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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased an English Cream Golden retriever from Ann Floerke the breeder at Goldens R 4 Lovin in Southern California. I lost my previous golden to cancer at age 10, so I decided I should probably go with a "reputable" breeder. Ann stated that all of her dogs have OFA certifications and would guarantee against genetic diseases. I purchased my puppy in October of 2017 and took him home at 7 weeks. However at almost 2 years old my puppy has been diagnosed with elbow dysplasia in both elbows and genetic disorders in both shoulders.

My puppy started to limp after playing with another dog, no rough housing, just chasing each other around like dogs do. I took him to my normal vet and after the x-rays were done the vet stated it looked like possible elbow dysplasia but referred me to a top orthopedic surgeon in the area. After a very expensive CT scan (which she told me was a waste of money), it was proven that my puppy has elbow dysplasia in both elbows and genetic disorders in both shoulders.

I reached out kindly to ask her to consider a refund so I could afford to have the necessary surgery done on his left leg, which is the worse of the two. She continually told me how vets are out to scam people and I should have contacted her first! That's ridiculous, she's not a vet or a orthopedic surgeon. She also keeps denying, even after I sent her the CT summary proving genetic disorders that it's not true. Ann is determined to blame his lameness on an injury from playing with other dogs, the reason I originally took him to the vet.

All I was hoping was that she would do the right thing and refund my purchase price that would go exclusively towards the surgery but she is calling me a bully and a scammer.

So I'm reaching out to anyone considering this breeder Ann Floerke from Goldens R 4 Lovin, unless you want to take the risk of genetic defects for a really expensive English Cream you should look to someone else who actually cares about her customers and their companions health.

I'm in the process of retaining an attorney to take her to court under the California Pet Lemon Law, in which she should be liable for reimbursement for treatment up to 150% of the purchase price. I had explained to her this is my last resort and was hoping to resolve it kindly and in a civil manner, but when she calls me a bully and scammer that was enough for me. Before this she had been kind when kept in touch and I sent her photos of my boy, but Ann has become the bully.

If anyone else has had issues with this breeder Ann Floerke from Goldens R 4 Lovin please PM me.

Thank you.
 

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First, I am so sorry your going through this. I know what it feels like. My puppy came from a long line of performance dogs with all the certifications. I verified them. I was told when he was 7-8 months old that he had genetic sesamoid malformation in both front feet, and blunt heads on his elbows via CT Scan results at Univ of Penn. The elbows are questionable due to the fact that he was seven months old and they aren't developed completely, and the problem isn't a typical issue with the elbows. My biggest problem was that both of his feet where painful and it was a very sad thing to see. Univ of Penn suggested we start with surgery on both front feet, and follow with elbow surgery. I had already spent over $3500 just on the testing. I even had 3D renderings done of his feet at their recommendation to assist in diagnosing the issue. It was rare in a Golden puppy. My surgical bill with them if I did both surgeries, feet and elbows, would have been well over $10,000.

I couldn't imagine doing all of that to a puppy and sought many other medical opinions. I ended up at VOSM (Veterinary Orthopedic Sports Medicine). To date we have done no surgeries. My puppy is limp free from only doing an extensive rehab program. (It took 4 months) They said they would absolutely never consider operating on his feet, and his elbows are questionable. We will do new X-Rays at 2 years of age and see what they show. They aren't sure that he will pass or fail the OFA's, but he is not symptomatic. I will never breed him. He will never be the field trial dog that we had dreams of him being, but he is a healthy puppy. He's now almost 16 months old and you would never know we had gone through everything we went through. My point here I guess is don't rush into anything. Univ of Penn is well respected, but I am sure glad I kept looking for another opinion.

As far as your breeder I completely understand your frustration. My little guy was at a private trainer when all this happened and I was being told he was a rock star performer. We had huge hopes for him, but first he was a pet and we loved him. My breeder suggested putting him to sleep when I sent him copies of all of our medical documents. He was having another litter from a repeat breeding in the Spring. He never said it but I'm pretty sure that was his offer for a replacement. I also found out one of the puppies from the litter had pituitary dwarfism, which is definitely hereditary.

In my case it would all eventually come down to my contract if I pursued it. I won't pursue anything. I've had time to think about it and have realized some things. First, feet aren't covered under my contract. If he fails elbows by OFA I am due a replacement. He may pass OFA elbows according to several ortho vets. I would be due nothing. If I wanted to at that point I could contact the breeder and have his registration changed from "limited" to "full" per my contract. My contract states that as long as he's passed hips, elbows, eyes, and heart and obtained a title I can have full registration at age 2. I will have all of that done plus more if he passes elbows. I've already had DNA testing done on him for my own information. I will not be contacting the breeder for my full registration. It's not worth it. I love him, but I would never breed him. I know something went wrong somewhere in the genetics. I wouldn't want to risk going through this pain again myself, or putting anyone else through it.

