Category: General (page 1 of 2)

The Animal Hoarder – A Closer Look

The recent post on our Facebook page about a NW breeder and cat show judge gone horribly wrong received a significant amount of comments/private messages either condemning this person or asking for compassion and help.

The word “hoarder” was mentioned on more than one occasion. Help was often mentioned for the hoarder rather than publicity.  Cats were also mentioned, often times at the very end of a message in form of a couple of words such as “she needs help and the cats, too”.

Hoarding is a mental illness we were told and we should be empathetic. Hoarding is indeed a mental condition. One that is not acquired at some point, but rather one a person is born with much like the propensity to developing OCD or any form of addiction.

Hoarding is treated by specialists - highly trained psychiatrists and psychologist who have studied, lived and breathed this very subject for almost their entire professional lives.

Animal hoarding is one of the most abhorrent form of this mental illness as it involves living, breathing, feeling souls that cannot help themselves and often times suffer horribly at the hands of the hoarder.

But what is an animal hoarder and most importantly – how do you spot one? And what do you do if you are confronted with one?

This very educational and well written article deals with this particular subject on a high level, simplified basis.

  • The typical hoarder is female, middle aged between the ages of 50 – 60 years old, single/widowed/divorced. Note: Not every single 55 year old female with 5+ cats is a “crazy cat lady”.
  • Some are well educated while others are not. Animal hoarding afflicts all socio-economic backgrounds.
  • A hoarder tends to lack personal hygiene and often appears unkempt and disheveled.
  • A hoarder will not ever allow you into their home.
  • A hoarder does not have the ability to see what is wrong with their situation.
  • Hoarders think their animals are just fine even when it is very clear to everyone around them that they are sick, starving, without food, without water, without proper shelter or even dying or already deceased.
  • In more cases than not deceased animals are observed.
  • In all cases animals are sick and live in absolute filth.
  • Hoarders will not accept any help. You can try, but they know best and truly believe that only they can care for their animals. Everyone else is not up to par.
  • Their illness compels them to acquire more animals. They get a “high” every time they get another one.
  • Unfortunately, these days we do not just have breeders and pet owners who hoard, but also people who hide behind the “rescue” label.
  • The recidivism rate of hoarding is near 100% - even with intervention.
Wendy Blount, a renowned veterinarian specialist, wrote her master’s thesis on this subject. The bottom line is the same.  The hoarder is unaware of the situation around them and they are therefore not able to ask for help.

Dr. Blount started with 210 reported animal hoarding cases.  Not a single one actually had a hoarder come forward on their own volition asking for help.  All hoarding cases were discovered because someone alerted the authorities.

It should be noted that in the current case, some have asserted that the hoarder did ask for help of her own volition. That is not the case.

The hoarder initially asked for help with projects around her home, such as deck repairs.  Upon discovering the horrendous conditions inside the home, the hired help decided to focus on improving the life of the cats to the best of their ability.

Pictures and video were taken and subsequently, the hoarder was reported to the authorities.  When tipped off about the investigation, the hoarder “voluntarily” turned herself into Animal Control claiming to need help.



The notion that as long as there is a “safe way” for hoarders to come forward, it would somehow prevent these horrific cases of animal neglect and abuse is futile. Hoarders never ever come forward on their own because they are unable to recognize that there is a problem.

There is a difference between someone who has a lot of animals and suddenly cannot care for them properly due to illness or other extenuating circumstances and a hoarder.

The former will reach out for help at some point because they realize there is an issue and they love their animals enough to ensure that they are taken care of.  A hoarder is lacking this ability.  They cannot see what is wrong.

The initial inclination when dealing with a hoarder is often the desire to help this person “get back on their feet”. Because of the hoarder’s inability to see anything wrong with what they are doing, the likelihood of the hoarder getting right back to what they have been doing all along is near 100%.

In only 2 cases of the many that Wendy Blount examined was it possible to get the hoarder(s) on the right track to animal ownership.

It should be noted this was due to a concerted effort of animal welfare/control agencies in connection with trained psychiatrists.  Any laymen thinking that they can somehow facilitate a recovery on their own merely by cleaning and helping with the placement of animals even as a team effort is woefully delusional.  All they actually do is enable the hoarder to continue with their addiction.

Getting local animal services involved is a first step although these agencies are usually understaffed, overworked and operating under severe budget restraints. A hoarder poses a serious negative impact on their already strained budgets and many agencies simply ignore the problem.

Local laws also do little to address the specifics of animal hoarding.  Sure, there are limit laws, licensing laws and kennel laws – all designed to be used in the event of a hoarding situation.  These legislations; however, fail to address the root of the problem – the mental illness, a lifelong compulsory addiction to accumulate animals.

