Problems with breeders

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Problems with breeders

Postby Yagomama » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:53 am

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Hello people!
I would like to ask if there is a pinned post/thread here that allows us to post our negative experience with a breeder, so as to allow others to know what they are getting into before they do a transaction with them?
I tried the search but didn't come up with the proper post/thread I believe.
Thank you!
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Re: Problems with breeders

Postby CooperDragon » Mon Oct 16, 2017 6:46 pm

I don't know if there is a master thread but if you run into issue or have positive experiences you can post a new thread with the details so it is available when people search for info on a particular breeder.
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Re: Problems with breeders

Postby Yagomama » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:09 am

Ok, Thank you!

So, here's the deal. I have a male bearded dragon staying with me that I absolutely adore, I have spoiled him and I am absolutely sure that he's one of the happiest beardies in the world! I am aware that he won't be with me forever, and I wanted to get a female beardie so that I can have their kids after many years, when they'll be gone. I was searching for quite some time for a female witblits aged between 4 to 6 months old, 'cause I wanted to spend as much time and devotion on her as I have with my male, to help her fully develop her personality in the best way.

I contacted my local reptile store, where I got my male from, and asked them to find a female witblits for me, aged 4 to 6 months old, they supposedly booked an animal for me but fell short to deliver, I really don't know what happened there, there were contradictory comments. So I started searching on the web for pages from breeders, and also on Facebook, contacting a few people that looked promising to deliver a healthy female witblits.

Finally I came upon the Facebook page of ETNA DRAGON from Catania, Sicily, Italy. I saw that they were breeding witblits beardies and so I asked them if they had a female in the age range I was looking for. They responded and send me photos of their females. I chose one that was a beauty and asked for more photos and a date of birth. Communication was a bit problematic because they probably didn't speak a word of English and were using some kind of online translation. They responded, however, with the date she hatched being 21/5, confirming that the animal was 4 months old. I asked for pricing and options to have the beardie send to me, they told me that they wanted 280 euros for her and to contact some people about having her transported to me in Corinth, Greece, OR they could send her to Verona Reptiles with some people for 10 euros. She was definately expensive, but I didn't bargain because I simply wanted a well taken care of animal, and they assured me she was one.

I chose to had her picked up from the Verona Reptiles expo, even if this option was way more expensive for me, because I didn't want her to get streesed out, being transported god knows how by some company. I contacted my local reptile store to ask them to pick her up from Verona for me, as I was told that they would be going there to pick up some animals from the expo with their van, and that for a fee they would be able to bring an animal back for me if I had already bought one. Well, in the end they told me that this was not an option. I personaly couldn't travel to the expo, so I asked my fiance to go there and pick her up. He would gladly do it, even though last minute round trip ferry tickets for him and the car and a solo pet cabin where he could properly keep the beardie, with last minute hotel and gas-tolls etc ended up costing way over 1000 euros for us, but that was not a problem since we've been searching for a proper female for quite some time, and we wanted the best for her. Also, a chance for a road trip, right?

Note: I kept asking about the weight of the beardie, always getting the answer that they would give me the weight when they'd find some time and a scale to check it out. I was given a weight of 10 grams, but that info came in a bit too late, and I thought it was a translation error, as it seemed a bit odd for a 4 month beardie to weight only 10 grams.

So, the day of the expo comes and my fiance goes to pick up the little one, follows the instructions we were given and wents to find the desk of the people that have transported her to the expo, asking to see her. He immediately calls me back, telling me "Uhm, I'm not sure if this is the same animal as the one on the photos, as it's tiny and I can't figure out the details. It's certainly not 4 months old, as it's nowhere close in size as our male one when we got him". I freaked out, having waited so long and spend so much for that beardie and then being told that, sending a message to Etna Dragons to try and figure out what happened, in my panic telling them that they tricked me or that they have send the wrong animal, while my fiance took a walk on the expo grounds, asking other breeders about the age of same sized beardies, getting replies that ranged between 6 weeks and 2 months old.

They assured me on Facebbok Messenger that this is the same animal as the one in the photos, and were kinda angry that I said to them that they tricked me. My fiance went back and got on the phone with them through the people that had transported her, using them as translators as the people from Etna Dragon wouldn't speak a work in English, asking them if this is the same animal and why it is so tiny since it's supposed to be 4 months old. Their reply was that witblits dragons take a long time to grow up (?!) and that yes, it is the same dragon as the one on the photos. People on the desk insisted that they took her out of the enclosure to check the details against the photo we were given, and so it happened, confirming that it was the same beardie, only much much smaller than we had anticipated. Of course I hadn't seen her in person, so I asked my fiance to take her home and apologize to the people there about us doubting the legitimacy of our dealings.

