, let alone pregnant.
F) surely this goes against best practice for breeders - I don't think she should even have taken a deposit until she had at least confirmed a pregnancy.

I spoke to a KC breeder about another breed that was recommended to me from a poster on my last thread - she said she never takes a deposit until her puppies have reached the ground.

I feel really let down. I know I shouldn't have ever given her a deposit in the first place, but is there anything I can do or have I lost my deposit?

sad and blush

Floralnomad Tue 19-Jan-16 15:22:57

Threaten her with small claims and see if that shifts her ,dare we ask how much you paid ? Ps I know you don't need telling but as someone on your original thread said there are no ethical breeders of cross breeds they are all about the money .

EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 15:31:04

Thanks, Floral - I paid £250. If it was a question of me pulling out last minute from the litter we had put the deposit on I could understand, but this is just beyond belief. Perhaps you're right. She seemed so genuine.

Floralnomad Tue 19-Jan-16 15:32:57

Shocking .

mrslaughan Tue 19-Jan-16 16:01:02

All breeders are different - we paid a deposit, before ours (not a "poo") was born - it's the way our breeder sorts out tyre kickers......so she doesn't breed a litter and then everyone says no.......does that make sense? I am not sure what would have happened if we hadn't taken the pup....though I do know of other families that have, for various reasons waited for the next litter.......because of family circumstances, or because they wanted a boy - and the litter was mostly girls........

Though I have to say, I do think it is dodgy, the whole had one extra pup etc. I would do what flor has said and threaten with small claims.

itsbetterthanabox Tue 19-Jan-16 17:07:26

Isn't this just a person selling a dog? It isn't exactly legal anyway. It's just a person trying to get some money out of breeding their animals. It's sad it happens but also deposits are for if you pull out. You pulled out.

AnUtterIdiot Tue 19-Jan-16 18:02:32

I would assume a deposit was non-refundable in those circumstances or what's the point of taking it? But you could try threatening her with small claims and seeing if she backs down.

I wouldn't buy from a breeder (sorry, I'm sure you're sick of hearing that!) but if I did, there is no way I would put a deposit down on a puppy that hadn't been conceived yet!

Tate15 Tue 19-Jan-16 20:50:07

It's ridiculous, the dogs aren't even pedigree.

I would pursue her for the money.

I think you've made the right decision to wait for the right time to get a puppy.

Personally I would rethink the breed mix as well but that's just my personal choice.

EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 21:54:22

better - and Utter - I take your point(s) but call it naivety. Not all people who are looking for a dog are experienced in dealing with breeders and the whole process of acquiring a dog and so there is plenty of room for mistakes. Hindsight is a wonderful thing! I feel rather stupid to have trusted her. I think I would be better off with your username UtterIdiot !! She didn't explain about the non-refundable aspect - nor did she respond to my request for T&C's. I was just excited about the prospect of owning a dog and thought I had found a respectable and genuine breeder. I just assumed that since I was pulling out at such an early stage there should have been some kind of grace shown on the part of the breeder. I guess I am just judging by what I would have done myself. It's not as though I went all the way through to choosing the puppy stage. I just find it unreasonable. She will easily fill her list - it's not even open yet so she's not going to lose out.

In my experience deposits are there to offset against financial losses incurred by time wasters. And I fullly agree with process. But that I didn't waste her time, effort, energy or anything else. I didn't cost her any money. It was so early in the process. She shouldn't have been asking for a deposit before any pups had even been conceived (never mind I shouldn't have been so stupid to have agreed to part with one). I could understand if it was further down the line. But she has not lost any money - only gained an extra £250 for no reason. I'm considering reporting her to the Cockapoo Club (if that would have any effect).

I might have been stupid. But I was just excited about giving a dog a loving home. I hope it can be a lesson to future dog owners.

EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 21:59:22

Tate - Thank you - yes I am no longer interested in cockapoo, no matter how much the actual dogs may be nice dogs, the breeders appear to be self interested and unethical. I don't know what we will do now. Take a break I expect. DD will be heartbroken, but I just think it would be cruel to all concerned to rush into something that we later regret.

I am losing sleep over this - but perhaps it is a blessing in disguise.

ThroughThickAndThin01 Tue 19-Jan-16 22:00:03

Surely the whole point of paying a deposit is that you forfeit it if you don't complete the transaction? And it is returned to you if the other party doesnt complete the transaction. It's a simple concept.

Melonaire Tue 19-Jan-16 22:01:13

I have two pedigrees. The breeder of the first wouldn't take any deposit until the pups were born, healthy and 2 days old. Then they took a non refundable £250. The second (better) breeder wouldn't take any deposit until the pups were born and we'd been out to see them. Then they took £20 that was non refundable. They'd rather someone didn't proceed if they weren't sure.

I'm sorry but it sounds like you've gotten yourself involved with someone who sees the dogs as a quick way to make money.

Melonaire Tue 19-Jan-16 22:06:00

One of the things with cross breeds is that there's no breeding restrictions. If you have a kennel club registered pedigree bitch you can only breed 3 litters from that bitch in her lifetime where the puppies can be registered as pedigrees. Any more than three and the kennel club won't register the puppies so they won't sell for as much money. If you are only interested in money you can then breed as many 'designer' crossbreed litters from the poor thing as you like.

alleypalley Tue 19-Jan-16 22:48:20

I would threaten no claims court too. How can she take a deposit for a puppy that's not even conceived yet. What if she takes deposits from more people, than puppies that are born. Sounds very dodgy, especially with no contract.

EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 23:00:25

Through - yes, but my point is that in hindsight I don't believe it was ethical of her to have requested any deposit until her bitch was pregnant at the very least. I think she took full advantage of my naivety of the system. As I said, the deposit in this case did not act as financial compensation against any losses she incurred. That's what deposits are meant to cover. To me it is purely a matter of goodwill, of which she has none whatsoever.

JohnCusacksWife Tue 19-Jan-16 23:21:48

Personally things like this are one of the (many) reasons why I'd never deal with anyone who breeds dogs for money. Rescues every time for me.

EveryLittleThing Tue 19-Jan-16 23:28:07

I am beginning to think you are right Mrs Cusack confused

lougle Tue 19-Jan-16 23:41:54

Deposits are a contractual exchange of money for assurance that you'll get the product when available. You only get your money back if the seller can't provide the product you reserved.

Sorry, but you aren't in a position to expect a refund -you agreed to pay a deposit.

tomatodizzy Tue 19-Jan-16 23:51:04

Get a rescue, I had two Battersea dogs growing up and they were fab. Both were pedigree but obviously without papers. I strongly recommend looking at places like Battersea. It's sad that the dog market is so lucrative in the UK. I'm not in the UK we have three pedigree dogs two are registered and one was a foster (now adopted) with no papers and free, the German Shepherd was from our vets litter and cost us 75 and the Labrador came from a reputable breeder and cost 300, they were also a mix litter of yellow and black. No deposit or advertising them before they were even born. I don't know how much German Shepherds and Labradors cost in the UK but I can bet it ain't £250 if that's just the deposit on a cockerpoo! It makes me so sad

MidniteScribbler Wed 20-Jan-16 05:40:01

What do you expect from someone who backyard breeds crossbreds? They're not exactly in it for the good of the breed.

MaitlandGirl Wed 20-Jan-16 06:21:46

Is she a member of the breed club? I presume she is as she has show cockers. Maybe contact them and see what they have to say - they'd expect her to adhere to their rules for all her litters, even cross breeds.

I paid a deposit for both my papillons after we'd chosen them and confirmed we wanted them. The $$ were enough to cover their first vaccinations, microchiping and council registration.

$250 is a lot of money to lose - def try everything you can to get it back.

thankthoseluckystars Wed 20-Jan-16 06:28:28

What's the problem with cockerpoos?

Chattymummyhere Wed 20-Jan-16 11:11:03

Most breeders wait till the the pups are on the ground to take deposits but they are always non-refundable.

If in all correspondence nothing is mentioned about it being non-refundable you should get it back, that's they most people issue a deposit contract which is to be signed so you know you will not get it back if you pull out.

Shriek Wed 20-Jan-16 11:37:16

It sounds like you want to pull out of the deal that you initially struck, and you have paid [what i consider to be] a very high deposit. Its common practice in my circles to take 10-20% deposit, but always after pregnancy confirmed and litter safely delivered and first 3 [most risky weeks] passed safely] then those that i personally have on a list would start discussions about coming to see them and putting deposits down.

I don't agree with taking deposits before this because it sucks of mail order breeding (which in some ways is good because it secures homes for every dpup and those pedigree/work litters in high demand have the most fair way of priority on the lists), but again, it depends on your breeder.

I think you paid a high deposit, but the deposit's intention is purely to secure you a dpup and would only be returnable on the basis that that dpup couldn't be supplied by the breeder. The breeder hasn't denied you that dpup, if that happens you can have your deposit back. If the breeder has done anything underhand (in trying to offer you dpup from a different litter being the result of not being able to now offer you original dpup and in so doing keeping deposit you gave), and cannot actually offer dpup from original litter then you are entitled to your money back.

I think courts would view that this is common expected practice, but that you have paid a high deposit, and that you don't have to accept dpup from another litter (not sure why you would), but wouldn't be entitled to return of 'reasonable [current market norm] deposit'

Its your circumstances that have changed making you reconsider and thats not a term of taking the deposit and the breeder would be expected to keep this.

The only thing i consider you could do is ask her to consider your circumstances and whether she has another on her list that would be thrilled to have another opportunity to have one of these dpups and in paying their deposit would return yours, but thats breeders perogative.

So sorry things have worked against you, but you are better off losing the money if your circumstances are now against you getting a dpup.

The other reason that someone would return a deposit (in my guidance set out in puppy pack) would be if i decided i didn't want them to have dpup if i saw anything worrying in their behaviour or discussions of looking after dpup.

EveryLittleThing Wed 20-Jan-16 11:48:07

Lougle - I agree but I don't think it was reasonable that she should have asked for a deposit in the first place - I'm talking here about taking advantage of someone's naivety and goodwill. If you're saying it's such a formal agreement she should have explained her terms and put them in writing, given me a receipt and T&C's all of which I asked for. She will have plenty of other takers as she has not even opened the list yet - the bitch isn't even in season. So why would you be so petty. As you say, a contract is an agreement - there was no agreement as far as I know. She didn't make me aware of any terms.

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