We certainly send sex offenders or alcoholics to mandatory therapy if they have committed a punishable offense. In only very few cases is this done in a hoarding situation.  Hoarders are left without the mental health care they would require if there was ever a chance of rehabilitation.

In the recent case of Kay Hanvey, many believe that they are somehow qualified to help this woman because they are breeders. They claim that irreparable damage will be done to the cat fancy if this is not dealt with away from the public eye.  We disagree.

We are very cognizant of the implications to the cat fancy as Bad Cat Breeders is comprised of a team of 5 people of which 4 are active registered breeders.

We firmly believe that help for a hoarder does not come in the form of a temporary band aid by providing clean up services or taking some cats, but rather by reaching out to the authorities and offering help, then stepping back and letting them deal with the situation.

They should simultaneously try to elicit compliance from the hoarder by implementing sanctions should the hoarder fail to comply with the local authorities, including revocation of registering privileges, stripping all cats of titles, revoking judging privileges, show manager privileges, etc.

Never, ever should a layman try to “help” this person.  They are not and never will be able to do so as they are not a trained professional.  Being a breeder does in fact not qualify them in any way, shape or form.

In this particular case, unfortunately, the cat fancy yet again missed the opportunity to demonstrate to the public at large that they are in fact a community of caring individuals who love to promote purebed cats.

A much stronger and quite positive signal to the public could have been sent by condemning the situation, reaching out to local authorities to offer help (this usually comes in the form of money and volunteers/rescues to take cats) and even looking for mental health professionals who can potentially affect an ideally permanent positive outcome.

The message that could have been sent – “we care, we help, we do not condone this type of situation, we are transparent” would have gone far with a public that has been made to believe you best “adopt, don’t shop” by many animal rights entities whose sole purpose are to take your money while provide zero services to needy animals.

BAD CAT BREEDER ALERT #7 – Mangosteen Bengals/Daria Mangosteen



Today we are reporting on Mangosteen Bengals, located in Kursk, Russia, owned and operated by Daria Mangosteen .

Daria Mangosteen sold a kitten by the name of Mangosteen Lola to a breeder in France. The kitten arrived with horrible diarrhea and tested positive for Tri-Trichomonas Foetus as well as giardia. Both parasites can be endemic in catteries that do not test and do not treat (it is a very treatable condition).

The kitten was ultrasound checked for a disease unfortunately common amongst Bengals – PKD – Polycystic Kidney Disease which is routinely fatal and also considered hereditary. The new owner also did a DNA test for the specific PKD gene which turned out positive. Interestingly enough, Daria Mangosteen provided the buyer with a PKD DNA test result by Fractal Bio. This company does not perform PKD testing, so likely the test results are a forgery.

This kitten’s parents are without a doubt PKD positive (at least one of them). Testing required for PKD only needs to be done one time via ultrasound. A cat is either negative or positive. Positive cats should never be used in a breeding program. It is unfathomable that Daria Mangosteen would use untested breeding cats in her program.

When confronted with the reality of her shady cattery practices, Daria Mangosteen vehemently denied any wrong doing, blamed the buyer by telling them that is must have been the medicine the cat was given for the parasites. Subsequently, in true backyard breeder fashion, the buyer was blocked on Facebook and is out thousands for a breeding cat that had to be fixed as it cannot be used for its intended purpose.

Please take note and do NOT buy from Mangosteen Bengals. We would not recommend even buying only a pet. These kittens are likely all have the parasites and many of them will die from PKD.

Calling Out a Bad Breeder – Deflection as a Means of Justification

In our 1.5 years of existence we have come across and investigated a unfortunately large contingent of bad cat breeders. Some are evident, others are much more subtle.

Chrissy Russell of Ayzhazen Cattery at first sight seems to be just fine. Well spoken, nice writing style, good grammar – in other words, she appears to be professional. Then you have the other end of the spectrum such as the previously reported on Shilo Webb whose grammar leaves to be desired and who uses profanity when called on her business practices.

One thing that consistently afflicts any bad cat breeder is their amazing ability to deflect from their ongoing troubles as well as masterful finger pointing skills and an unmatched ability to make their victims responsible for absolutely everything. They also seem to hold a PhD in embellishment.

Chrissy scoured through our website and has contacted every single bad cat breeder mentioned. One of them responded.  This particular one sold ringworm infested kittens, was visited by animal control and cited because she sold kittens out of a rented apartment without the required license.

When reading through her iteration of a kitten sale gone bad, it appeared that the buyer is to blame for the condition the kitten arrived in. Never mind that the incubation period for ear mites and ringworm is considerably more than 5 days.