OFA does not accept CT Scan results. It will all depend on what the x-rays show. I'm praying with everything in me his elbows pass at age 2. It has nothing to do with the breeder, or being owed a single thing. It has nothing to do with being able to breed him. I just want the peace of mind of knowing they pass. I've been through so much with this little guy. He is now healthy.

This summer he's earned his CGC, a JR Dock title, and a SR Dock title. He's still my little rock star, he just isn't doing it in field work. I'm no longer upset with the breeder. I will not support him by accepting another puppy from him, but I don't believe he set out to do anything wrong. I think something went wrong. Dogs are living things and we can't hold them to guarantees. Contract's normally state you are due a replacement puppy. That is useless once you fall in love with your dog. I wish he'd offered half my money back toward vet bills, but he wasn't going to do that. I wish I would have bought from a breeder that would have never said "I think your going to have to put him to sleep", but I did. That is what damaged my relationship with the breeder the most, at a time I needed hope and encouragement I was told the one thing that I never wanted to hear. Maybe he was being practical, but what if I'd listened? To date it's cost me about another $1000 and I have a healthy dog. That is why I will change my requirements before I purchase another puppy.

I know this isn't why you put this post out here, but I do understand how you feel. Before you cost yourself more money, and put yourself through more pain take some time and think it through. Before you operate, get more then one surgical opinion and see a rehab specialist in conjunction with your surgical consult if possible.

Do a K9Data page for your pup. It will document it in the line so others can see that there may be a problem. Puppies that come from OFA cleared parents can still have problems. I wish it was a guarantee, but the more vets you go to the more you will realize it's just a tool to help us reduce the problems. Trust me I will never buy a puppy without every clearance being there. I value them more now then I ever did before, and I thought they were extremely important before. The only solace I got out of the situation with the breeder is that they didn't do a repeat breeding. They bred the same male to a different female. I still would have never done that, but at least I made them think about it.

I wish you and your puppy all the best.
 

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Puddles
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I am really sorry for all you and your pup are going through. I came to this forum a few years ago feeling exactly as you do and really glad you made a post. Only thing different is I did my homework, I checked for clearances, I looked for reviews, I knew the bloodline and the dam's breeder. We don't have a lemon law in this state or the state the breeder was in. But I did file formal complaints with the USDA, OFA, AKC and the state for selling underage, sick puppies.
Basically it took me a very long time to work through my anger and disappointment. A refund was not offered but a replacement puppy was. Guessing she would have just resold her as once I had her spayed she offered me another puppy without returning my girl... she was 2 by this time.
Bottom line is I will NEVER give this breeder a recommendation. While compensation or purchase price refund would have been the right thing for her to do it was not offered nor asked for. I had the choice to return the pup and once that decision was made... well it was all on me.

Do what you need to do, posting is certainly a good way to make potential buyers aware before making a purchase. If your contract allows you to seek legal action and that's the route you want to take, that is your choice. Just remember, even if you get a judge to agree with you doesn't mean you will actually have a check in hand... just a judgement. Is being right really worth this much of your life?
 

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Golden Ret Enthusiast
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I would have to go through the legal action as well only because if you don't what's to stop these breeders from just continuing to do this to more and more people. Taking no action just empowers these horrible people from ruining the breed even more. Plus the more judgements the more easily people will find out the truth of these pathetic breeders.
 

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As for retaining an attorney, you might be better off taking the breeder to small claims court without a lawyer. The "puppy lemon law" does provide for recovery of reasonable attorneys fees, but only if the court finds that the breeder acted in "bad faith," and that can be a difficult hurdle sometimes, especially since courts are not conversant in such issues, and they tend to be the purview of experts. Most likely, you'd have to bear that cost yourself.

The law also has some pretty strict time limits. Like, a vet has to discover the problem within 15 days of purchase, or for a congenital condition before the dog is 1 year old, and then there are notice and other time limits that have to be accomplished within 5 or 10 days, depending on what it is. So, since the elbow dysplasia wasn't discovered until almost 2 years old, that statute might not be of help. I think. I haven't read the statute in a long time. But I think I'm right on that. Check for yourself, though.

However, if you have a contract with a health guarantee for elbow dysplasia, you might still have a remedy, depending on what the contract says.

