Random Rants

Our Journey to Find A New Puppy & The Shocking Reality of Puppy Mills!

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Just one short month ago we decided to bring a new puppy home. Something we have waited years for, as we wanted the girls to be old enough to understand the responsibilities of taking care of a dog, and old enough that they could respect an animal and give it the adequate space it deserved.

We felt that we researched dogs and breeders well and decided to go with Ayers Pampered Pets, what we have now found out to be a puppy mill located in Hull, Georgia! When the dog flew in into LAX from Georgia, you can imagine my excitement to see this new little face that would become an integrate part of our family. When she arrived she appeared to be ok, however upon further inspection we quickly learned that she was covered in fleas, had worms, and kennel cough to boot!  She was very wild, a sign that she had had little to no interaction.  Upon further inspection we realized that this breeder didn’t even bother to remove her dew claws, nor had this 8 week old puppy ever had her nails trimmed.

I would think that any quality breeder would know the future ramifications for the dog when the dew claws are not removed. And, at this point to have them removed would not only risk her health, but the total cost would be a whopping $500 to perform the procedure!

The Kennel Cough we quickly learned is a buggar to get rid of, and being that we had brought another puppy home (just one week before so that this one would have a friend), she had to be quarantined and put on a 7 day round of antibiotics. After the 7 day antibiotics had ran it’s course, we learned that this puppy still had kennel cough and now has to be put on another round of heavier antibiotics to kick this sickness.

What a nightmare! You can only imagine how our vet bills are stacking up.  I have asked the breeder for a refund, or at the very least reimbursement for our many vet bills, however she refuses to answer any of my emails.  I have filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and I’ve contacted the proper authorities to have her facility checked out.  The worst part of it all is that this poor little puppy hasn’t been properly cared for, and at this point I’m just thrilled that she is getting the care that she deserves.

We paid a mint for this little puppy due to our families allergies and went with an allergy friendly dog (a goldendoodle) that was supposed to be low-shedding. I was covered in hair after holding this little puppy for just a moment and we have learned that you don’t always get what you pay for. Now, I can tell you first hand that our other little puppy (a Labradoodle) does’nt shed an ounce and we are not allergic to her at all. However, we purchased her from a reputable breeder here in California that came highly recommended.

What did we learn through all of this? Research your breeders, ask around, read the breeders contract, and ask for references! Many puppy mill’s are operating throughout the US and the unfortunate reality is that the animal rights laws in many states are lacking in the “humane” department. In fact, some states allow breeders to have as many puppies as they would like, and these puppies and their parents can be confined to cages that they barely have room to stand up in.

The reality is shocking, disappointing, inhumane and outright wrong in my humble opinion.  After the puppy mill segment on the Today Show this morning, I felt that I should share my experience and warn others about the puppy mills that exist throughout our country.

How can you ensure that you find a quality breeder?  Visit BBB.org and your states humane society.  For more information about puppy mills, visit Prisonersofgreed.org.

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  • Reply Donna December 7, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Years ago (before I knew any better), we got a basset hound from a pet store… we had a lot of problems at first and after much research, I realized what a horrible thing puppy mills are. We were lucky that she actually lived a good life for 11 years with us… but I stress to everyone to ADOPT pets! Great article!

    • Reply Candace December 7, 2011 at 10:56 am

      Thank You Donna – I hope that we can educate others on the horrible reality of puppy mills!

  • Reply Sara - Dealicious Mom December 7, 2011 at 10:37 am

    What a nightmare! I hope this post brings more attention to this horrific subject! Thanks for sharing your experience.

    • Reply Candace December 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      As do I Sara!

  • Reply Rachel December 7, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I’m so sorry your little puppy is having so many problems! And it’s horrible there aren’t more laws to not only protect people who are buying animals, but also the animals themselves. :(

    • Reply Candace December 8, 2011 at 5:36 pm

      I agree Rachel – thanks for your comment :)

  • Reply hippie4ever December 7, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    Puppy Mills are horrible! I also wanted to mention that Labradoodles and Goldendoodles are Not AKC breeds. I say this firmly believing that the good ‘ol Heinz 57 ( or mutt) is a wonderful animal. But the ‘doodles have not had years of breeding to ensure their lines, therefore the breeder cannot guarantee that the animal will not shed. The puppy may be more like the golden/lab or the poodle. Over time the ‘doodles may develop into a recognizable breed, but currently there is too much variation to have a breed standard. I think it is disingeuous of the ‘doodle breeders to state that their dogs are hypoallergenic, especially when truly allergic families will grow to love an animal they may need to give away.

