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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I wished I have read this thread before committing to get a puppy from Vail Ranch. For whoever that reads the post, please read this with an open mind, and please do not jump conclusions before reading every thing fully. I know Branda has recently made a post on her Facebook page trying to ask her "fans" to defend her, but lots of people know her true colors.

So, here it goes:
I waited since 5th of May for my puppy from Vail Ranch Goldens, and yesterday, Branda the owner of VRG just flipped on me and tell me she will give me a full refund. 4 months of wait and my puppy is gone, because of a terrible attitude from the dog breeder.

A little backstory, I am a first time dog owner, called VRG on 5th May to inquire about getting a puppy from them. Knowing that they are located in Temecula, I asked Branda whether they can deliver to Los Angeles. Her response is yes, they can absolutely do that.

She said absolutely yes on the phone, and she would be happy to deliver it to me.

Here are the exact conditions I have told her, which I have been absolutely honest and transparent:
  1. I do not drive, so I am looking for a possibility of delivery. If she does, great, I would buy from her. (I would absolutely drive to her if I have my car, but I dont drive)
  2. I live in an apartment by myself, but I have a lot of space.
  3. I can bring my dog to the office, as I have almost 10,000 sqft of office space with a daily cleaner. There are no other dogs in my office.
  4. First time dog owner - There is a first time for everything.
She quoted me $3500 for the puppy - I found out later in one of their secret chat groups that the puppy is a much lower price, and there is a full orientation training program that was hard sell to the other families at $3500.
So, I paid a much higher price than others - No problem with that. On top of the $3500, there is another $300 for delivery from Temecula to Los Angeles, and another $500 for me to choose a popular puppy (apparently everyone wants that puppy, so $500 more for it) - I am happy to pay for it, not price sensitive since this puppy is important to me.

3 months later, I saw 1 of the dogs give birth on their Facebook page. I sent Branda my blessings and asked if that is the puppy I signed up for - It was a reddish Retriever, not the one I chose. For some reason, she told me the reddish retriever is much smarter than the golden retriever, and she tried to talk me into getting that instead. Apparently she did that to quite a couple of other families.
Fast forward 4 months later, when I am closer to the puppy selection day, the only way for me to choose a puppy is to do it through FaceTime.

September 3rd,
  • 8:17pm, she texted me that she is free now and if I can facetime her. It was super sudden for me as I was still working, did not see my phone.
  • 8:38pm: Branda sent another message saying it’s too late now, try again tomorrow.
  • 8:40pm: I apologize to her for not seeing the message, but can call her at her convenience the next day (Being super nice in my messages)
  • 8:44pm: Branda texted me asking me to remind her the next day at 11am, she will see where her schedule is at (Dude, I have 2 full-time assistants and I would never treat my customers like one. I have to REMIND you?) Nevermind, I will do just that.
September 4th,
  • 11:26am: Hey Branda, is now a good time? (Me)
  • 11:27am: No, I have doctor appointment, I will have to do it later (Branda)
  • 11:28am: Okay, please let me know. Thank you (Me)
  • 12:28pm: Send me a text reminder around 2pm and we can do the FaceTime between 2-3pm (Branda) - Seriously? I have to keep reminding you?
  • 2:11pm: Hi Branda, is now a good time? (Me)
  • 2:46pm: I just got home, are you available now? (Branda)
  • 2:52pm: Yes, can I call you now? (me)
  • 2:58pm: You won’t believe this but I just got home and the staff had not fed them yet so they’re doing that now so I’m trying to find a time to make this happen it’s not working out (Branda)
  • 3:06pm: Okay, no problem. Can you let me know when is a good time? (me)
She did not reply for 1 day - which is fine, I just checked in with her to ask when is a good time, since I paid deposit for priority pick, and I did not want to miss it.

1 day later, she told me she would deal with my FaceTime later, she hurt her shoulder, she’s in bed in pain. — Ok, benefit of doubt. Can’t get one of your interns to video it for me? How difficult is that?

I have always been very nice communicating with Branda. Very understanding since she has to take care of puppies (which are basically babies). I have never ONCE demanded anything, or appear entitled - I come from a very, very humble background. I treat everyone with nothing but gratitude, and appreciative of her time.

A few days later, I found out through from other families that they are on their way to choose their puppies. I have already paid for priority pick service, is VRG not going to honor that? So, I worried and started to call Branda. This time, she told me she can FaceTime me and let me choose — Mind you, she was silent for the last couple of days before selection day (As seen on the above text messages).