Elbow dysplasia can occur no matter how careful a breeder is. Having ED is not an indication that the breeder did anything wrong. I don't know what shoulder genetic disorders you're referring to, so can't comment. What is wrong with the shoulders?

I agree that for elbow dysplasia the CT scan is a waste of money. You just need a good x-ray. Since I don't know what the shoulder issue is, perhaps it was needed for that, I can't say.

I second Puddles' idea of doing a K9data page for your pup. That way, every Golden breeder and person gets to see and know.

In any event, I wish you good luck with this breeder, and I'm sorry you're going through it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your thoughtful replies. Yes the CA Puppy Lemon Law is for 1 year or younger, however I may be able to still get some compensation through civil action which I am actively working on. I'll take the suggestions of the k9data page and do that, along with complaints to the appropriate organizations.

She did sell me my boy at 7 weeks old, so that's another recourse I'll be looking into.

Thanks all!
 

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Puddles
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Something I'm not sure you heard from my post... you will have a hard time in court because you made the choice to use a breeder that did not do health clearances. Unless you have a contract that clearly states they guarantee against hip/elbow dysplasia or any specific hereditary issue, within a certain time frame... well the court is going to side with the breeder and you will be out attorney fees and court cost.... her's and yours.

Even if the judge feels your pain and gives you a judgement doesn't mean the breeder is going to pay. This means you will constantly be paying for a court appearance in an attempt to get her to make good on the judgement.

I'm not saying don't file. Just saying the courts are going to look at both sides without emotion. You have some responsibilities in this transaction as well.

My guess would be if the breeder is not quality enough to care about the pups she produces by getting health clearances she isn't going to give you a dime.... even if the courts tell her to. So if you are truly seeking compensation to help in the pups health your dollars could be better spent on the vet than the courts.
 

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So sorry you are having to go through this. You are heartbroken that your pup is having to endure his pain and then being told by your breeder that you are to blame and denying any responsibility is horrible. People like this have no business breeding dogs. I agree that you do need to do something to get the word out that your breeder is breeding irresponsibly and I know that it may make you feel better if you can pursue legal action. It's hard to predict if you will win your case and you could end up with more financial hardship which would bring more stress. I would find any outlet possible to air your complaints on the internet to make others aware. Good luck in whichever route you decide to take.
 
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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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1bigpea, you said your puppy has "genetic disorders in both shoulders." I'm asking for the third time now. What genetic disorders in both shoulders does your puppy have?
 
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I suspect this was a post and drop a load- and go somewhere else and do damage. Not that I think she's wrong to be upset w a less-than breeder. But if she would answer questions it would actually bring this up on google even more...
 

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I suspect this was a post and drop a load- and go somewhere else and do damage. Not that I think she's wrong to be upset w a less-than breeder. But if she would answer questions it would actually bring this up on google even more...
Problem is some people believe they have zero accountability in doing their own homework. Are breeders to be trusted more than a car salesman? No.

Unless you personally verify the pedigree of the sire/dam and OFA for every potential puppy, don't cry after the fact. Everyone wants cheap puppies and they want them now. Besides, there's no certainty the hips were a true genetic condition as you can have parents that pass clearances, yet still produce pups that fail.

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Are breeders to be trusted more than a car salesman? No.
While caveat emptor is always a good approach, as a breeder I find that sentence pretty offensive. If I tell you something relating to my dogs or breeding program you can trust it 100%. I'm not at all offended if you check it out. That's just good practice. But not to be trusted more than a car salesman? That's pretty low. You have a very low opinion of breeders. I can only assume you don't know any decent hobby breeders.
 
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While caveat emptor is always a good approach, as a breeder I find that sentence pretty offensive. If I tell you something relating to my dogs or breeding program you can trust it 100%. I'm not at all offended if you check it out. That's just good practice. But not to be trusted more than a car salesman? That's pretty low. You have a very low opinion of breeders. I can only assume you don't know any decent hobby breeders.
Every breed is full of BYB and puppy mills that do no testing and sell a pup to the first buyer with money in hand. Just because you do something doesn't mean everyone else does it and every buyer has a duty to do their homework until the breeder has proven themselves. Personally, I'd welcome people to go look up the clearances because it backs up what you say and shows they're willing to do some homework themselves. Dogs in general would be much better off today if every buyer would take the 5 minutes to look up the clearances of any litter because it would put an end to the "used car salesmen" dominating the market today.



