Saturday, January 9, 2010


See this Akita to the left? Obviously, this Akita was sold by the breeder to the wrong person. And obviously, this Akita is suffering for it. He has lived his life chained up outside, with no vet care for years. He is suffering now from a myriad of diseases. Where is his breeder? How did he end up like this? Why was there not a contract preventing this kind of life for this poor Akita?
Recently a situation happened in another state involving an Akita who was resold by someone without the breeder knowing about it. The Akita bit, and now the breeder is being blamed for many things. My thought -- the contract wasn't strong enough or else when she found out the dog was about to be rehomed several months BEFORE the bite, the dog would have been back in her hands and never resold. But the person who had the dog wasn't the least bit worried about being sued or following the contract -- because she got away with this type of crap before so she figured she could again -- because the breeder never scared her enough with a tough contract to begin with.

Rescues have tough contracts -- at least they better have or they won't be doing rescue for very long. ARWNY's contract has teeth -- strong teeth, good solid molars with canines to protect it!! We can and have used our contract to force the return of an adopted Akita to us. So I'm failing to understand why a breeder would have such a mild contract that no enforcement like that can be made?

I went online this week and started to read as many breeders' contracts as I could find. Its amazing to me how many of them do NOT address very real issues. Issues like not allowing the dog to be resold, not allowing the dog to be tied out, chained up, kept as an outside-only dog, to notify if moving & give new address & phone #, to do training, to not allow any abusive situations to befall the Akita, etc etc. They use wording like "Please contact us when/if you resell this dog so we can have first right of refusal." WHAT? No, it should read "You cannot rehome this Akita at any time. This Akita must be returned to us if you are unable to keep it." That is how you protect yourself and the Akitas you breed/place. That is how you make someone realize you mean business. Words like "should" and "hopefully" or "please" have no place in a breeders' contract -- yet I saw those words over and over. I saw tough wording about showing but nothing tough about actual living situations that would prevent bad things from happening. I was frankly shocked. And greatly saddened.

Also, how many breeders do actual checks on the people they are selling their dogs too? How about home visits, vet checks, trainer checks, personal reference checks, employment checks? I can't begin to tell you the people we have weeded out before adopting to by doing all this ahead of time. Breeders could easily ask for help in an area they aren't close to for a home check, drive bys, photos -- or else reconsider shipping a puppy across the country if they don't actually know who they are selling to!

People today will say and act any way they know will get them what they want -- so its important to have an air-tight contract, to have a full set of checks in place before allowing any Akita to leave your property. Have it all done before the Akita leaves -- be sure the contract is tight, that checks were made into their personal lives & their dog-owning lives/experience, the home visits done by people you trust if you can't do them yourself. Make sure the people know you mean BUSINESS, that you will take them to court if this Akita is NOT handled correctly. Do not be so worried about finding just ANY home that you let people do whatever they want once the Akita has left your property -- if that's happening, then you are breeding too much with too little care for the breed.

I am constantly surprised in today's world, by breeders who tell me "Well, I didn't make them sign anything because we were friends." Well guess what -- when the friendship is over, its the Akita that will suffer. Good luck then, watch your reputation get trashed. And using a half-hearted contract is just as bad. Do NOT believe a person who tells you that a contract is not worth anything -- it is and you can enforce them -- its just that no one bothers anymore. You must use a contract and you must threaten to enforce it. Its amazing what a lawyer's letter will get you -- and if it does NOT get you what you need, then follow thru with a lawsuit. If you placed the dog, its your responsiblity for the life of the dog!!

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