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Licensed breeder Puppy farm & genetically sick pups.***Settled***

Lesley A

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I purchased a 15 week old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel pup on the Coronation weekend from licensed breeder  Elizabeth Turner, ravensroost, Beechley Fields, Minety, Swindon.  

Jax had clearly never been handled, was fearful of humans, I was not able to see his mom as the breeder had just had a new custom built bungalow built on her several acres of land so no animals were allowed inside.  His rear legs splayed out sideways, he backed up into his cage and had to be manhandled by the breeder to get him out. 

She had vaccine 1 done at 6 weeks and apparently vet checked (no vet report produced) and a grade 3 heart murmur was declared on the receipt she produced.   She failed to return him for any follow up or the second jab.  Despite that, she admitted keeping him in a pen with 39 other dogs including Rottweilers and pugs, all used for breeding.  He was not KC registered. (This obviously shows she knew his genetics would not meet their standards in my opinion). 

Upon arrival home with Jax the pup, it was evident he was in pain with his ears. They are heavy floppy ears so once opened, a stench was evident and a thick black discharge was rife within the whole ear.  I had to wait until the Tuesday to obtain vet care as it was bank holiday.  

He had a severe infection.  He could not commence vaccinations because of the infection and it was still being treated 6 weeks later.  He has black discharge remaining deep within the ear which cannot be cleaned unless use anaesthetic - he cannot have this done due to the rarity and severity of the cardiac issue until the heart is fixed.  That means ongoing infections requiring invasive treatment.  My vet also stated a grade 6 murmur and a severe heart abnormality must be the cause.   He advised a heart scan.  

A few days later, Jax collapsed 2/3 times within an hour, was vomiting and had a distended tummy. The scan was done but a Clinical Director vet had never seen the heart abnormality despite decades of experience. he could not diagnose or treat it.  

during another vomiting episode, my vet asked for blood tests as the pup was pale and looked anaemic.  The results confirmed anaemia and clotting issues. 
the vet recommended a specialist vet and an eco cardio gram - £1500 plus blood tests. this showed the need for cardiac surgery to both save his life, allow a symptomless life and a normal life span. Without surgery he will die before age 5 and those 5 years will be very problematic for him. There’s an optimum age of 8 months for his surgery.  he requires beta blockers to reduce the extreme pressures within his heart which also make him I’ll causing convulsions and lethargy.  

A refund with the dog being returned was offered but under the SOGA I am not obliged to return him.  No other option was offered.  She has refused to send any documents such as parentage genetics, her vet report for Jax or her license etc.  

he does not have a grade 3 murmur at all.  
I do not have her vet report showing a grade murmur - just the breeders claim.  
 I do not have a ‘product’ of satisfactory standards, fit for purpose or as described per advert   

the breeder has been kept informed,  I asked her for a £500 contribution to his care if no refund was granted   She told me to let a court decide a remedy   She is now ignoring my messages and told me to contact her solicitors. She is clearly hoping I will go away  she believes she has no liability as a grade 3 murmur was declared by her. had she homes him following her vets grade 3 diagnosis to observe if this issue was impacting his daily life, she would have seen the signs of illness. 
she failed to have the murmur reassessed at a later date as some murmurs go away - if not further tests would have been done and she would have discovered the severity of the pups health issues. 

I believe she had reasonable knowledge that genetically I’ll dogs were being bred, birthed and sold  this makes her liable for the cost of his vet bills for life according to Google ????? 

I have involved Trading Standards and her LA. 
I will now have to initiate court action.  

I have paid out approx £2k on his care and screening and £5k is due for the op booked in 8 weeks time she. He reaches 8 months old.  

what are my key phrases to quote in her letter or rights please anyone.  

I will update and happy to oust this breeder.  

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Hello, welcome CAG.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. We had a CKC and he was lovely. 

This breeder sounds uninterested in the health of the puppies that she breeds. I expect there could have been warning signs about buying from a puppy farm but we are where we are. 

It sounds as if you've bonded with Jax and would rather help him than give him back. 

What outcome are you looking for from future court action please?

Best  HB

Illegitimi non carborundum




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  • BankFodder changed the title to licensed breeder Elizabeth Turner, Puppy farm & genetically sick pups.