This “breeder” was contacted by BCB; however, all she could do is throw around profanities which subsequently earned her a ban from being able to post to our Facebook page. We were simply told to “f’ off”.  In true bad cat breeder fashion this breeder was and still is blaming the buyer and is blaming Bad Cat Breeders for her misfortune.

Ms. Russell is no different. She had options and chose to defraud her buyer, blame her for the misfortune and when called on it is now blaming Bad Cat Breeders for having to stand in the limelight.  Never mind that she chose to step into it by behaving unprofessional and scamming a distraught woman out of thousands while blaming the buyer for the demise of her cat(s). And to answer her question - Bad Cat Breeders will never stop. Not as long as there are buyers being defrauded and disenfranchised.

A good breeder will never deflect from taking responsibility, will be empathetic, will return phone calls, will replace unless they suspect abuse. A good breeder will admit when they made a mistake or if something goes sideways.

So keep in mind the next time you see a breeder going to great extent to explain issues away (illness, incompetence of the buyer, medical issues of a loved one, no money, too much money, showing off their awards, etc.) that this is done to deflect from their wrong doing, says nothing about their victims and a lot about them – none of which is any good.

And keep in mind that Bad Cat Breeder's Mission is first and foremost to help pet buyers and not support breeders in their efforts to circumvent responsibility.

     

BAD CAT BREEDER ALERT #5 – Royal Rubydolls (Zusanna/Susan Hutchison & family)

Update: In an attempt to evade negative publicity entirely brought upon herself, Susan Hutchison disabled her website and is instead using Facebook for her cattery.  In typical backyard breeder fashion she has also put together a new personal profile, making this #3 that we know of. She continues to advertise kittens for sale, so she is making money she could use to right the wrong and refund the newbie breeder she defrauded.



  On October 2, a newbie breeder in Taiwan received two Ragdoll cats/kittens she had purchased through Zuzanna (Susan) Hutchison of Royal Ruby Dolls in the U.K. The female kitten carries Susan's cattery name while the male carries her uncle's cattery name (Ragi DollsPL). Her uncle is Krzysztof Wydra who resides in Poland.

When the Taiwanese breeder first contacted Susan looking for a male, she was shown pictures on RagiDollsPL Facebook page clearly identifying a specific male as a show quality cat.  Another male was also pictured that was not suitable for showing as it had a patch of white hair on the tail.

Both kittens arrived in deplorable condition.  The male clearly was severely malnourished.  Much to the dismay of the new breeder, the male also had a white patch of hair on his tail that had been cut very short to disguise the fact that she had indeed not received the male she had originally paid for.  The female arrived with breathing difficulties as well as absolutely horrendous breath.

The kittens were examined by an import veterinarian who noted the issues.  She was then allowed to take them home. Within just a day, the boy started throwing up every time he ate and the girl clearly was showing breathing difficulties plus her breath was very smelly.  The Taiwanese breeder took both kittens to her own veterinarian and both were examined.  The boy weighed only 3 kg (that is 6.6 lbs) at one year of age.

The vet also noted that the girl's gums appeared severely inflamed and noted that this condition could very well be stomatitis.  He prescribed a treatment for stomatitis and recommended that the kitten would be seen by a specialist veterinarian.

The entire time, the new breeder communicated with Susan Hutchison (here's her other Facebook profile) about the condition of both cats.  She also spoke with Krysztof demanding a partial refund due to the white patch of fur on the boy's tail. Krysztof promised to send 400 Euros out of the 2000 Euro purchase price.  The Taiwanese breeder was not in agreement with that but was told that is what she was getting and end of story.  She was then blocked by both Susan and Krysztof. The Taiwanese breeder did receive 400 Euros, but no additional funds.

In her desperation to find some relief, the newbie breeder turned to Ying Chien Wang, a TICA Cat Club President for help.  Ying was instrumental in facilitating the purchase as she highly recommended Susan as a "reputable" breeder.  Matter of fact - Ying had previously purchased cats from Susan.  Ying simply told her to calm down and not to agitate Susan or her father over this transaction.  This move was purely to preserve Ying's ability to get replacement cats as the ones previously received from Susan were also of ill health. On October 16, 2016, the Taiwanese breeder took the female kitten to the specialty veterinarian for further testing. The final diagnosis is severe stomatitis.  Stomatitis is an auto-immune inflicted condition where the body's own immune system relentlessly attacks the roots of the teeth causing massively inflamed gums that ulcerate. Any cat afflicted with this condition is in constant discomfort.  Furthermore, the source of the breathing difficulties were identified as an abnormally narrow trachea right in the throat area.  In conclusion, the specialty veterinarian stated that this kitten was not suitable for breeding. Subsequently, all teeth were removed which brought the stomatitis to a halt. The breathing difficulties; however, continue.