The first call with Branda took 3 minutes for me to pick one, I changed my mind 10 minutes later and asked her nicely if I can re-select, since I have priority pick, and none of the other families have chosen theirs yet. She did not reply at first, but I heard from other families that she complaint about my indecisiveness - Interesting that a business owner would complaint about a customer in front of other customers. To be fair, the FaceTime quality was pixelated and I could not see much. I asked her to send me a video, so I can take my time to pick - She told me that FaceTime would be better since I can observe the behaviour - I don’t think she was going to allow me to FaceTime with her for 30 minutes to observe the puppies behaviour?

So, I picked one and we agreed on a delivery date of 27th September. I reminded her again (nicely) closer to the day.

She sent me a long checklist, which I was appreciative of. Gave me puppy advices - Knowing I am a first time puppy owner. I asked her some questions, but never dumb questions. I did research as well, and my office has a lot of dog owners. My office team was prepared to take care of the puppy.
I bought so many things to welcome him, bought 2 cages (one for office, one for home) lots of things such as filtered water dispenser, dog bed, toys. I bought 2 sets of each - One for office and one for home.

Closer to the delivery day, I asked her when is the delivery date. Branda told me 27th September. She blatantly lied and tell her audience that I demanded her to deliver at a certain date.
I asked nicely, if she cannot do it, that is fine. I just wanted to dedicate more time to the puppy, because I want to make sure he has everything he needs. Is that wrong?

On 24th September, I texted Branda and ask if I can pay the balance since the delivery is this coming 27th September (Its a Sunday). She said “no, sorry she has other families to deal with and they are important. I am the only one she has to make special arrangements to deliver to LA”

WOW, just wow. That was literally my first question when I first called her. And we agreed to a date. She made it sound like she is doing me a favor. Although I am paying additional $300 for delivery, I have not once sound off entitled. If she suggest another date for delivery, I would be fine.
Instead, she said that she has to pay a staff to drive to LA to special deliver the puppy. Ok, but this was the agreement from the get-go? If Branda was apologetic and nice about it, I would be 100% cool with it. I replied “Oh wow” — She responded: “You know what, I don’t think you are suitable for a dog, I would refund you”

Then, she go on saying other families are paying top dollar for her dogs and she has a certain way that she run her company. I don’t get why she is bragging to me, or trying to put herself on a high horse — Your employees are mostly kids. I run a team of 25 full time adult employees and have no problems being nice to my customers — I told her exactly that.

Told her I will go with the refund, she has no replied me in 2 days. Cool.

I have joined 2 different small communities that has vail ranch puppies, and the people ABSOLUTELY detest her. They just want the puppies and get it over with. The entire time I kept being nice, and just try to be understanding — being a breeder of so many puppies is definitely not easy. However, VRG is only in business since 2018 — Dog breeding is not a proprietary business, your reputation is the only thing keeping you alive.

The way I was treated was just pure crap, and the amount of communities that are building say a ton of things about Branda behind her back.
I also read previous threads saying she engage her lawyers to go after another dog breeder...? Although I have all the messages kept in my phone, everything I said is nothing but the truth — I am pretty certain she is going to come up with some lawyer claim — And if that happens, good luck with that. You are not messing with another dog breeder, I do have resources to play with Vail Ranch for as long as they want to keep up (Not a brag but I want to put it out here so she knows I’m not playing) Branda can easily search me up and see the businesses I am running, they are all operational for years.

They have not given me a refund, again, I’m not going to try and sue to get my money back. I would just politely ask her a few more times, and keep this thread updated.

Raising awareness for any potential dog owners, don’t bother getting from Vail Ranch. I waited for 4 months amounting to nothing but bad experiences.
If you follow their Facebook, it is all about how busy she is, how tired she is — Gosh, don’t complain already. If you don’t have the stomach to run a business, then go get a job. If you have the audacity to own a business, treat your customers well. At least, with manners and not with such attitude.

They claim to be #1 dog breeder in California, and lots of their customers hate them. Just want their puppies, get over and done with.
 

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I have moved your thread to the appropriate area on the Forum.
 
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I'm sorry for you. This is not a breeder whose interest lies with the preservation of the Golden Retriever. Even after her appearance here, and all the 'I didn't, you misunderstood, my lawyer' baloney.. she's still following the same poor breeding practices. You are money ahead and certainly heartache ahead by letting it go. Get your $'s back- however you have to go about that, because she does not deserve a single one of your dollars.

FWIW- she still has a master national logo on her website- this is completely laughable- and not one of her dogs has full clearances despite this statement on her site (which shows truth is not her priority)
"NOTE: All of our puppies parents are AKC registered, have Champion bloodlines, OFA certified, and DNA and Genetic tested. (Proof will be provided at your in-office consultation)."
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm sorry for you. This is not a breeder whose interest lies with the preservation of the Golden Retriever. Even after her appearance here, and all the 'I didn't, you misunderstood, my lawyer' baloney.. she's still following the same poor breeding practices. You are money ahead and certainly heartache ahead by letting it go. Get your $'s back- however you have to go about that, because she does not deserve a single one of your dollars.

