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I think you may have helped solve something that has been a mystery in our family since we got our puppy from Tegan Park back in February 2008. She is easily the most beautiful and sweetest dog I have ever lives with. But we got her about 9 weeks old, and from the moment she came out of the crate at the airport, she has been ‘skittish’ around people. She is now turning 4 years old, and we are still working on getting her not to cringe and shy away from people when approached. We used to attribute it to the plane ride she endured to get to us, but after reading about Tegan Park I’m afraid she may have been living under poor conditions. Once she gets to know you, she is great. But her initial reaction to new people is to run away with her tail between her legs. It’s a little embarrassing.
What’s more embarrassing is what idiots we were to spend $2,000 on a mixed breed dog based upon the myriad hype on the internet about Rutland and Tegan being the originators of the ‘true’ labradoodle. We had young children and wanted to be sure we were getting a dog with good breeding and great temperament. Apparently the breeding was a scam, yet somehow we still got a great dog. That being said, I can’t shake the guilt and shame I feel for playing a part in keeping these monsters in business. I am amazed at how many websites continue to speak their names in revered tones as being pioneers in breeding the ‘true Australian Labradoodle”. Perhaps the breeders extolling the virtues of Angela Cunningham and Beverley manners are trying to justify overpaying for their breeding stock from Tegan park and Rutland Manor….. Needless to say, any dogs I bring into my family going forward will be from a shelter!
Email to Kate Pappas from William Vaught after Kate spoke out about her experience at RM. Re-printed with permission from William.
I just wanted to lend a few words of support to you for the post regarding RM today. It was courageous of you to tell us ALL this! I read your post while at work today and it felt like someone threw a bucket of cold water in my face because it validated all the suspicions that I had all along.
I have to share with you the “one” instance that made me be reserved about RM. I was on the waiting list for a puppy (large standard-male, black loose fleece) but didn’t send any money and I kept getting these “billing request” from RM for the amount of $450. I contacted Beverly and Helen and asked, “Did they have a puppy upcoming that fit my wish list”?? Helen emailed me back and said they had a male puppy that did, but I needed to send money to secure him (full amount – Approx, $3,300 w/shipping incl.) because another family (Ruth&Bob/ and puppy known as Theo now) had a deposit down as well, but If I could send the full amount “before they did”, the puppy was mine???! (LIGHT BULB- THETA AWARENESS MOMENT!!) ”Where was RM’s selective puppy/family matching protocol?”….. “I thought RM didn’t just allocate puppies that fit the wish list of the potential buyer”??!!
Before this happened I was actually looking down and passing on breeders that at least were honest enough to let me know they sell on the FIRST PAY method!! Anyway, that about floored me/&stuck in my head thereafter….And so I just deleted the repeated funds request that came after(from RM) and went with another breeder in the USA to get my Black pup(ODIN).
Anyhow, “I APPLAUD/SUPPORT & APPRECIATE YOU” for posting that!!!
Take care Kate (and if you need anything please do not hesitate to contact me)
Mt Pleasant, Michigan
Alison Welch’s reply to Beverley after Beverley publicly attacked her on another forum
Wed Aug 11, 2010 1:36am
You finally deigned to post a reply on one of the several forums I have discovered after meeting you… or should I call you Charlie Brown?? Seeing as how you didn’t like to introduce yourself when we came to pick up my dog…
Perhaps you would like to tell the truth at some point…
I have several questions for you?
Why did you not give me notice that your boarding kennel was not currently licensed by either the EPA or the local council??
Why was I not allowed to settle my dog into his own kennel on arrival, or even see where he was to be kenneled?
Why did your worker wipe his eyes with a dishrag?
Why were both my elderly mother and myself reassured on several occasions that picking him up on the day and time he was picked up would not be a problem?
Why when my dog arrived at your “kennels”, with medications from his own vet to deal with the allergic problems, and his arthritis, were none of his medications used by the time he was retrieved?
Why did the price we were quoted for his boarding when we booked him in and when we dropped him off, changed when we picked him up?
Why was my dog sedated?
West Gippsland Veterinary Centre, the vet you say has black banned me, has sent me a copy of their report. You did not immediately call the vet out as you state on this forum, nor did you take my dog “to” the vets as you told me when we picked him up. Nor have they black banned me!
If you were so concerned about Wal’s condition, why did you not try to contact me on the mobile phone number you were given, or try to contact his own vet, whose number you also had. My phone has constant coverage, and tells me if I have missed calls. As your “kennel” was made aware, Wal has serious allergy reactions; it would have been appropriate to discover which antibiotics not to use in his situation. As for the antibiotics you say you used… the vet report only mentions the eye ointment… which I add, if you had spoken to me, you would have found inflamed his corneas, leading to possible ulceration. His own vet had recommended bathing his eyes in mild saline several times a day to avoid inflaming his allergies, and to give him relief. As no swabs were taken, there was no idea of what infection may have been present, or the most appropriate medication to use if any!