The Taiwanese breeder paid 2200 GBP (Great British Pounds) for the girl plus 600 GBP for shipping. She paid 2000 Euro for the boy plus 600 GBP for shipping.  She was promised two show cats suitable for breeding and got one cat entirely unsuitable for breeding and one pet quality cat that could be used for breeding; however, is still severely underweight and not in the condition to be used for that purpose.

Initially our contact with Susan did not result in any communication. Instead, Susan chose to start communicating with the Taiwanese breeder through her mother's Facebook page (Magdalena Lutra of Lutra Ragdolls) and also alerting Ying Chien Wang about our communication with her which resulted in Ying threatening the Taiwanese breeder with a lawyer.

To top things off, the Taiwanese breeder did not receive papers for either cat.  Supposedly, the papers were sent to Ying Chien Wang.  Tracking information provided by Susan Hutchison shows delivery of the paperwork to Ying on October 24, 2016. Yet Ying insists that she does not have the papers and does not know anything about them. Subsequently, the papers were received.

Bad Cat Breeders negotiated an agreement with Susan and Krysztof that would give her a female kitten of her choice as a replacement plus $1,572 in monetary compensation. It was agreed to make the payment by no later than February 28, 2017 as Susan cited financial difficulties and the Taiwanese breeder was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt.

February 28, 2017 came and went and neither payment nor the kitten was received. Stay clear of these three breeders. They will take your money, give you sick cats and/or no cats at all.

How to Pay for a Kitten/Cat

Due to several recent issues brought to our attention, we felt it was necessary to go over the various payment methods that breeders offer and their pros and cons.

Personal check:

This a very safe method and would enable to you dispute the transaction in the event the breeder does not deliver the kitten and decides to keep the deposit regardless of what  a contract says should the breeder change their mind.  If you as the buyer change your mind, be prepared to lose that deposit.

PayPal:

Some breeders will ask you to send money as a "friend" in order to avoid charges that PayPal will assess to use their services.  Don't do this!!!  Instead tell the breeder you will send money the regular way and pay the additional fee.  If the breeder refuses, do not go through with the transaction. PayPal offers a 45 day dispute option that would get your money back in the event something happens.  If you send money to a friend, that dispute option is not available. Ideally, pay via PayPal with a credit card.  In the event the 45 day dispute period has expired for example on a deposit and the breeder changes her/his mind and is holding your deposit, you can dispute this transaction through your credit card company and get your money back that way.

Credit Card:

You can always dispute a transaction if you pay with a credit card. This would apply to deposits and even the entire purchase price in the event the kitten arrives very sick or the breeder simply takes the money and never delivers your cat/kitten.  Be prepared to show a contract.  The credit card company will not simply refund your money, but investigate thoroughly.  So do not put down any money without a contract - EVER!

Western Union:

In very simple terms - DO NOT USE THIS METHOD, EVER!!!! You will have no recourse.  If you need to send money internationally - demand bank account information to transfer money.  Never, ever just send money.  Do not proceed if Western Union is the only way a breeder can/will receive money.

The Bad Cat Breeder & the “Bad” Pet Buyer

Bad Cat Breeders is an advocate for buyers (mainly pet buyers with the occasional breeder buying from another breeder). We have literally heard of countless cases of unsuspecting buyers being ripped off to the tune of hundreds and even thousands of dollars by being sold sick kittens almost immediately requiring costly veterinary care that does not always save the life of the pet.

We research breeder after breeder and post warning after warning, yet there seems to be a never ending supply of one sad case after the other. And we truly empathize with anyone who has been the victim of a Bad Cat Breeder. All of our admins have had a bad experience themselves.

We also recognize that in almost every single instance, the ensuing and often times heartbreaking situation could have been avoided had the buyer done enough research and adhered to some very basic principles when shopping for a kitten. So here are some points to consider before you embark on your journey of obtaining a new family member, particularly if you cannot visit the cattery in person.

Before you start contacting catteries, please familiarize yourself with the breed of your choosing. How does a typical representative look like? To mind comes a case that we most recently investigated about a “Ragdoll breeder” who sold ringworm infested kittens to unsuspecting buyers (often with kids). Said “breeder” (Shilo Webb of Red Mountain Ragdolls) advertises her kittens as a “TICA registered cattery”. Doesn’t that sound great or what? After all we read everywhere that you should only buy from a registered breeder.