FWIW- she still has a master national logo on her website- this is completely laughable- and not one of her dogs has full clearances despite this statement on her site (which shows truth is not her priority)
"NOTE: All of our puppies parents are AKC registered, have Champion bloodlines, OFA certified, and DNA and Genetic tested. (Proof will be provided at your in-office consultation)."
Yeah, I am very disappointed. After months of wait. I was the first to put the deposit months before the retrievers were even expecting - watch the entire process from expecting, to giving birth to growing bigger each day. Then all of a sudden, she just blow everything away because of her childish, short temper.

It’s been more than 2 days since I last messaged her to confirm a refund. I have not heard back since, and no signs of refund. Chased her twice now.

Also, I heard from other families today that she sold “my dog” away already. And she lied about it to that person, saying that I moved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE on 28th September:
  1. Branda from Vail Ranch Goldens finally replied my message, this time, she said that she is not refunding and ask me to read the contract
  2. She then go on by saying that she sold my dog to another person. This new buyer of hers is wealthy, with a big house that has a swimming pool and a giant backyard - Saying that her dog is in a much happier place since that person is wealthy. Condescending
  3. Then she go on by saying that she is blocking me from her phone, and she wants to sue me for harassment. What a joke?
  4. She ended her message saying that I am only allowed to communicate through email only, and she will have her attorney deal with me.
  5. She wants to send me a cease and desist? Dude, I am a customer and now I am in the wrong for asking for a refund? When you sold the dog to someone else?
  6. Then she go on to saying that I cannot post online reviews about Vail Ranch, because that is part of the contract. "If I post anything negative you will be in violation of your legal signed contact" - Her word for word message

    Wow.
 

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Well, imo if posting negative things breaks your contract, that's irrelevant since SHE broke the contract by refusing to either sell you the dog or give your deposit back. I would encourage you to take her to small claims court which you can do yourself. And I'd also post every single thing you are bothered about here and on ripoff report and any other place you can find. I hate it when someone is so childish and deceptive and threatens yet doesn't follow through. Go get 'er girl.
 

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Is her contract on the site? I don't find it there. Please pm it to me, I am ever curious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, imo if posting negative things breaks your contract, that's irrelevant since SHE broke the contract by refusing to either sell you the dog or give your deposit back. I would encourage you to take her to small claims court which you can do yourself. And I'd also post every single thing you are bothered about here and on ripoff report and any other place you can find. I hate it when someone is so childish and deceptive and threatens yet doesn't follow through. Go get 'er girl.
I am not sure if there are any other relevant forums I can share this entire experience in, more than happy to share. Nah, I dont want to post the contract online yet but will definitely consider it if things start to look worse.

Man, all I want is just a refund for something Vail Ranch did not deliver..... I bought a ton of things for the dog. 2 sets of each equipments, such as Playpen, water dispensers etc. 1 set for the office and 1 set for home.

And she just blew it away because of her petty attitude. Selling it to another wealthy guy.

I'm not going to just simply do small claims, she is going to remember this experience for her entire adult life. Already put money where my mouth is. Will keep this thread updated.

I hope anyone who is even remotely close to considering Vail Ranch will never consider that at all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I am in those secret groups that Vail Ranch customers created themselves - Gosh, the amount of things they have to say about Branda.

So, one of the puppies that was collected yesterday, puke out a chewed out collar. Apparently, vail ranch swapped out the collar, because the chew up collar was not the original collar that was on the puppy. So it is questionable whether they are aware of it.
877155

I am just collecting as much data as I have now, there are lots of interesting things that I will be sharing.

P.S. Branda just threatened to sue for slander, harassment, defamation of character because of the reviews!
 

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I am sorry for what you have been through. In over 30 years of buying and raising Golden's I have never had a breeder that was not a pleasure to work with. Unless the contract you signed protects the breeder from all the things she has done or failed to do, the simplest thing to do is take her to small claims court. I think you could recover all your costs. People like this know how to intimidate and threaten people away from them. She is 90% hot air and she would have no idea how to defend herself in the simplicity of small claims...if more people would do this, these breeders could not survive as breeders....
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
It’s pretty ridiculous. Not even trying to recover my losses at this point - she crossed the wrong person.

Fortunately I’m in a position where I can actually afford to teach her a lesson she will never forget.