He went back to the hotel room, moved her in a large transport container with UV and heat bulbs, a hiding cave for her etc, and went on to send me some photos before feeding her some small crickets dusted with calcium. A couple of days later he was back home with her, and that's when I realized how tiny she actually was. I inquired with Etna Dragon again about her birth date, this time getting the reply "Oh, she was born in the end of July", confirming that she was 2 months old and not 4, and that I had been lied upon OR that there was a grave mistake on their side. I decided to let it go, since she was already with us and she looked beautiful.

Next day I noticed that there was something wrong with one of her tiny fingers, but she was shedding and thought that maybe this was the reason. However I went and got a magnifying glass to check on it, and it looked like something was wrong. I contact my reptile-specialist vet and asked her about it, she told my that she should check it out, but first I should leave her a few days to settle in her new terrarium, not to stress her any more by taking her to the vet to be examined. So I did, when the time came and I had her checked up the vet confirmed my fears, her finger was damaged and she was going to loose it. I immediately took her back home, and then I checked the photos my fiance had send immediately after he took her to the hotel, confirming that the problem was already there, only he hadn't noticed, considering how tiny she was.

I immediately contacted Etna Dragon, told them about the problem, expecting a reply in the style of "we are so, so sorry, we hadn't noticed" or "sorry, here's a refund of X-amount since the beardie you got was not as promised", or a t least "we are really sorry, but we can't do something about it". If I was a breeder I would have offered a refund without the customer having to ask, to keep my customers happy and my reviews high. However the reply I got was much, much different. They told me that it's not their problem and that I had done that to the dragon. I tried to explain how the story was, sending them my fiance's email from when he took the beardie to the hotal on the first day as proof that the problem was already there and that it was not my fault.

As you understand I can't tell if they lied about the birth date or if they got it wrong, nor if they hadn't noticed about the finger or if they had "neglected" to tell me, but the truth is I wouldn't have spend that amound of time and money for a tiny two month old beardie with a damaged finger, and their bad mannered reply, accusing me insted of trying to help me or even appologize when I had send them proof and knew that I didn't hurt the little one, made me draw the line.

Still, I tried to keep a positive view, trying to believe that they either hadn't noticed or that something else had happened, kept the conversation with them to try and figure out what had happened. On the first photos I had of her, the feet were blurred out, focus being on her back and top of the head, perhaps the photographer was using a 35mm lens and thatwas the effect of the lens, maybe. I then received another photo from them hwere her finger appeared yellow-ish and thiner than normal, so the problem was probably already there. They kept telling me that this wass not their mistake, that maybe I had done something wrong or something happened during transportation to the expo. Then I told them again about their "mistake" with the birth date, and that if she was 4 months old then something like that would be easily observable, and that since it's not my fault I demand a refund of some part of the amount I payed for.

That seems to have had them enraged, telling me again that it was my fault, and when I told them that I had just send them PROOF they lost it, starting to personaly insult me, my inteligence and the way I take care of my beloved beardies, telling me that I treat them as dogs, maybe because they had seen photos I've taken of my male one outside of his terrarium, I don't know. I just told them that they could have just apologized instead they insulted my and show them a screenshot of the date mistake again. They told me they missed that because they have 100 dragons (moments ago they told me they had 60...). When you have so many dragons you obviously can tell the difference between a 2 and a 4 month old. Again, when I told them that I will ask a refund they kept insulting me, laughing at me and the way I treat my beardies. I repeat, I keep my beardies in top notch condition, receiving advice from my vet and local pet store, as well as books and on-line forums.

I just old the that this will be on the forums and that I feel sorry for them. I don't know about you, but if I was a breeder I would have apologized, tried to help and to keep my customer happy, not try to insult and humiliate them about the way the keep their beardies. Especially when I have read so much about them and treat them like kings. So, as I promised them, here is the story and I am also going to ask for a refund. All is documented and I can take screenshots of our converations if someone has a doubt about if what I'm saying is true or not.
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Re: Problems with breeders

Postby CooperDragon » Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:15 pm

That sounds like an odd situation. I'm sorry to hear her finger is injured. Hopefully it will heal completely without further damage and she will grow to be big and happy under your good care.
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Re: Problems with breeders

Postby Yagomama » Tue Oct 17, 2017 10:20 pm

Thank you Cooper! Unfortunately the vet said she is going to loose the finger as it has been dead for some time. The edge came off this morning :-( She's so tiny, hopefully it won't cause a serious problem to her as she grows up...
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Re: Problems with breeders

Postby CooperDragon » Wed Oct 18, 2017 1:55 am

That's unfortunate. A lot of them do get nipped fingers/toes and tails when they are young. As long as it heals and doesn't get infected though, it shouldn't cause any issues long term.
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