    • Reply Candace December 8, 2011 at 5:35 pm

      Thanks for your comment. Our labradoodle doesn’t shed at all and we are not allergic to her. The breeder let us know ahead of time how the puppy’s coat was and what we should expect. However, we were shocked when we saw how much the goldendoodle puppy shed!

  • Reply Phyllis Thomas December 8, 2011 at 2:49 am

    Why did you decide to BUY a dog when there are so many animals that need homes? I have never bought a dog, and I have had some great dogs. There are all kinds of rescue groups that will inform you of any problems that a dog has prior to you investing in them.

    • Reply Candace December 8, 2011 at 5:33 pm

      We bought a dog Phyllis because we have allergies. We wanted a dog that was more allergy friendly than your average dog.

  • Reply Tricia @Nightowlmama December 9, 2011 at 10:53 pm

    Oh my how very sad that you were taken advantage of like that. I’m surprised you didn’t do a test trial before paying big bucks and bringing her home. Sounds like you bought her site unseen.
    I would take them to small claims court and try to recoup some money back.

    good for you calling the bbb hopefully they will check her out and they will also get the other puppies in her care help as well

    so sad. sounds like puppy is doing better but how awful you had to endure all those expenses especially so close to the holidays.

  • Reply Silvia December 10, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    oh Candace! so sorry to read what a nightmare your family and your puppy are going through! I just hope the puppy recovers soon and that you can get your money back. Hugs!

  • Reply Daisy's Mom February 4, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    I too bought a very sick dog from Janet Ayres. When I attempted to contact her she refused my calls. She is definitely running a puppy mill. It’s a shame that people are still buying from her. Someone before had a website that had a very lengthy description about how terrible her puppy mill was…funny that site has been deleted. NOONE should ever buy from her. She sells sick puppies. She’s a horrible person. Look at her videos on YouTube of her puppies. She handles them so roughly. Janet Ayres and her family run a puppy mill. People pleaseeee don’t buy from her. She needs shut down.

    • Reply another unhappy customer July 30, 2013 at 11:23 am

      If you haven’t already, you should make a complaint with the BBB. I had a horrible experience with Ayers as well. I filed a complaint, and it was closed by the BBB as unresolved. However they are now up to 4 complaints in the last 36 months. If you click on the statistical average of complaints in similar businesses in the last 36 months (on the BBB webpage), one more complaint will put them in a class by themself. No other similar business has had that many complaints in the last 36 months in that area. It may take some time, but for consumers doing their research, that should give them some pause (no pun intended :D)

  • Reply Ann May 16, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    I visited Ayer’s ” puppy mill ” when seeking a doodle. A puppy was brought to me who had just bbeen bathed; however, he was still covered in feas, infested with ear mites and bloated with worms. I did not purchase the puppy, but immediately reported them tothe humane society. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to do anything as they are stillnin business. Horrific!

  • Reply another unhappy customer July 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    We had a HORRIBLE HORRIBLE experience with Ayers. We had a puppy that was so cute, but within 24 hours had serious problems. Would not eat, drink, tried to run and play but collapsed. I could go in way more detail, but after a week – most of which was spent in the hospital for the puppy, Janet agreed to take him back. My vet said there was a very strong possibility based on the blood tests and the issues the puppy was showing that it had a liver shunt. Something which is caused by genetics – the father. But to confirm it we would need to do a $800 ultrasound. My vet didn’t recommend it because she was pretty certain it would confirm it and it would $800 to confirm what we already knew. A liver shunt in a dog means no normal puppy – medical procedure after medical procedure and hope that they live through each one.