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Every breed is full of BYB and puppy mills that do no testing and sell a pup to the first buyer with money in hand. Just because you do something doesn't mean everyone else does it and every buyer has a duty to do their homework until the breeder has proven themselves. Personally, I'd welcome people to go look up the clearances because it backs up what you say and shows they're willing to do some homework themselves. Dogs in general would be much better off today if every buyer would take the 5 minutes to look up the clearances of any litter because it would put an end to the "used car salesmen" dominating the market today.
You have a very unfortunate attitude about breeders. With my puppy buyers, we are in a relationship of trust. People come to me because they know they can trust me. It's not anything like buying a car. If we don't trust each other -- and it definitely goes both ways -- then no puppy changes hands. And to be honest, I probably wouldn't sell a puppy to someone with your attitude. If you don't trust me and I don't trust you, then I'd have no reason to place a precious life with you. I'm responsible for that life, for its entire life. I'm going to find the very best home possible for that puppy, and that's probably not with a suspicious home. Plus, if you don't trust me, I just don't want to sell you a puppy. Too much potential for problems from you down the line. It comes under the heading of life is too short. And it's not as if hobby breeders have trouble selling puppies. We can afford to be choosey.

AS I SAID, it's good to check clearances and everyone should do it. We agree on that. Indeed, that's something I'd do before I even had a real conversation with a breeder. But if you're lumping the breeders here in with BYBs and puppy mills in terms of trust, you have a wild misunderstanding of what we do and who we are. The reason you buy a puppy from us is because you CAN trust us.

I'm guessing you developed your attitude by dealing with the wrong sort of dog breeders, so now you look at all breeders with a jaundiced eye. Once bitten, twice shy, right? Well, I hope you deal with people who change your mind on this. Unless you just look at the entire world with suspicion. If you're that kind of person, your comment is about every relationship, not just breeders.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
1bigpea, you said your puppy has "genetic disorders in both shoulders." I'm asking for the third time now. What genetic disorders in both shoulders does your puppy have?
Sorry for the late response, I have a busy life. See my most recent post on this thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I suspect this was a post and drop a load- and go somewhere else and do damage. Not that I think she's wrong to be upset w a less-than breeder. But if she would answer questions it would actually bring this up on google even more...
Thanks for your belief in humanity. 0:)

POSTED BELOW IS WHAT I SENT THE BREEDER ANN FLOERKE, BREEDER DBA GOLDEN'S R 4 LOVIN & LAB'S R 4 LOVING. SHE HAS DENIED IT'S GENETIC. I WOULD DISAGREE

SORRY IT'S A COPY AND PASTE, I TRIED TO CLEAN IT UP AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE FOR EASY READING. I HOPE THIS HELPS ANYONE LOOKING FOR THEIR NEXT LOVE OF LIFE

Master Problems
Lameness Forelimb
Left Forelimb
Recheck Evaluation
07-31-2019

UPDATE FOLLOWING CT REVIEW
CT scan was performed of the shoulders and elbows on 7/29/19. In conclusion, bilateral elbow dysplasia was identified with fragmented medial coronoid process in the left elbow and degeneration of bone in the medial left humeral condyle. The right elbow has similar changes but is clinically asymptomatic at this time.

The left and right shoulders have mild degenerative osteophytes present bilaterally. They both contain variation in subchondral bone density within the humeral heads with potentially evolving subchondral bone cyst within the right shoulder. There is no overt subchondral bone defect, these findings are consistent with a variation of shoulder osteochondrosis (OCD without an actual flap). It is not likely that these lesions are clinically consequential at this time.

The CT clearly shows there are bilateral dysplastic developmental changes of the shoulders and elbows. In particular the elbows, but the shoulders as well would be considered to very likely have a genetic component. I have instructed that the owner inform the breeder regarding this. A suggestion was made to submit radiographs to OFA for review. I think it absolutely certain that CT is a much superior modality, not commonly performed in routine screening because of the cost associated with it, but it is undoubtedly the gold standard
for evaluating dysplastic and degenerative changes within joints.

There is absolutely no indication to submit further radiographs for review given the quality and detail of the images already produced. If the breeder wishes to obtain a second opinion I would suggest contacting any board-certified radiologist or surgeon to review the material that has been produced. Undoubtedly the same conclusions would be reached that this is a developmental disorder with a genetic component.

We would be happy to facilitate transfer of information to any chosen specialist for review. The original radiographs that were taken by rDVM were not taken in such a manner that they could be submitted to OFA.

Clearly OFA radiographs are not sufficiently sensitive to detect elbow changes that may be present in dogs who carry the genetics for elbow dysplasia. While they are commonly used, unfortunately they are not an absolute test for this concept.
I discussed surgical management of this patient with the owner. At this time I have recommended pursuing arthroscopic surgery for the left clinically affected elbow; this will be scheduled for a future date.


Tony Cambridge B.V.M.S.
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Surgeons
 
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