It’s strange that you or your vets made no mention of Wal’s multitude of other problems, like the ear infection, which was actually worse then his eyes.
You are right. I have not and will not pay the vet bill, as it was not authorized or required if you had treated my dog during his stay as requested on his arrival, with the medications and management plan provided to your kennel hand.
I know my dog was not fragrantly bathed on his return to me, and thank god not… its the only thing you got right… I hate to think what that would have done to his ongoing skin condition and allergies. Come to that, there were no mats because Wal has lost half the hair on his back due to the allergies…
And get it right Bev… I didn’t have my mobile phone with me as I had left it in my car with my mother…it was you who threatened to call the police and then couldn’t remember their number!! I said feel free to do so… I certainly wouldn’t have tried to stop you at that point.
Why did you both verbally and physically threaten my 72-year-old disabled mother? Was that appropriate?? As we walked up the gravel drive to our car my mother couldn’t walk fast enough for you so you threatened to set the guard dog on us!
You have sent her no apology for that behavior!
Why did you stand over your fence when you thought I couldn’t hear and call my mother names and abuse her further as she sat in the car?
You cannot answer these charges, your behavior was reprehensible!
I have spoken to the local police, The Environmental Protection agency (EPA), the Baw Baw council, and several other government agencies in Victoria…
I welcome anyone else to contact me if they want to verify my story.
The Vet clinic Beverley used is called West Gippsland Veterinary Centre, and has a web site.
The reason I started my investigations Bev was your behavior… you reap what you sow…
Alison Welch and Wallace.
From Alyson 1st August 2010
Here is my story from 1999 to 2001 that I posted to another forum. It bears mentioning here as it shows even back then there was no testing on the RM dogs and Bev admitted it to me:
I have a RM ALD born in 1999 and delivered to me here in the US in early 2000. He is the light of my life. He arrived healthy and has been since but immediately my vet questioned his breeder. When Zeb arrived he was supposedly 12 weeks old but my vet said he would put his age at 16-20 weeks old. Then Bev ensured me his parents had testing but I was too dumb back to ask for paperwork. When I wised up later and asked for copies, she “confessed” that she hadn’t been testing her stock for many years as they’d had no health issues in the lines.
My next contact with Bev was when I posted Zeb’s “pedigree/lineage” on a website I made about my dog (I was learning to build websites at the time and it was a learning project for me) and she berated me via email as many people looking at the pedigree noted a lot more poodle then anything else in my doodle and mentioned it on the early discussion forums. When I asked her to leave me alone she then apologized and asked me to send her back the original of Zeb’s pedigree so that she could “send me a new format of one”. Of course I did not respond and basically stopped communicating with her.
She did contact me one more time to once again attack me for posting pics of Zeb on a dog info site that was giving information on ALD’s. These were my own photos and I told her that Zeb and the photos were my property. Bev then tried to apologize and gave me some kind of strange run down about how it upset her as Angela of TP had written the summary on the dogs and Angela was terrible and a liar and trying to steal her business. Bev admitted the “research” facility that Angela at the time claimed to be was hype and that Angela was ruining the breed.
It was all very bizarre and I have never talked to her since, nor will I ever again.
All of this is why, when I decided to enter into the breeding world, I went the route of goldendoodles. I love ALD’s and will always have one in my home but the politics thanks to Bev and Angela is way too much to bear.
A staff member
I dont really know much about the puppy from Ava and Knossos other than it did come back but had to be vet examined and had the heart problem and was going to die so Beverley told us she was going to give it away but it was still there when I left. There are so many things that can be said, like the amount they were fed, only allowed to be a handful of meat and 1/2 cup crunchies once per day for the adults. The kennels were like prisons, putting 2 sometimes 3 in one kennel. Boarding dogs were never taken for walks or runs. Dogs bred back to back and some of the dogs were so timid. Bev would go down there and give them a ‘tune up’ which meant Bev would take the dog she thought was misbehaving out for a walk and when they came back the dog was calm but terrified of Bev. Beverley rarely left her office to come and see what went on, or help to see if her animals were OK. Some of them had grass seeds in their matted coats and in their skin. Dogs that were meant to be retired and given away, were sold to other places for breeding or had their names changed and still bred with.
Janet – a previous customer.
