To take breeder to small claims court?(27 Posts)
We bought a pedigree dog 5 months ago.
(Before this turns into a bun fight - we have always had rescue dogs, our old boy is a rescue)
The breeder, who is reputable and has bred dogs for a long time promised to provide pedigree papers.
He has come up with excuse after excuse, now us and the other owners are at the end of our tether.
Trading standards have said he is in breach of contract and we have a case but realistically what are our chances of having this resolved by either a partial refund or getting the papers?
I think you're entitled to the difference between what you paid and what you should have paid if the dog wasn't pedigree advertised. If you all sue the breeder together then it will keep costs down.
Could he say he had no money and refuse to pay?
Could he say he had no money and refuse to pay?
That's what courts are for.
that's what the courts are for
Do you mean they'll force him to pay? Sorry I have no experience with courts.
The breeder I bought my pedigree dog did similar to a previous buyer and they successfully took her to court and got compensation.
Google plushcourt podengo court case and you will find stuff.
I would go to court, assuming you can prove that the advertisement clearly stated you would receive KC registration documents. I would be claiming for the full cost of the dog and I would say you will win. It's not like the breeder has any excuse, if the advertisement said you would get the papers.
It is actually very easy to use small claims online and while it does cost, you claim the costs back as part of your claim.
I've recently bought a KC reg puppy (coming home to us in 2 weeks) and have come across some very, very dodgy breeders in my search. One relevant example (of many I could give) was a breeder who did not have either Mum or Dad's pedigrees to show me when viewing the puppies. I mean, why would a breeder not have these to hand when showing her litter to buyers? Breeder couldn't understand why I was asking to see these. The reason was for exactly as you have found, if breeder doesn't have papers for Mum and Dad (or at the very least Mum) then what are the chances of puppies getting genuine KC registration?
Do you mean they'll force him to pay? Sorry I have no experience with courts.
In very simple terms:
- You complete an online form and wait
- Other party has a chance to respond online. Often they don't
- You are both sent a court date. You have to be prepared to turn up at court, but don't worry they are very kind to you. You don't have to have representation
- Often the other party doesn't turn up to court (buries head in sand) so you win by default if you do turn up. If they do turn up, you just present the advert and proof you have. The judge makes a decision, it's quite low-key
- Court orders breeder to pay and sets a time scale for when they should pay by.
Then, have you heard of County Court Judgments (CCJs)? These are the thing that go on your credit file when you have unpaid debts. If they don't pay within the set time then the breeder is issued with a CCJ so will be unable to get a mortgage/credit card etc until it is paid off.
You can also arrange for bailiffs to get the money from the breeder. This has a cost but it is recouped as part of the claim.
Basically, the answer to your question is that the breeder could just not pay. However in doing that it does not make the debt and the consequences go away.
Absolutely take him to court, yes.
Have you checked to see if the litter is actually registered, and he is just withholding papers? Presumably not, but have known it happen.
Even if he doesn't pay you, he will have a CCJ against him which will cause him problems and might just make him think twice about doing it to someone else.
No the litter hasn't been registered. He did say it was unplanned which makes me wonder.... He has four dog he uses for breeding. She's definitely a full boxer though.
The fee you paid for the dog should have covered the cost of registration - this makes a big difference if you intend to breed yourself -
Take him to court and see if the other puppy owners will follow suit
No the litter hasn't been registered.
Well in that case I would make the assumption that he is not able to register them - bitch too young/old, too many litters, endorsed parent who shouldn't have been bred from - and pursue him for it.
It was her first litter. It is possible she's too young... Or that God forbid she bred with her father?!
Yes, possibly, parent/child or full sibling matings would not be accepted.
Mind you, I fear that many breeders would just register with the wrong parents, so if registrations forthcoming at this stage, I would sadly wonder whether correct.
If you don't mind, could you PM me the breeder's kennel name, just for interest on whether it is one of the more well known kennels?
This happened to my friend. She always had farm dogs - fab, perfect for her lifestyle. Next time round, she decided to get a pedigree of the same breed from a breeder and breed a litter herself (only one was the plan, and not for profit). She's never been able to get the papers and eventually stopped trying but has paid through the nose for an unregistered dog that she can't breed from because it has a health problem.
Yes I would, assuming of course you can prove that the advert stated the puppies would come with KC registration and not that they just come from KC registered parents.
Did you see the parents papers?
If the parents definately had papers the reasons why the litter hasn't been registered would include: One or both of the parents could have endorsements on their papers that prevents them registering the offspring (in a bid to prevent them being bred from for whatever reason), the bitch is too young or too old, the bitch has had more than 1 litter in a 12 month period or more than 4 litters in her lifetime, the litter was from close relatives such as brother/sister mother/son. Non of which scream 'reputable' to me. Breeding for a long time does not automatically make a breeder reputable.
I assume you consider them reputable because they are part of the Assured Breeder Scheme and have carried out the required hip-scoring and heart testing required by such members? In which case you could start by speaking with / reporting them to the Kennel Club directly to try and resolve this first.
If not then the other possibility is that one or both of the parents are not in-fact KC registered. Either way this breeder is not reputable and has lied.
Why do you need papers? Only of use if you're showing, surely, and you'd have to have been in the know, in the breed, for some time to be able to judge whether such a young puppy was a show prospect?
Not saying you're not entitled to what you paid for - am just curious why it matters?
Why do you need papers?
