Woman says Cleveland dog breeder is unfairly holding her dog and - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Woman says Cleveland dog breeder is unfairly holding her dog and money

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 A Bradley County woman says she is out several hundred dollars after giving money to a dog breeder. She says the breeder kept asking for more money and will not let her back out of the deal, even though she has not gotten the dog yet.

Last year, the Commercial Breeder Act in Tennessee expired, meaning the state no longer inspects dog breeders, allowing them to be unregulated and unlicensed.

In this case, the Cleveland woman looking to get a puppy Yorkie says she has learned, it is 'buyer beware.'

"I'm out $300 right now and she said many times that I am not getting that back and neither are the other girls," says Morgan Delk.

Nineteen-year-old Morgan Delk says she had her heart set on adopting a Yorkie puppy from a breeder she found on a Cleveland yard sale Facebook page. She gave the woman a $150 deposit, plus another $150.

"The only reason I gave her the other 150 was because she said the dogs needed their tails docked," says Delk.

She says she trusted the woman because a family member was a mutual friend of the breeder's family. But then, she says there were red flags.

"She asked me for extra money and I didn't have it and that's when she stopped messaging me."

Another woman looking to buy a Yorkie tells Channel 3 the same thing. The breeder told her for an extra $100, on top of the $300, she would turn over the dog sooner.

"Another dog from that litter actually went home at three weeks old," says Delk.

"You get off my property right now or I'll push you off of it," said the breeder in a cell phone video.

After learning another woman had already received her puppy and the breeder stopped all communication, Delk, along with a friend and another woman looking to buy a puppy, confronted the breeder at her house, asking for their money back.

In the video, the breeder says, "Neither one of y'all get your dog." Another woman in the video asks, "Okay, then we get the money for it." The breeder responds. "No you don't!"

Channel 3 stopped by her house as well and called her on the phone. The breeder declined to do a recorded interview but says all buyers are told up front under no circumstances can they get their deposit back, unless there are health complications with the dog. She also says she never adopts a puppy out that is younger than six weeks, although she admits she did give one of the puppies away sooner.

Delk says she was never told that information and just wants her money back. She says texts from the breeder explain her concern: "(from breeder) I want it stopped now or neither of you will get a dog and I will promise you that. I don't care if I have to sit in jail. You won't get your money or your puppy."

Delk has filed a civil complaint against the breeder.

"I don't feel like it's really necessary to go through all this stuff, but I have to do what I have to do." 

When asked if she thinks there is a learning lesson to take away, Delk answers, "Yes, I do. I guess, I mean, you can't really trust anybody nowadays."

The American Kennel Club notes every breeder has their own opinion about when is the best time to let their puppies go to a new home. Some go earlier and others go later. But the general rule of thumb is that puppies should be turned over in the 8-to-12 week-old age range.

The breeder insists she plans on turning over the Yorkie pups when they turn six weeks old.
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