In 2002 after much thought we decided to get a puppy. We wanted a non-shedding dog (as my niece has severe asthma) and decided on a labradoodle. I have had dogs all my life and knew all the things I should have done when picking a pup like, meeting the parents, checking the health of the parents, making sure the puppy’s are properly socialised etc. but for reasons I can’t explain I ignored all this. I had emailed Beverley and asked to visit RM and meet her dogs. I was told that I could come to an ‘open day’ if I wanted but that it would be disruptive to the dogs to have people visiting outside of this time. This seemed a little odd and should have set off alarm bells but Beverley’s email seemed so genuine that I wasn’t put off and ordered a RM labradoodle.
Indy (b 12 November 2002 to Gypsy and Cadet) arrived in January 2003 and what a joy she was (and is). We tried to make sure we did all the ‘right’ things, took her to puppy school, fed her the right food, gave her lots of different social experiences. All was well until she was about 12 months old. We took her to the beach for a weekend we all had a great time, however when we got home we noticed that she seemed a little lame. Off to the vet we went. After examining her the vet said that he thought she had Hip Dysplasia and ordered some x rays. At this point I emailed RM to let them know, (not for any other reason than because I thought it may affect their breeding programme if there was a genetic disorder in Indy’s line.) Beverley responded by suggesting that it was most likely a “storm in a tea cup” and that Indy had probably just ‘over done it” at the beach. Then we had the x-rays done. The vet confirmed the HD. I forwarded an emailed copy of the x-rays to Beverley who responded that she couldn’t “believe some vets” that the x rays were not properly done and that Indy wasn’t in the right position when she was x-rayed That if we wanted the health insurance money we would need ‘proper’ x rays and a hip score. My response to this was that I wasn’t after the insurance money I was more concerned about the health of my dog and the health of the breeding programme at RM. I did not want to put Indy through another general anesthetic and trusted my vets diagnosis so went about getting Indy the treatment she needed, at this point I still believed that RM had the best interest of their dogs at heart and just needed more information.
Life went on and Indy’s condition deteriated to the point were she is now on daily anti inflamitries and pain relief, when she started on the daily medication I again contacted RM to let them know of the change in her condition. This time I didn’t get a reply from Beverley but from one of her staff who said if I wanted the insurance money then I should get more x rays, when I re affirmed that it wasn’t money I wanted. Her response to this was that she didn’t understand what I wanted and why I was contacting them. I know that when you get a dog (like in life) there are no ‘guarantees’ about health or temperament. However I would have thought that any responsible breeder would want to know this kind of health information about their dogs. We recently had Indy’s hips re x-rayed and I nearly cried when I saw the films. Her hip joints are dreadfully deformed and she will need a total hip replacement, as the pain medication is no longer managing her pain.
Throughout Indy’s life she has also experienced some severe behaviour problems. She is anxious (and sometimes aggressive) around most other dogs and can be highly reactive. (We had thought that this may have been because of the painful hips but have now started to wonder about her early socialisation.)
While I would not be without my beautiful girl, I seriously regret having had anything to do with Rutland Manor. I know that I was naïve, should have known better and not been taken in, but I also feel that the advertising for RM on their website was seriously misleading.
This has been a painful lesson to learn I only wish it wasn’t Indy that had to experience this pain.
A Customers experience
In December 2002 we moved from Florida to Dallas and were considering adopting a puppy. In our search foran allergy friendly dog we found a website in Australia called Rutland Manor, they were a “research centre” developing a new breed of dogs called “Australian Labradoodles”; the purpose of this new breed was to work as assistance and/or therapy dogs for people with allergies.
We were so excited, and just as we were about ready to fill out an application for a puppy I found out I was pregnant… our puppy plans were put on an indefinite hold.
But life is unpredictable… and who could have imagined that we’d actually move to Australia?
When we accepted the position in Sydney, my husband and I agreed that if it didn’t work out– at least we’d finally get our Australian Labradoodle from Rutland Manor. And in June of 2009 I hopped back on the Rutland Manor website and a few days later we were officially on the “puppy waitlist”.
Seven months later an email arrived… we had “exciting news”, our Labradoodle puppy had been born and we were allotted a black female with a white diamond on her chest. Her name was to be “Andie”.
One day during our wait for the Andie’s arrival, we received a strange voicemail that sounded something like this:
“Hi, um, I wanted to speak to you, um, regarding the temperament testing of the puppy we’ve allocated for you. She’s… well, um, if you can call me back, I just want to make sure her personality, um, is going to work for your family. Ok, thanks.”
The message was full of angst, it was bizarre. She had also sent a similar email.
When we called her back she was nonsensical. I put her on the phone with my husband to see if he could decipher what exactly she was trying to get across to us.