God knows who else she has pulled the same stunt on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Branda finally replied to my email, here is her response:


How do you know we sold the puppy already? And don’t ever make a negative comment with regards to the fact that I actually took the first day off in two months. I worked my ass off I’m highly respected I’m running this business by myself I’m on complete burn out right now. Do you not have a copy of your contract? Read the terms it has nothing to do whether we sold the dog to somebody else or not it’s rules are the rules. You held the puppy off the market I made an exception to you only out of the entire 19 Puppies to not do training because you live too far and can’t drive every other family living in LA and Orange County signed up for the training we lost $4000 for training. My overhead is $30,000 a month I have bills to pay and stuff to pay we don’t run a shady operation here. Do you know when you sign the contract and stated there’s a nonrefundable deposit of $1000 that has been the same for three years and Any clients who have been owed a refund understand it takes 30 to 40 days and they have respected the rules of this company. You own a business you should understand that. This did not need to get ugly but you clearly did not respect my boundaries with regards to texting me when I told you it’s after hours I’m spending time with my grandkids for his birthday, you were being pushy about delivery which is something else that is a very special service we offer and it has to be done at a special time every single family comes here to pick up their puppy in all the years that we’ve had this company running.

The last conversation we had was I would let you know when we were able to deliver the puppy and you came back with a text message saying that you’re going to take me up on my offer for a refund because he didn’t like the way that I had to put you in your place and you were being pushy. The families that come here or with us for years they become my family.
Sent from my iPhone


She texted me a few days ago that the puppy is with a wealthy family, that has a swimming pool and a large backyard. Now she is spinning the entire story around.

I would be willing to eat my losses if I changed my mind about the puppy, but in this case, she was the one who offered me the refund.


$30,000 overhead my foot - She hire volunteers and kids to run her dog business. If she is referring to her mortgage. Wait list is 4 months for 1 batch of puppies, and in between, she only sold 1 batch of red puppies; they are not even fully sold out - Checking back on her comments, she has been trying to sell away her red puppies (comment 1 week ago)

At this kind of burn rate for her business, no wonder she wants to spin the entire story around to keep my deposit captive. lol.
 

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Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry. This is definitely not a responsible breeder. Her prices are through the roof for dogs that are not good representations of the breed and that I doubt have health clearances. My breeder is leongolden kennel in Wellington, Florida. I live in Colorado, but I just absolutely love them. I can put you in contact with them if you would like. They are devoted to preserving the breed. They breed for structure, temperament, and health of course. All clearances are performed on all of their dogs, and they are lovely to work with. They have produced some of the top goldens in the nation. My boy’s brother won the sporting group and best of breed at the AKC National Championship and an award of merit at Westminster. Their goldens also have amazing temperaments. My boy has always been so calm and sweet. He became a therapy dog at only a year old, but he’s still active when I want him to be. They are truly the best of the best, and their puppies go for $3000.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh my goodness! I’m so sorry. This is definitely not a responsible breeder. Her prices are through the roof for dogs that are not good representations of the breed and that I doubt have health clearances. My breeder is leongolden kennel in Wellington, Florida. I live in Colorado, but I just absolutely love them. I can put you in contact with them if you would like. They are devoted to preserving the breed. They breed for structure, temperament, and health of course. All clearances are performed on all of their dogs, and they are lovely to work with. They have produced some of the top goldens in the nation. My boy’s brother won the sporting group and best of breed at the AKC National Championship and an award of merit at Westminster. Their goldens also have amazing temperaments. My boy has always been so calm and sweet. He became a therapy dog at only a year old, but he’s still active when I want him to be. They are truly the best of the best, and their puppies go for $3000.
Thank you for the recommendation. After this entire saga, I go onto another waitlist from Gffkennel (@gffkennel on instagram). I would rather pay premium with a popular, reputable breeder in Brazil and fly the puppy in on first class than to support mom and pop local anymore. Unnecessary emotional rollercoaster with Vail Ranch - Made me wait for 4 months and watch the puppy grow, just to get taken away from me 3 days before delivery. Already grew attached to the puppy. What is the difference between this and abortion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So, Branda from Vail Ranch censored me from their Facebook page. I have only left nice comments on their page, even after this entire experience, I have never left a single negative comment on their page.
877195
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
If you go onto their Facebook page, it is full of self-posted reviews Vail Ranch Goldens

No actual reviews posted by other people. Vail Ranch do not have the courage to open up their reviews section.

The only channel where you can leave them an actual review is through BBB and they have 1 star over there. Joke
 

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Thank you for the recommendation. After this entire saga, I go onto another waitlist from Gffkennel (@gffkennel on instagram). I would rather pay premium with a popular, reputable breeder in Brazil and fly the puppy in on first class than to support mom and pop local anymore. Unnecessary emotional rollercoaster with Vail Ranch - Made me wait for 4 months and watch the puppy grow, just to get taken away from me 3 days before delivery. Already grew attached to the puppy. What is the difference between this and abortion?
That must have been so hard! At least now you’ve learned the value of responsible breeders. I’ve seen some of the gffkennel dogs on Instagram! They are adorable!! Just make sure they do all necessary health clearances on the parents (eyes, hips, elbows, heart).
 
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