I have dealt and worked with many shelters over the years, both large and small. For the most part I’ve found shelter people to be some of the most caring people out there. Which is why I was stunned by the response I got from Victoria Patterson of NJ Collie Rescue & Referral.
I saw a post on Petfinder awhile back for a cute Golden puppy named Lacy. Rather than explain what happened, I will just copy and paste the e-mail conversation here.
Me: Can I please have an application for Lacy?
Also, do you know how old she was when she was removed from her mother & litter?
Do you keep applications on file for potential incoming dogs?
Vicki: are you kidding me. . .we are a RESCUE. . .not the breeder
Me:I understand that. However, I have worked with many well-known and capable rescues that may know quite a bit about a dog’s back story. As a trainer, I might be concerned about adopting an 8 week old puppy that is going to be 60-80 lbs and have no social skills or bite inhibition because it never spent time with its litter.
But thank you for your help.
Vicki: true but if that is important to you you should go to a breeder or one of your capable rescue groups
It’s true that it’s very possible she would not have had the information I was asking for, however I would have accepted something like, “I don’t know… here’s an application” as an answer. Unfortunately, she was terribly rude.
I thought I would just post this story as a warning for people who might consider dealing with Victoria Patterson. But this is where the story gets crazy!
In researching Victoria a little bit, I found a blog entry that exposes her as a puppy broker! She buys puppies from puppy mills and then posts them as “rescued” and collects a fee. She has since been banned by Petfinder. However, apparently she is now operating under the name “Purebred Puppy Rescue” (check out her website… $495 for a rescue is ridiculous).
There’s also an update (complete with Vicki’s contact info) on another blog:
Well folks, with everyone’s wonderful efforts, we got scammer and NJ puppy broker, Vicki Patterson who went under NJ Collie Rescue and Referral, off Petfinder but she’s back at it. That’s right, she now…
Update on NJ Puppy Broker – Vicki Patterson – http://petloverstips.com/ForTheLoveoftheDog
Has anyone ever heard of something so outrageous? I thought she was just rude, but it turns out she’s actually completely unethical!!! Beware of Victoria Patterson!