At this point our comfort level was being severely challenged. Our priority was to adopt an easy-going dog and we were getting concerned maybe the puppy’s personality was going to be an issue.
Then I came up with the brilliant idea that perhaps the breeder, Beverley Manners, would consider coming to Sydney and doing some puppy training with us and our small children. When she sounded keen to do it we were shocked, but relieved. We agreed to buy her airfare and pay her $400 to spend a few hours at our house showing us the ropes.
I’ll pause now to interject that… I know, I know, I know… that I should have known better– on all of this. It’s just further proof that you must pay attention to the signs– the signs are our friends.
So our puppy Andie finally arrived! She ate well that evening and slept through the night without crying or any drama whatsoever. Hooray! We must be incredible puppy parents, yay!
The next morning Beverley arrived and greeted Andie. Andie seemed completely indifferent to her, as though she hadn’t a clue who Beverley was.
Beverley kept saying Andie seemed so calm, we needed to get her riled up so she could demonstrate how to work with her. She had no actual plan for our training session, she was basically winging it… and not well I might add. In the two hours she spent with us, she basically demonstrated how to use a slip-collar (aka choke chain), by tethering Andie to our swingset, which was accompanied by a warning from her that it is never safe to tether a dog on a choke chain to anything, but she was going to do it to get the puppy to try and pull on it– um, huh, wtf??? After a couple minutes of watching our little puppy getting strangled I took Andie off the chain and explained that we would not be using a slip collar in her future, so best to move on.
When her lovely friend came to pick her up for a lunch break, I had had enough, it was not the professional training we had expected her to come do with us and our two young boys. And only because I’m so freaking nice, I told her that there was no need for her to come back after lunch. Thanks, but no thanks… we’re good… um yeah, we’re all set… bye bye.
The next two mornings Andie vomited when she woke up and there was a little pebble in the spit up both days. The next night Andie was up during the night vomiting a couple times, I assumed this must be pebble-related but could not figure out where or why she was eating pebbles, so I emailed Beverley for advice.
In the meantime, we called the after-hours vet and took her in to make sure all was okay. The vet said he’d probably need do an x-ray to see if we had a pebble-in-stomach situation.
Within a minute of examining Andie, he indicated that that she had a very distinct heart murmur which was not normal (as puppies commonly have small heart murmurs); we needed her to be seen by a cardiology specialist.
They proceeded with an x-ray that same day and found two small pebbles, fortunately they were not a problem as they were small and would be “naturally eliminated”.
Later that day, not having mentioned the heart murmur they had found to Beverley, we received this bizarre email from her:How is Andie? What did the vet say and what have they done for her? Is she going to be all right? I am so worried about her.Laura, I’d like to offer you a full refund and take her back if that is okay with you.Your thoughts?
My husband and I were in shock, we hadn’t even told her yet that they believed something was seriously wrong with Andie’s heart.
The next morning a veterinary cardiologist did the heart scan. The veterinary cardiologist found that Andie had a serious congenital birth defect called PDA, requiring open-heart surgery as soon as possible. *(Update May 2010: It is widely known that dogs which produce puppies with PDA should not be bred, but yet Knossos and Ava continue to be listed on Rutland Manor’s website as “breeding dogs”. Since posting this other people with sick Knossos puppies have found my blog and are searching for answers about the health of Knossos).
And there’s something else, Andie, was food aggressive, and very rough with us and our little boys. I am an experienced enough dog person to know she was certainly not the easy-going personality we had stressed was important to us, and not the kind of gentle, easy-going dog Labradoodles were known as. And I believe Beverley must have thought so too when left us that initial bizarre voicemail about her temperament.
So Andie’s been gone almost three weeks. Rutland Manor’s response to the whole situation has been beyond inappropriate. We have numerous bizarre emails from Beverley (none of which we’ve ever responded to at the advice of our attorney), which included accusing us of neglecting the puppy and even suggesting we sent her back a different dog. We still have no refund and are out tons of money in vet bills and all things required to properly pamper a new pet.
Do you know how sad it is to walk around a house filled with puppy stuff? Beverley claims Andie is alive and well, playing with all the other dogs there. Our vet thinks otherwise.
And you can all judge me right now for not adopting from a shelter, or for supporting breeders, or for returning the puppy to get a refund. Trust me, I’ve already judged myself, so thank you very much.
*Update July 2010: We did ultimately receive our refund by working directly with American Express and Paypal to reverse the charges on our credit card. Since this blog post was written she has also sent an email threatening to sue me for “defamation”; perhaps she is unaware– it’s not defamation if it’s the truth.