Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Breeching a Stud Contract

A person I love and respect recommended Lego for a breeding to a non CWCCA member who had bred one time before. I made a verbal agreement with this person for a Stud fee with a reasonable deposit and the balance due when the puppies were 2 weeks of age, provided there were 2 live puppies. The semen was sent and the bitch took. The puppies were born 3 weeks ago. This "breeder" did not watch her bitch and had no idea that the first puppy was born under a bed. Later she did notice the bitch was in distress and took her to the vet. A C-section was performed. One puppy was stuck in the birth canal and died. Two more puppies survived. The puppy born under the bed was not found until she returned home from the Vet. Of course, this puppy did not survive either. This breeder has refused to pay the balance of the stud fee stating that she did not get what she wanted from this breeding and even demanded that I return the deposit. I know there are a lot of breeders who read this blog. Any suggestions on how to handle this unscrupulous person?


Holly said...

Refuse to sign the litter registration.

penni said...

I hate hearing this kind of story, but know it happens. Your option is to refuse to sign the litter registration unless she pays the balance of the stud fee. In the olden days, stud fees were paid up front and if there were fewer than two live puppies (or one puppy depending on the contract), then the bitch owner was entitled to a repeat.

ALL stud contracts should contain a clause that any legal action required shall take place in your state/county and the law of your state shall apply. Puppy sale contracts should contain the same language. Ostensibly this makes it easier to bring a small claim. FWIW

Holly said...

PS you can delete all these comments after you read them in case the offending person reads your blog...

Holly said...

The deposit is non-refundable and covers your expended energies for shipping the semen. Do not refund it. And since there are 2 live puppies, the stud fee is due.

Lybertygirl said...

I have already informed her that I would not sign any registration papers.
I normally requires a written contract but bent the rules as this person was recommended to me by someone I love and respect (who is horrified that this has occurred)

Crazy Cardiness said...

I agree do not sign the litter papers, but I'm so sorry that this has happened. There is just no reason for this sort of behavior! Absolutely no reason to return the deposit either, with every breeding there are inherent risks, we all take those risks, what makes them so special?:-)) Its just a sad state of affairs when people cannot be trusted!

StubbyDog said...

I think if she was not willing to accept the possibility of paying a stud fee for "only" 2 live puppies, she shouldn't have agreed to it in the first place. I don't see how she can possibly make an argument that she's not liable for the remainder of the stud fee, but I'm sure she's just upset that she had to pay for a c-section and doesn't have enough puppies to cover the cost. i.e. she's going to lose money on it LOL.

That aside, your only recourse as others have said is to not sign litter registration. Otherwise, if she's not going to budge on it then I don't think there's much you can do? No written contract and someone who is being combative might mean it's a lost cause. :(

Sarah said...

It sounds to me like the person is now up to her eyeballs in vet fees, and wants to back out on paying to the one person she probably can try to get out of paying. YOU.

I've been in that $$$ situation, with two c-sections, etc. as everyone knows my adventures with my first puppies. But I got 2 live puppies, and guess what? I honored my agreement and paid every penny that was owed to all parties.

The whole deal with breeding dogs is that I don't think all people "get it" about how much it really costs if things don't go as planned. If the breeder wasn't prepared, she should have made other arrangements.

Now, from another side of things, do you think that perhaps steering back around to possibly allow an extension for paying (if that IS the main issue here), perhaps you could be generous and allow the person to pay a bit later? Say payment must be received before registration is signed? If that would relieve some of the $$ pressure of having to come up with the cash right this minute, perhaps the person could calm themselves a bit and see that they need to abide by your agreement, and something can be salvaged here for both of you.

I think that the way it's all unfolded is so unfortunate. And just to look from the other side, all i can say is that I was not myself with all the drama around my puppies, so perhaps she can be reasonable.

If not, then never sign the papers. Of course, that doesn't keep people from selling puppies, but you could also make sure that the CWC community knows who they DON'T want to deal with.

penni said...