Well, actually one needs to understand that the term “TICA registered” means absolutely nothing (that does for all registries) and most certainly does not guarantee that you are buying a healthy kitten nor does it guarantee that you are buying the breed that is being advertised.

For a one-time fee of $80 for non-members you can register your cattery name in TICA. So now you have a TICA registered cattery (name). So you could essentially breed mutts and claim your cats are such and such breed while claiming you are a TICA registered cattery thus insinuating that the kittens produced are actually registered, papered purebred kittens.

That is what our example Shilo Webb did. She claims to raise Ragdolls. On her Facebook page she posts picture after picture mentioning a sleuth of several colors such as “traditionals” and “tortie mitten” and “flame mink”. Here are some examples taken straight off her Facebook page.

mink-flame   tortie-mitten
(Flame mink)                                                 (Tortie mitten)

When you google the word “Ragdoll cat”, this is what you find:

rd2   rd3

Clearly, the kittens offered by Red Mountain Ragdolls are looking different. All cat fancy associations actually publish breed standards. The standard for Ragdolls requires all cats to have pointed colors. Some come with white and some have no white (mitted and bi-color refer to white being on parts of the cat). “Pointed” in the cat fancy means light cream body with darker colors on the points which are ears, mask, legs, feet and tail. There is one minor exception and that is the color “mink” which was occasionally observed in the beginning of this breed and is still fancied by some breeders, albeit a non-standard color. There is no such a color as “flame mink” or “tortie mitted” in this breed. This simply means that Shilo Webb uses a purebred cat (her male) and breeds it arbitrarily to whatever mutt cats she can find and calls the result a “Ragdoll”. And she charges you – the unsuspecting pet buyer - $800+ for a “purebred” kitten. Of course it will come unfixed (standard for backyard breeders like this one) with the promise to get papers once the kitten is fixed knowing full well that you will never see any papers because she only has a TICA registered cattery name and does not register her mutt kittens with TICA.

If you – as a pet buyer – run across a breeder offering something that does not seem to fall in line with what is commonly advertised for this breed, please be careful and do additional research to make sure that this particular breeder indeed uses purebred, registered parent cats. A good example would be found in the Siberian Cat. All traditional colors are allowed (black, brown, red, diluted versions of those colors as in blue, golden & cream, with and without white and with and without silver). If you see a pointed Siberian (Siamese coloring), rest assured whatever it is that you are looking at – most likely it is not a purebred Siberian. In the event this happens to you and your chosen breed, please do not buy from that breeder.

As a pet buyer, it is your responsibility to educate yourself before you buy. That is very important. And do not just contact one breeder. Contact as many as you can. You will soon see a pattern on how reputable breeders answer your questions and how their kittens look like.

Whenever possible, try visiting the cattery. Even if you live many miles away – just tell the breeder you want to come visit (even if you have no intentions). The second you hear “Oh, sorry – I don’t allow visitors” followed by a bunch of excuses (dangerous to let people into your home, worries about diseases, valuable breeding stock would be endangered, etc.), do not just walk away. RUN! If you do visit in person and you see a filthy environment with clearly sick kittens/cats, please do not become a martyr and “rescue” a kitten from “that horrible place”. All you do is enable this “breeder” to continue their handy work. Instead tell the breeder that you will discuss it with your husband/family/fiancé (even if that is a lie) and get back to them. Then call animal control and file a complaint. That can be done anonymously and it will guarantee that these cats/kittens will be taken away from said “breeder” and receive appropriate care.

Another consistent point of contention for many of our clients have been guarantees or better lack thereof.

Carefully read the guarantee clause in your contract (no contract = no go, no exception, period!!). Almost always this guarantee period is 72 hours. Whenever confronted with a guarantee period of less than 72 hours, do not buy from this breeder. Keep in mind here that the only illness that has an incubation period of less than 72 hours is the common kitty cold. All other diseases/parasites such as Feline Aids, Feline Leukemia, ringworm, hook worm, roundworm, tapeworms, Trichomonas Foetus, etc. have incubation periods extending 72 hours and often times considerably. For example, the incubation period of Feline Leukemia is 8 weeks. In other words – a 72 hour guarantee period does one thing and one thing only – negate any and all responsibility of the breeder for the vast majority of diseases/parasites.

It is not feasible for any breeder to guarantee a kitten to be free of parasites/diseases for more than 14 days after it leaves the cattery as the breeder no longer has control over the environment said kitten will be exposed to. 14 days is a very reasonable guarantee period and should cover the buyer for the vast majority of diseases/parasites. In return – you as the buyer better be taking that kitten to the vet and having verified via blood tests and fecal examinations that the kitten is indeed as healthy as the seller claims.