First of all you have referenced the Sale of Goods Act. This is been superseded by the 2015 Consumer Rights Act.

By and large for your purposes the effect is the same.

You are entitled to purchase goods which are a satisfactory quality and which remain that way for a reasonable period of time.
You are not obliged to accept a refund or a replacement. It is a matter for your option.

As long as you have got an independent inspection of the animal' s condition then you are on your way. A second corroborative independent inspection would be useful plus quotations.

It seems to me also that you should get a prognosis in terms of an estimate for future treatment bills over the next several years. Presumably the animal is uninsurable – or if you can find an insurance policy which will deal with existing conditions and that will be helpful.

Get the reports together. Get the quotations.

Send a letter of claim and then start your action.

You will need to keep the claim to less than £10,000 if you want to operate within the small claims limits. The small claims court basically means that even if you lose you will not suffer unduly from an award of costs against you.

Also if you go beyond the small claims limit it will encourage the defendant to incur costs that may be to use the danger of costs as a leverage against you.

Get your figures together. Draft a letter of claim and then come back here so that we can have a look at everything

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By the way, can you please tell us how much you paid for this animal

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Hi All,  

thank you so much for helping so quickly.  I paid £550.00 for Jax by bank transfer. 

the breeder requested I did not use the Letsafe payment option on Freeds as she struggled with technology and that route of payment had caused her problems accessing funds historically.  

I would like to point out that I never intended to encourage puppy farming - this did not appear to be a puppy farm.  When I  envision a puppy farm, I imagine squalid ground with tethered/caged, overcrowded conditions with visibly sick animals.  This was not the scenario on those premises.  

There were huge double gates that led to a driveway, I could hear dogs but no pen or kennels were visible. The driveway was lined with horse stables that appeared clean and had fresh straw out and her newly built log bungalow lay at the end of that drive.  She was a mild mannered lady of approx 60 years old.  

I do have cognitive issues so with the gift of hindsight realise I may not have assessed the situation correctly.  I believed declaring a murmur at all meant she was honest and transparent.  It simply did not ‘fit’ the image I held of a puppy farm.  

I note your comments about keeping this below £10k due to costs battles in court which is why I was willing to settle for that as settlement.  I simply wanted all my funds refunded which to date amount to between £2.5/3k, his £5k surgery covered, his ear surgery covered with a little spare for his drugs and any unforeseen costs that cannot be quoted for.  Or the remaining 2k as compensation.  If I obtain bills for years to come, it may well take me over £10k ??? 

If it goes to court, I was going to ask the vet fees are paid for the life span of the dog including the surgeries he needs to give him a chance   This is an open ended figure but I have read the breeder is liable for such if licensed and had reasonable knowledge she may potentially have bred and/or sold genetically sick pups  - how would I know the figure to sue for.

 I was also requesting £3-5k in compo for the immense pain and succeeding of this poor pup and I  - depending on how far she forces me to go.  

She’s affluent and could afford all the care he needs. Or alternatively, ask for an order of £10k in full & final settlement (my priority funding his £5k surgery in 8 weeks),

also hoping  to put an order on her via a judge that limits her breeding, enforces her to license at the Higher Standard where KC registration is then necessary or have the court enforce regular LA unannounced spot checks - I was willing to ask the Judge to order anything to stop this woman - who as you comment as no interest in suffering of pups.  

She would have destroyed him if I had retuned him. I merely asked her for £550.00 refund that would have made me go away.  She’s will now regret this.   m thanks for this invaluable support all. 

I will obtain the reports and prepp a LoC (this could be lengthy, should I upload it onto here or just get back when it’s done? 

I am posting a 10 page letter (inc the background, details, docs I have requested from breeder and remedy to her legal rep worded as per Trading Standards advice.  Does this count as a letter of claim


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I'm afraid that your expectations in respect of what you can get from the court are extremely unrealistic.

Compensation for the pain and suffering the dog – forget it. It wouldn't even be recoverable if it was you.

Getting in order that limits her breeding et cetera – forget it. If you have an issue then you need to contact the RSPCA get them to mount inspection and take appropriate action.

Know what you're proposing does not count as a letter of claim.

Come back here with the reports and let's have a look.