Its a small thing that pet owners who want to buy a pedigree can do to fight against unreputable breeders.
There are checks in place by the KC to ensure bitches are not bred to young/old/often. Allowing this breeder to charge the same amount of money for his unregistered litter will encourage him to carry on. The breeder would be less likely to breed if the unregistered puppies sold for a fraction of the cost and he ended up on an overall financial loss having a litter. Afterall, unreputable breeders do it for the money, not for the welfare of the dogs. Remove the profits (by not buying unless you get KC papers) and a buyer is doing a little thing to discourage these types of breeder.
She's definitely a full boxer though
Evidentially you have absolutely no proof of that. Did you buy from Pets4Homes? On the Key Advert Facts, is the "KC Registered" Box showing at all? And is it showing as Yes? If it isn't, mentioning "papers" in the advert is very ambiguous, especially in a court. It may be a case of Buyer Beware.
I've bought from Pets4Homes (a cocker spaniel) and am thankful I knew what I was doing because some of the tactics used to sell from dodgy breeders is dreadful. I would say 80-90% of the "cocker spaniel" litters (inverted comer deliberately used) may well not have been actual cockers.
There were clear cross-breeds being sold as cockers, with pedigree prices. There were ones that said "KC Registered Parents" - code for the puppies not being KC registered (you'd state this if it was the case), but that the breeder wanted to use the words "KC Registered" so that buyers don't realise what they are buying.
There were ones where the breeder had clicked "no" next to the "KC Registered" box to cover their back, but then in the description gone on to mention the puppies coming with "paperwork" (which could mean anything). Again selling at pedigree prices.
There are sellers registering as private (not business) and leaving the "KC Reg" box blank so that it doesn't show up on the advert. Then going to great lengths to mention heritage of the "pure breed" (another code word for not KC registered - because you'd say that if it was), but no where in the advert actually stating KC registration, just leaving it to be incorrectly assumed.
Even when you do all the right checks, make sure you have a KC registered breeder who is registered with ChampDogs and/or KC website - You can still get sellers outright lying. Like the seller I visited who didn't have parental KC documents even though the litter would, apparently, be KC registered (I don't believe they would have been).
Suffice to say OP that you need to be sure you were not duped into assuming the puppies would be KC registered, when in fact there is no written statement to prove this.
I thought backstreet breeders get KC Reg, though so I didn't think it was really much of a quality guarantee thing?
I used to work in the kennels of a top breeder - not someone breeding the odd litter from home but an actual, well known breeder whose dogs were often Crufts qualified and a number were champions. And I know a few years back, KC meant nothing really - but backstreet breeders applied for it so they could put it in their ads and the unwary think "KC Reg" means they somehow have a superior dog. It doesn't. It just means they are KC Reg. Maybe it has somehow improved and now means something, but given the fact you see it on small ads and online, I'm assuming it is still largely a paper exercise (a good breeder would have a 2 year waiting list and not need ads so KC Reg or not, your clue is right there if it's a dog you can buy from an ad).
There are no guarantees of anything, of course. Unless both your dog's parents won 3 CHs..? Then you might be in with a chance. But has the KC Reg really turned into something so coveted?
My last dog was Crufts qualified as she was 2 when I got her and had already won Championships right across the UK and Ireland. That is maybe one dog in a few thousand, though (the red CHs on many pedigrees are simply stud dogs, the backstreet breeders have gone to) and if you're not showing (and hopefully, not breeding), you might as well have a dog with no papers. Or rather, the important medical test scores relevant to the breed... I'd be more concerned about that, assuming OP is not in the show world.
If it was advertised and it hasn't materialised, then you should get what you thought you were buying. But I doubt it truly adds any value to the dog itself.
God no, KC Reg is by no means a quality guarantee. But not being KC reg is a giant red flag. Which is why if a buyer doesn't want to buy from a rescue centre then insisting on KC registration would be the very first step in finding a breeder.
There is lots more to finding a good breeder than just KC registration though. Its just a first step.
But has the KC Reg really turned into something so coveted?
I would say, compared to 13 years ago when I last bought a new pedigree, KC is more important and more coveted nowadays.
Not for dog shows or crufts or anything though, you clearly come from a very different angle to me.
10-15y age there were no websites where you could see every litter available nationally from every kind of breeder. That kind of potiential market means the puppy farm business is booming. It's massive.
There were also no "cocker-poo" or whatever cross breeds being sold at prdigree process. Back then you either paid £50 for a cross breed, went to a rescue centre or paid pedigree prices for the (not so coveted) KC registered puppy.
Nowadays things are different. Lots more unreputabe breeders. Lots more dodgy tactics being used to dupe buyers into spending lots more money on poor quality pups. Lots more gulaible buyers too, I would say.
So the KC registration is now the start point. A new litter came along and my first thought is "is this litter KC registered?" - most times the advertised "cocker spaniel" wouldn't be, so I would pass on it. It's the first step to nit getting a dodgy puppy farm.
Not coveted. No guarentees of breeder quality (KC do an assured breeder scheme for this). But a first-check to ensure you are not encouraging the unreputable breeders selling non-pedigrees for pedigree prices.
Go to Trading Standards again and ask for their help in pursuing this case.
Have the pup and both alleged parents DNA tested.
Then if they wont pursue this case themselves take him to court. He is in breach of contract.
I have heard of cases where the owner got a full refund (and was able to keep the dog).
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