In the case of Shilo Webb, kittens developed ringworm within a week of being at their new homes. Given that the incubation period of ringworm is on average around 10-12 days, it is clear that these kittens contracted ringworm at Shilo’s residence.

Upon examination of the contract, it became clear that Shilo Webb only gives a one year guarantee for genetic issues. No other guarantee. As a buyer it is your responsibility to read and understand the contract. If you see terms that you do not agree with, you can accept them, but please be aware that this exposes you to potentially very costly issues. Ideally, you will either have the breeder alter the contract to be more inclusive or you buy somewhere else (we suggest the latter). If you do not understand something, ask! If a verbal promise is being made at that time, insist it be put in writing. If the breeder refuses to do that, look for a different breeder. Again – under no circumstance buy a kitten unless you are very clear what is covered and for how long and what is not covered. If a breeder is unwilling to work with you claiming you are taking too much time or worse – insinuating that there are other buyers and if you do not decide right now, the kitten of your dreams will be gone, walk away! That often times is a sales tactic. It might also very well be true; however, truly reputable breeders will not only patiently answer all your questions, but encourage your asking them as they feel that is a sign of a great pet owner.

In closing – as a buyer you should:

1. Familiarize yourself with your chosen breed,
2. Research and talk to as many breeders as possible,
3. Require proof that the cats used for breeding are properly registered,
4. Call the respective registry the breeder claims to belong to and verify their registration and that they are a MEMBER in good standing. It should serve as a red flag if a breeder has a registered cattery, but is not a member of the association. While you are on the phone, ask if the breeder is regularly registering litters and has registered litters recently. All this is information all the registries will gladly provide free of charge and over the phone.
5. Never EVER accept a contract with no health guarantee. Make sure you get a specific guarantee. The guarantee should specifically state that the kitten is guaranteed for 14 days against EVERYTHING. It should state that the kitten arrived free of parasites, properly vaccinated and free of other diseased and genetic issues. It should furthermore require you to perform basic testing to verify the health of the kitten (blood tests, fecal tests) and should also penalize you with complete removal of any and all guarantees should you fail to perform required testing.

We truly believe that proper research and due diligence on part of buyers would greatly diminish the sheer mind boggling number of reports we receive each month. And we firmly believe that not buying from a breeder that does not offer a contract, does not offer a reasonable guarantee, does not pass your basic background check (i.e. calling the registry and inquire) will eventually stop breeding because they can no longer sell their kittens or they might be forced to step it up and up their services.

As consumers we are very powerful. We decide who stays in business and who runs out of business. Many of us research buying a car or a major appliance for months prior to purchase. That is what an informed consumer does. Don’t let this practice take a back seat when purchasing your purebred kitten. We know you will be glad you showed the very same diligence and be rewarded with a happy and healthy kitten for life.

What constitutes “Bad”?

We have talked a lot about spotting a bad cat breeder.  In the vast majority of cases, it is very obvious why a particular breeder is considered "bad".  There are pictures of sick cats, cats that were reserved (money was exchanged), but never delivered, cats sold into breeding programs with hidden defects or defects never disclosed, etc.  In these instances it is easy to see why a particular breeder is considered "bad".  In other cases it is not that easy to come to this conclusion.  Ultimately, how a breeder handles a transaction disagreements will show if they are a good breeder or perhaps one that is lacking in that department.

We recently came across a post to our Facebook page where a newbie breeder shared her experience with what appears to be a very well know and experienced breeder.



Within minutes of this post appearing on our Facebook feed, we were contacted by a person who claimed that she was working for the breeder who sold these ill fated kittens.  After asking for proof of her assertion that the breeder did not do anything wrong, the conversation quickly disintegrated.  This person was told that the post would be taken down in the event the accuser could not provide proof of her allegations.  It became clear that the expectation was an immediate deletion of said post ...... or else."



This was quickly followed by the breeder contacting us and demanding that we are to take down the offensive post immediately........or else.  In her wake came a contingent of what appear to be breeder friends who did not add anything to the conversation, but rather tooted into the same horn up to and including the use of profanity as well as threats and efforts to intimidate as well as insinuation that we "investigate" people for monetary gain.