Maybe you could think about keeping your writing brief in future. We don't need all the narrative. We are just volunteers and I'm sorry to say, at the end of the day it was you who decided to buy a genetically developed dog from a breeder.
I'm afraid this kind of experience comes with the territory although I completely support you in wanting to sort the breeder out. At the end of the day it is simply a type of eugenics

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I understand and appreciate the reality check.  It helps forming correspondence.  Thank you.  
I have requested an idea of future vet bills for Jax.  The cardiac specialist has said this is an impossible request/report to write.  Impossible to know or guess in advance.    
Quotes for surgeries (ears & heart) can be done. Benefits of surgery can be reported on but not future estimates of all related bills for vet care  
He also states that other cardiac specialist will provide the same costings for surgery as cardiac specialists are limited and charge similar rate   I have that response in writing too   

I await a response to the same request by my vet.  Does his referral to Willows count as the second 

If willows counts as that second vet  verification of his condition - I have that report and quote.  
thank you.  

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Willows is the cardiac specialist Jax was referred to by my own vet. 
They would go the cardiac surgery.  
There’s one quote for the surgery off them.  
do I need a second from another cardiac specialist too? 
I do have their reports quotes and comment on life span without surgery.  

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I'm getting confused about this.

You will be best off getting two expert opinions and quotations from independent sources.

The opinions should address immediate remedial needs to put the puppy into a safe condition – in other words to address all the immediate health concerns.
Then separately they should address the prognosis and likely treatment needed to keep the puppy in good health for a number of years. I have no idea how long.

Don't try to go for a money grab on this. You will be viewed with suspicion anyway. Your suggestion that you might claim £3000 for the pain and suffering of the dog was absurd and also undermines your own credibility.

I would also look around the Internet to see if you can see anybody else complaining about this breeder. If you do find anything then post up the links here

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wrote the breeder by recorded delivery as per Trading Standards advice.  She refused to accept delivery so the letter was returned unread.  
I now have no choice but to go to court.  She is simply not engaging.  
The local Authority are investigating this licensed breeder. 
I have cognitive issues so a particulars of claim  is my current obstacle.  
many advice would be appreciated.  
I have the vet reports, prognosis quotes receipts etc.  

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Please post off the copy of the letter which you sent here in PDF format

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I don't think we can do much until you give us the information we need.

Also, you will find unhelpful trying to ask us to support you and at the same time asking trading standards to support you.

You need to settle on one source of help so that there is no conflict and that there is consistency in the advice and quality of advice.


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Just to clarify- I asked Trading standards to get involved to report the breeder and prior to knowing this forum and support existed.  
I would prefer the support from here. 
I explained my cognitive issues so I am awaiting a friend to get the letter I sent to the breeder uploaded here in pdf format so the information requested will be here by tomorrow.  
thank you. 

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Did you write this letter to the breeders solicitors? How did you get their name and how do you know that they are acting for her?

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When I initially contacted the breeder she told me to go to court and told me who her solicitors were fir service of documents. 
dhe refused this letter by recorded delivery.  Her solicitors have not responded.  Both the breeder and solicitor were issued with this letter plus vet reports and receipts for vet care etc.  

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First of all, the letter is long – unnecessarily long.

It will be helpful now if you would simply repeat in a brief chronology – bullet pointed – the events.

It has become so complicated that we need a summary.

Secondly, I understand that you have been sending letters and threats setting timescales for action and you haven't followed them up. I hope you realise that by doing this you lose all credibility and they realise that you are simply bluffing.

If you want to proceed with this then we will help you bring a claim that you will have to set deadlines and stick by them. I understand that you have cognitive issues but I'm afraid you will not be able to allow those to interrupt your timely responses and filing of documents.

There is no time here for mucking around for any reason.

If you want to issue a claim then please start off by giving us the summary that I have asked for
consider the fact that you will issue a claim and there will be tight deadlines and you will have to keep in contact with this forum and engage with this thread properly and without delay.

If you want to manage this then I expect that you can win the case – although it is no guarantee.
It will depend mainly on you.