The other thing to keep in mind is that a written contract protects you as well as the bitch owner. Even the nicest of people and best of friends should have no problem signing a contract if it is straight forward and covers the undertaking. It also is a cushion in case you or the bitch owner should suffer some tragedy and be unable to personally complete the terms of the contract.

I would "beg" you to warn anyone else that you learn might be getting involved with this "breeder".

Dawn said...

I agree with Sarah that possibly SOME of the poor behavior could be due to the stress of the situation. But, on the other hand, she missed the first puppy, and didnt realize the distress was an issue until it was too late? Ok stuff happens, but she shouldnt blame the stud dog owner for her inattentiveness.

I guess I would let this person know that you wont sign the papers until you are paid. And that if this continues, you will share her name so other stud dog owners will know to be cautious in dealing with her. I dont think tha tis unreasonable at all.

dreameyce said...

I would NOT sign the litter registration until you have been fully paid. I feel if you lapse, this shady person would decide to not pay after all is said and done. While of course you're not 'hurting' for this money, it is part of the deal, and something an honest, reputable person would not even question.

You did YOUR part, and were responsible. She didn't do HER part, bad things happened, and plus, not every litter holds our dream puppy... breeding is a gamble, and she lost that gamble this time.

Holly said...

I has a situation where I bred to a bitch, she had a c-section and rejected the pups. It was local so I was able to visit the night they were born. We were handed a check for the stud fee that night. The owner left her with the pups (totally against my advice) and went to work. She killed all the pups. No question was ever asked about us returning the stud fee.

Debra said...

I am so sorry to hear this has happened. Has this lady ever birthed puppies before? It's not something easy like baking muffins where you have a timer and they just come out. Personally I know that I couldn't handle tiny puppies, and that I why I have boy dogs. You shouldn't be punished for her lack of attentiveness.

Baledwr said...

Well, fwiw I don't thing being a CWCCA member or not matters in this case...the COE is only as good as the person following it.

I know in the future I'm going to charge a bit of stud fee up front as I had a bitch not come back for a repeat after missing so we were out the costs on our end - including driving the bitch several hours home. Somewhat like a horse "booking fee" with balance due at XXX date with XX live puppies, no signing until paid. Of course I'm also not going to stand my dog mostly so take that with a grain of salt - I'm not a good dog pimp and it's a headache.

I have heard of AKC registering litters where not everyone signed with proof of DNA in absence of a contract.

Hopefully the person snaps out of their disappointment and realizes that this is dog breeding and things happen - you often don't get what you want in a litter, and it's not worth loosing a reputation and more importantly friends over.

Kathy'sCorgi's said...

Oh Laura, I am so sorry. This is one of those definite downsides to having a dog standing at stud (and one of many reasons none of my dogs are available any longer)

Without a written contract that clearly spells out legal recourse, you have very little to stand on. You can refuse to sign the registration papers, but you are very likely to find yourself in hot water with the AKC unless you can back everything up with E-mails, witnesses, etc. The AKC frowns on stud dog owners who do not sign litter registrations.

As she is not a CWCCA member, you have no recourse to go to the BOD and file charges against her. You also have to be very very careful what you say about this person to other breeders. Even though the facts you relate may be true to the best of your knowledge and recollection, you don't need or want her coming back at you with a defamation suit.

This is just plain WRONG- and I am sure that most people would have the strength of character to do the right thing- obviously this person does not!

My best advice is to appeal to her ethics, once things have calmed down. Appeal to her IN WRITING- BCC to your mutual friend- perhaps ask that mutual friend to appeal in your behalf. But from this point on, all communication should be in writing.

And- in the future- no matter who you are working with- make sure that you get a written contract, signed and witnessed! It is as much for your protection as for the other person. You never really know a person until you have disagreed about a dog, or money.

Let me know if there is anything I can do to help!