So how does this correlate to "good" versus "bad" breeder?  A bad breeder is not always recognized that easily.  They may be very well known, respected and even admired by many.  Among all these posts there is little in the way of facts. The following facts are available:

  1.  A newbie breeder bought three kittens for breeding from a very experienced breeder (17 years by her own account).  The price paid was 2000 GBP (Great British Pound) which is roughly $3,250.
  2. Kittens arrived with upper respiratory infections and fleas.
  3. Two kittens never got well, continued to decline and were euthanized due to suspected FIP.  No necropsy was performed.
  4.  The originating breeder is not taking any responsibility, but rather blames the buyer for the demise of these kittens.
A quick and dirty search on Facebook showed this particular breeder involved in spats on another "bad breeder" type of page that is at best a breeder bashing forum with little to no proof required and poorly moderated. So how does all of this make this particular breeder "bad"?  Well, perhaps not bad as in animal abusive, neglectful or scamming.  At no point has this breeder shown any compassion for the buyer.  At no point has the breeder even tried to understand the tremendous upset losing kittens to FIP causes.  The breeder immediately went into "preservation mode", gathered the troops and started to attack to "save her reputation" and placing the blame square on the buyer. Note: FIP has a very strong genetic component that leaves affected kittens with an incompetent immune system. This is believed to be caused by indiscriminate inbreeding.  This breeder claims to have a total outcross program (meaning no relations) as she imports street cats from Thailand.  It is common knowledge that feral cat populations are at a very high risk for FIP as these cats procreate without any regards to relations, such as full litter mate matings or father to daughter, etc. So you see - not every bad breeder is identified by a trail of sick cats sold out of the back of a pick up truck. A bad breeder is created by their very own choices how to handle adverse situation.

To Buy or Not to Buy (Overseas That Is)?

Have you been thinking about buying a kitten from another breeder overseas or selling one to a breeder outside your country?

Before you embark on this journey, please consider a few pointers that might very well save you a lot of headaches (and money) in the future.

As skilled mediators we have come across our fair share of breeder-to-breeder disputes. We have the breeder from the Ukraine who arbitrarily decided to change the agreed upon terms with a US buyer. We had the Russian breeder who sent a kitten with an undisclosed, non-life impacting issue to an unsuspecting breeder in Asia. We have the Russian Kurilian Bobtail breeder who sold severely inbred breeding stock to several unsuspecting buyers in the US, UK and Canada causing the loss of countless kittens as well as substantial negative fiscal impact to the buyers. Then there is the Polish breeder who sold a Ragdoll to Taiwan who cut out white hair on the cat’s tail to make the cat appear to be show quality. The list literally is endless.

It seems not a week goes by where someone trying to obtain a cat overseas is being taken advantage of and ends up spending a lot of money while either ending up with a lot of veterinary bills or worse ending up with nothing to show for. So what should you do if you want to purchase/sell overseas?

First of all you need to realize that if this transaction goes sideways, you as a buyer do NOT have any ability to take the other party to court. As the seller you do not have the ability to get your kitten/cat back. If you live within the European Union, you can seek legal remedy; however, if you for example live in the U.S. and the breeder you are buying from resides in Russia, you won’t stand a chance taking this to court to recoup damages and/or your kitten/cat.

Second – NEVER EVER do this type of a transaction without a written contract – EVER!!! He said/she said type of transactions are bad enough within one country but get downright unmanageable if you are crossing borders. Please note that regardless of where either party is located, any contract is only as good as the persons who signed it. We have seen countless of international contracts being breached just as soon as that kitten/cat left its originating country.

Third – familiarize yourself with import/export requirement and follow them. Surely, one might be able to circumvent some requirements in an effort to save money, but ultimately the transfer of a living, breathing creature should be done by the book even if it means added expenses. A Russian “courier” once abandoned a load of animals she was transporting at the border from France to England. Her “pet passports” had been falsified and she was caught. Ultimately, the animals were united with their rightful owners, but not without a tremendous hassle and the very real potential that all of them would be destroyed. So – NO short cuts. There are only few reliable and good couriers. In particular Eastern European countries are loaded with so-called “couriers” that are nothing other than scam artist who will do their very best circumventing proper procedure to squeeze more profit out of any given transaction.

Fourth – always ask to see pedigrees in advance. Do not just ask for 3 generation pedigrees. Insist to be given a 5 generation pedigree. Carefully study the pedigree and make sure you can live with the degree of inbreeding. You can also check on Pawpeds.com for further pedigree information past the 5 generations the breeder should provide you with. Heavy and indiscriminate inbreeding has been associated with incompetent immune systems specifically pointing towards FIP. Pedigree information should never be taken lightly and should be verifiable. Do not accept a breeder generated pedigree without at least some copies of official certified pedigrees issued by a registry. Specifically note that some registries allow cat clubs to keep their own pedigree data bases, particularly WCF. There have been more than a handful of “incorrect” pedigrees.

In closing – if you can avoid buying overseas and you have a local resource, buy local or within your own country. If you decide buying overseas, please get recommendations. Ask around the various Facebook pages pertaining to your breed to find anyone who has done business with the breeder of your choice.