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Thank you for your advice. The cognitive issues are impacting my ability to put the correct content in the court letters and structuring rather than deadlines. You are correct when you refer to me making threats of actions on deadlines i am not meeting and I had become aware of that. However, after writing the file and sending it, I discovered the PAP and the fact the courts would not appreciate me filing a claim unless the breeder had had 12 weeks to offer remedy out of court. sticking to the deadlines within my letter to the breeder would have put me within those 12 weeks. 

The breeder has clarified her situation and those 12 weeks will be up by the time I prep the court docs and lodge the claim.

I have included the chronology as you request but is this now too basic and lacking detail. Thank you for this invaluable support. 


Jax chronology.pdf

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I'm certainly not aware of this 12 week deadline. When did you find that please? Please post a link.

14 days is the normal and I would be surprised if it was different in this case.

However – and although I am completely understanding of your cognitive issues – when you go into the court process, they will require that their deadlines are met and that court documents are supplied well in advance.

If you go to a hearing and you are face-to-face with the judge then certainly the judge is likely to be very sympathetic if you have certain issues but while it is just the paperwork and preparation for trial, I'm afraid that you will have to sort things out.

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Thank you for this chronology.

I see that you bought the animal and you were aware at the time that there was a great three murmur and you received a reduction because of that.
I have no idea what her memories – and it's not relevant to me.
However when it comes to the question of damages, if you are claiming for the kind of treatment required for a more serious murmur – you say it is a grade 5 murmur, then I would expect that the court would only want to make an award that represented the extra seriousness of the condition.

So, for instance – if it was £1000 for a vet to address a great three murmur but £4000 to address a grade 5 murmur, then the court would only award you the difference between the great three in the grade 5 because you knew of the grade three at the time that you purchased the animal.

Please could you itemise the damages that you are seeking – in bullet pointed form. And give a total.

Make sure it is all realistic – and can be supported by evidence – and this means proper veterinary reports and assessments

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Ok, I understand. the care for a grade 3 murmur cost of care is zero as they rarely cause symptoms, suffering or life expectancy.

Care needed for a grade 5 and severe abnormality is thousands more.

I have vet reports to confirm the following costs/compensation:

2.2K spent to date on ear treatments, symptoms of the cardiac issues, blood tests, hormone tests and vaccines the breeder failed to follow through with.

5K cardiac surgery (if all goes well but this is the basic cost which will increase if issues occur as a result of surgery.

600.00 for an ecocardiogram needed 6 weeks after surgery to assess the surgery success.

2k for the bloods and tests needed to investigate why his hormones and clotting issues are current.

£600.00 ear surgery as the infection was so rife the ear washes he is subjected to cannot clean the deep areas of the inner ear the discharge travelled to as it had been untreated.

total = £9,800.00.

That was claim amount but I have also found internet info stating the breeder can be liable for the full cost of care for life if the condition is genetic/breed related. No vet can provide quotes for what 'maybe' - I have asked.

e'g: I asked for costs if things go wrong in  surgery but all sorts could go wrong and they will not comment on a maybe. 

I got the 12 week information from the Justice.gov website but I do not know how to get the link up. 

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It would be helpful if you got somebody to post the link that you are referring to which apparently says that you have to give three months notice.

Although I haven't seen it, I am quite certain that you have misunderstood the situation and that maybe doesn't apply to the kind of claim that you are considering bringing.

It sounds like the kind of pre-action protocol that exists for debt – and this is not debt.

In this red you initially referred to trading standards – and then your local authority – now you are referring to a Ministry of Justice website.

You are thrashing around and getting conflicting advice from different sources.

I suggest it's about time that you sell the one source and decided to stick with that.

He said that you have found a source which suggests that a beer can be liable for the full cost of care for life. Please can you provide that source. Give us a link.

If you refer to these kinds of information then we need a source.

On your calculation so far you have arrived at £9800. Normally small claims and County Court will not deal with future losses. They will only deal with losses incurred so far.

If you try to claim for future losses then I suspect that the part of your claim which refers to losses not yet incurred will be thrown out but you will have paid a higher claim fee to reflect the money your claiming and that won't be recoverable.

What are your losses incurred so far? If there are any outstanding surgical procedures which need to be done then it would be sensible to do those now and incur the costs and then go back and claim for those.

You certainly need to inform the breeder of every cost that you are incurring so that they can't later on challenge them and say that they weren't warned.

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