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Biden Pup Breeder In Doghouse

Elected to public office? Then congrats, you're getting a dog! Seriously, you'd have to live in a cave not to know that the Obamas are searching for a First Puppy. But who knew that Vice President-elect Joe Biden also made a doggie deal? His wife, Jill, said he could get one if the Obama-Biden ticket prevailed.


Last week, Biden visited breeder Linda Brown's Jolindy's Kennels in southeastern Pennsylvania to pick out a three-month-old German shepherd puppy. As someone who co-founded and volunteered for New Orleans German Shepherd Rescue for several years, I'm disappointed that Biden chose to purchase a puppy from a breeder. This magnificent breed is often passed over at shelters due to its large size or tough reputation. Yes, I know that some folks insist on having a young puppy, but you'd be surprised at how many young German shepherds ranging from six months to one year end up in shelters simply for "getting too big" or getting into trouble due to lack of training, exercise or attention.


On the upside, at least the Bidens didn't buy their puppy from a pet store or a backyard breeder just looking to make a buck. Then again, in looking at the breeder's Web site, it's unclear as to whether she is a member in good standing with a national registry like the American Kennel Club or the United Kennel Club. Or whether she tests her sires and dams for health problems commonly found in German shepherds, such as hip dysplasia, before breeding them. She appears to use mostly dogs imported from Germany in her breeding program. I much prefer the structure of the traditional working German shepherd versus the extreme back-leg angulation of American-bred show German shepherds. That's one important reason why the police and military import their working dogs -- their sound structure allows them to actually do the work for which they were bred.


But then I noticed that Brown has four litters available for sale, which is quite a few puppies. Most hobby breeders only breed one litter a year or less because they're not in it for the money. They carefully research the pedigrees of the prospective sire and dam and do the necessary (and perhaps even extra) health tests of eyes, hips, elbows, etc., and any genetic diseases that affect their breed. My guess is that Brown is a commercial breeder, one who breeds often in order to make money. Sure enough, Brown is believed to have 85 dogs at her facility. And she was recently cited for several violations, including "unsatisfactory ventilation, inadequate maintenance and sanitation, and missing sale and vaccination records." What's worse, according to AKC Board of Directors meeting minutes dated April 10-11, 2006, "The AKC's Management Disciplinary Committee has suspended Ms. Linda Brown, Spring City, PA, from all AKC privileges for one year, effective April 10, 2006, and imposed a $1000 fine for having submitted or caused to be submitted three litter registration applications that she knew, should have known, or had a duty to know contained false certifications as to the sire and/or dam (DNA exclusion)."


Maybe Biden should've adopted after all. Need more convincing? Check out BidenDog.   


Julia Kamysz Lane, owner of Spot On K9 Sports and contributing editor at The Bark, is the author of multiple New Orleans travel guides, including Frommer’s New Orleans Day by Day (3rd Edition). Her work has also appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Poets and Writers and Publishers Weekly.

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Submitted by Anonymous | July 2 2009 |

I also bought a German Shepherd puppy from Jolindy's Kennel a little over a year ago. The kennel was absolutely deplorable...and within three days of getting our puppy home, he was so sick the vet warned me that in another day or two he would have died. He was suffering from giardia, an intestinal parasite. He spent a couple of days in the "puppy hospital" hooked up to an IV as he was severely dehydrated AND malnourished. (the vet assured me he did NOT get in such bad condition in the three days he was home with my family!) and to further add insult to injury, he passed his illness on to my adult shepherd...so in about two weeks time, I paid $895 for a puppy that is not even an AKC puppy...I later found out the ACA puppies should NEVER sell for more than about $400. I spent hundreds of dollars on the puppy's vet bill and then close to a thousand dollars treating my adult dog.The puppy also required prescription dog food...another expense that we were not counting on. According to the puppy lemon laws this is NOT acceptable. Ms. Brown was not keen on making good on that either. We had to get a lawyer and threaten to take her to small claims court to get some money back to help defray the vet expenses. She tried to blame me for the puppy being sick also. And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg! I know German Shepherds pretty well. I am good friends with police K9 handlers and K9 trainers.I consulted with them frequently about our puppy. This is NOT the way things are supposed to be with seven week old shepherds! When I went to see the puppy initially, she only showed me two of the puppies. When I asked to see the rest of the litter, Ms. Brown declined. Furthermore, SHE chose the dog I would get...I had no say so. If she isn't trying to hide something there, what exactly is that about? The dog is now 15 months old. He is a bit small, and cost us A LOT of money. He was so naughty I couldn't do anything with him, and he required hardcore obedience training and he has had a few illnesses since the initial one. He also had rear dewclaws that SHOULD have been clipped when he was a few days old by the breeder...they weren't and at 6 months of age, required surgical intervention to remove them...Overall, now he is healthy (thank goodness) and a really happy dog. I am very glad we have him, but the road to getting him well has been quite a costly one. I seriously think that kennel should be watched VERY closely because it isn't clean. She sells sick dogs (at least to me she did) and when you come in, particularly if you come unannounced, you will come across the most rag tag pathetic bunch of German Shepherd dogs that you can even imagine. Shepherds are beautiful proud regal looking dogs. That isn't the case at Jolindy's Kennel. I would seriously think twice before buying a dog from this kennel.

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