Alternatively, you can hire the BCB team to facilitate sales communication and of course do a thorough background check for you. It’s a small price to pay to avoid a potentially disastrous transaction

BAD CAT BREEDER ALERT #4: Royal States Cattery in Texas

BAD BREEDER ALERT: Royal States Cattery in Texas. Owners: Megan Renee Floyd-Williams and Michael Williams.
This breeder duo have taken $1500 for a breeding cat and even a loan of $500 when they needed it from 1 buyer only to cancel the transaction with ZERO refund. Megan Floyd-Williams and Michael Williams not only accepted $1500 from a buyer, but when in a tight spot they asked the buyer to loan them another $500. Royal States Cattery has also been a source of untreated Coccidia for which the Breeding Duo only informed the buyer about after the money was paid. When the buyer tried to speak to the breeder about this issues the transaction was cancelled and a refund was denied. A PayPal dispute was launched by the buyer and refund was denied on the $1500 purchase price of the kitten on the grounds that the item was shipped..... NO KITTEN was ever shipped. Attempts by the buyer to request refunds via Paypal have also been denied by Megan and Michael. When a dispute for item not received was opened by PayPal the buyer was contacted and told by Michael Williams that they would work towards resolving things ONLY if the Buyer closed her claim on Paypal. Taking his word she closed the dispute and the Seller promptly ignored her again and blocked her on social media and never returned the money owed. It is very obvious that these two individuals know how to play the system and knew once the dispute was closed that Paypal would not reopen, leaving her without recourse. This is both fraud and unprofessional behaviour. After the buyer-breeder in this story came forward other individuals have come forward regarding sick kittens they received from these breeders.
Additionally Megan and Michael have gone to great lengths to watch and hide. Megan has removed her name off her and her husbands combined Facebook profile. Megan and Michael have even liked Bad Cat Breeders after the initial post regarding this transaction, but failed to respond. They did however continue to keep tabs on that posts and any comments.

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mandmlike-bcb

 
Megan also has an ADULT CRIMINAL records for fraud and theft:
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="2" gal_title="Mandm2"]  
Website and Facebook Page Info:
  [Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="1" gal_title="MandM1"]     Since this theft Megan has removed herself from her combined Facebook page but if you check the address bar it says megan.a.williams, but the name say Michael Williams:
screen-shot-2016-06-11-at-7-15-18-pm

click to view

To date only $500 has been returned by the bank to the buyer after an investigation was launched by the buyer. This Breeder still owes $1500 to the buyer and given this breeder seems to have litters back to back with a limited amount of queen's we believe that a refund is feasible.
This pdf document shows details regarding both payment and dispute:
Meganwilliams Payment Info PDF 
More documentation and photos:
[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id="3" gal_title="MandM3"]
Here is another buyer complaint regarding sick kittens she received from this Breeder:
anotherbreedercomplaint

Bad Cat Transporter Alert #1

In the wake of an ever increasing global economy, many breeders exchange and/or buy cats in a country other than their own. Besides obvious legal considerations, one also must worry about how to get the kitten of one’s dreams from Point A to Point B.

This has given rise to a very profitable “pet courier” industry. Many of them are perfectly legit. However; as with any budding venture out come the scam artists. Those are people who will claim they will transport your kitten/cat from its originating country to an airport closest to you. They almost always require payment in full up front. These fees range anywhere from $500 - $1,500 per cat.

Unfortunately, a rather large contingent of very dishonest scam artist that engage in the “business” of pet transportation has developed in particular in countries that made up the former Soviet Union (i.e. Russia, Ukraine, etc.). We have been investigating literally countless of cases in which people paid the required fees only for the pet transporter to make off with the money, never to be heard from again.

These people are experts at using social media to advertise their “services”.  In one instance, a Moldovian male by the name of Evgeny Shishkin took $500 for the transport of a cat and yet has to transport said cat and/or refund the money. We contacted Mr. Shishkin to inquire and were given the same “spiel” as his victim. He was busy, he was going to respond and we should just wait.  That was two weeks ago.

Mr. Shishkin is supposedly a breeder of British Shorthairs - Smile of Sofia.  His website is defunct and it does not appear he has sold a kitten since 2013.  Our findings have earned Mr. Shishkin the first ever "Bad Pet Transporter Alert". Clearly a dubious honor but nonetheless well deserved.

Please be AWARE and do not enter into any transportation agreement with any person whom you do not know. And never ever pay all monies up front. Good couriers will allow you to pay half as a deposit and the remainder upon delivery of the cat/kitten.

We offer very reasonable background checks, so you can enter into an agreement with a high degree of certainty that you actually get what you pay for.
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