    After an extremely stressful and emotional week for me and the kids…. try explaining that to young kids how you are just sending a puppy back… Janet took him back. But after 4 or so days she said he recovered at her vets office and we can come get him and she will not refund our money. And she pretty much said we were being too rough on him and didn’t know how to take care of a dog and that is why he had problems. Totally not true – my youngest at the time was 9 and we were all very careful with him. Ugh. So a very expensive lesson for us on choosing breeders.

    I did notice after our puppy she stopped using the father dog for breeding – Chili Pepper. But of course she would not refund us the money. Oh, and of course cash only when you buy a puppy. Hmmm. .. maybe the IRS should check out that business.

    I was so happy to find other customers who had problems with her. The only reason I found it now is that I am looking for a dog for my dad and found the dog from Ayers info and thought I would check them out again. After our experience there were several bad reviews about them, but after a while they disappeared. I hope that others continue to post the bad expereinces so that noone has to go through what our family did. That was a horrible week – I felt like a bad parent sending back a sick child. But that place needs to be shut down.

  • Reply another unhappy customer July 15, 2013 at 6:22 pm


    Funny, I would think reputable breeders would not normally selll you a puppy with ear mite, worms, etc.

  • Reply Aggie's Mom September 5, 2013 at 6:16 am

    Purchased Aggie (goldendoodle) from Ayers in 2010 – she also was covered in fleas and had ear mites. She was just diagnosed with corneal atrophy – a genetic disease of the eyes. Beware!

  • Reply Judy January 5, 2014 at 1:21 pm

    I so grateful for all the above comments and hope your puppies recovered. I live in Georgia and was thinking of getting a Cavapoo or mini goldendoodle from Ayers. I will stay away. But, I hope the place has improved. There are some
    “glowing reviews” on the Ayers website.

    • Reply Janet Ayers April 17, 2014 at 6:46 am

      We have glowing reviews because we are a reputable, loving, family-owned kennel that is vet recommended.

  • Reply liz January 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm

    SO glad I FOUND this review. I was thinking of buying a puppy from this breeder so I am so happy to have found your review. If you could, please write this review on yelp or google because there doesn’t seem to be any online. Ahhh so glad to have found your review!

  • Reply lynne robinson January 27, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I too purchased a goldendoodle from Ayers Pampered Pets. Initially I found it strange that she would not let us visit the entire litter of puppies she insisted on bringing the pups out one at time. I know we did not receive the dog that we put a deposit on, either. Our dog came home with Ear Mites and Worms, and sheds like a golden retriever!

    We spent a fortune on this dog because of allergies in the home. Janet initially insisted it was just puppy fur. The dog still sheds but he is a member of our family and we love him dearly. I wouldn’t buy another pet from Janet or ever send anyone to her, but after reading this, I would consider reporting her to the better business bureau.

    Additionally, our Goldendoodle is abnormally large he is NOT fat, his shoulder comes in about 31 inches and he weighs 107lbs!!

    I am so sorry others have had issues with this breeder. I guess it is very difficult to determine the difference in a puppy mill and breeder if are only thrust in the world of dogs every 10-15 yrs or so……..

    My point is, if you get a weird feelilng, you should always listen to your gut.

    • Reply Janet Ayers April 17, 2014 at 6:44 am

      It’s amazing that these people have so much negative to say when there is NO inquiry or email to me regarding these matters. The person who started all of this negative feedback is a BREEDER who is trying to sell puppies; that may give you a clue. We enjoy a wonderful reputation and work with our clients. I suppose I could make up lots of stories regarding this breeder as well.

  • Reply Mary P April 16, 2014 at 8:14 am

    I too purchased a Goldendoodle from Ayers. She would not let me see any of the other puppies when we arrived to pick him up! She was extremely short with me. On the ride home, I noticed that my dog had a cough. Turns out, the vet confirmed he had kennel cough. We spent hundreds on antibiotics. Janet completely disregarded my e-mails and phone calls. She was very rude. DO NOT BUY FROM THIS PUPPY MILL!!!!!!!!!!

  • Reply KC April 17, 2014 at 11:09 am

    Wow, that’s crazy! Ayers pampered pets is as far from a puppy mill as you can get. This woman obviously hasn’t seen a puppy mill. It’s sad that a reputable breeder can so easily get trashed because of a bitter person:( boooooooooo

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