Buy 1 get 1 free... But don't you dare complain if one of them is severely disabled

This email received from another customer of Jack Sterling. Again it reflects his style of dealing with customers and highlights the disregard he has for dogs and people.

To write this email to the blog must have been very emotional, bringing back the memories of the event and the nightmares of the arguments they had with the supplier of the puppies.

The most important thing about the story I am about to post is that I never made this public before. I wrote a private email to Jack to express my anger and grief. I did not post a public explanation until after Jack called me a “murderer” on his website. After that I have been confronted by Jack’s “Believers.” I use the word “Believer” in almost a religious sense. Despite evidence that comes to light – even with heart-wrenching pictures they refuse to acknowledge or even question any wrong done by this man. Often, it is passed off as “That’s the way Jack is.” This unbelievable ability to stick their heads in the sand can be seen in the postings currently on his website (I usually don’t read anything written by Jack, but I sometimes get things forward to me – especially since the Blog). Here is what happened…

In the spring of 2004 we decided to get a family dog. We had looked at lots of dogs when we came upon the Thai Ridgeback. It was love at first sight for both my husband and I. It seemed that the biggest breeder of TRD on the Internet was Jack Sterling. So I emailed him about getting a show quality blue female TRD. We had several long conversations, most of which, had to do with how certain people were out to get him. However, we got past that enough to cut a deal and make a date for the arrival of my pup. Very close to the travel date, Jack had an inspired idea…he said, by God, he would send me a breeding pair. The male would come for just the cost of shipping! Jack told me Smokey (the male pup) had a temperament to die for and was also the most desired color of the blue for TRD in Thailand. NO & NO! The puppy was black and I am about to tell you about his temperament. He did mention that Smokey was a “little near sighted,” due to a mauling at his kennel. He called the dog, Magoo, after the little old blind cartoon character (do you think he noticed there was a problem?). His vet told him that it was “nerve damage.” Since this was not a genetic issue he would be all right for a breeding partner for Satin (female pup). So the day came and we went to the airport cargo filled with excitement at the thought of getting our new puppies.

The pups arrived from Thailand after a 30 hour trip and all my poor little emaciated Satin wanted to do was jump into my arms and kiss me. On the other hand the male, Smokey, was barking viciously - I thought he was barking at the cargo guys, but I would later find out differently. I put my hand in the kennel and I am convinced the only reason I didn't get bit was because he couldn't see my hand and was so busy barking. Now you have to cut slack to pups that have been on a plane for that long, so I thought he would calm down after he got settled in. So we got them home and let them out of the kennels - at first Smokey was growling and wouldn't come out. When he did he was staggering around bumping into things and nearly fell down some shallow stairs. It became obvious that he was a little worse than "near sighted!" When my sons and husband tried to approach him he would go into a rage - an obvious case of fear aggression. This was a 5 month old pup. He did in fact bite 2 of my sons. Of course my first action was to take them to the vet. My vet has been in practice for 30 plus years. He stated that these were two of the most ill kept pups he had ever seen. Smokey had a little neurological twitch in his eyes and Satin's teeth were brown and deformed. The vet suspected that they had been exposed to distemper! So we were sent to a neurologist - Satin was cleared of distemper. I later found out after questioning Jack Sterling that he had both a parvo and a distemper outbreak in his kennel. Satin had been treated with Tetracycline which causes teeth to become brown and deformed (remember, I had asked for and been charged for a show-quality dog). Jack never mentioned her teeth to me (no genetic connection, all teeth on her litters have been lovely). Smokey, on the other hand, had an MRI and spinal tap to rule out distemper. Both were negative. Then we were sent to an eye doctor. It was costing a lot of money by this time, but I wanted to save this puppy. You see, the only person Smokey trusted was me. I loved him as if he were my sick child. So we went to the eye doctor. With one look in Smokey's eyes, the Dr. said he had congenitally detached retinas and would be completely blind by Christmas (it was March). Further, he would have to have steroid drops put in his eyes 3 times a day for the rest of his life to control the pain. Now, I would have taken care of a blind dog, but the aggression was just becoming worse - it became unpredictable. He also began to attack Satin. I was concerned that as he could see less, the fear aggression would become worse. I feared for the safety of my husband and children. I could not send him to rescue - I would be putting others at risk. The day came when I had to take him to the vet and have him put down. I was his only friend and I had to make that decision. It felt like someone reached in and tore my heart right out of my chest. I left the vet hysterical.

I later found out from friends in the breed that Jack had been trying to pawn Smokey off on other people more experienced than I; they could see that something wasn't right. Jack has bred dogs for 30 years - TRD for 15 and I find it hard to believe that he had no idea that there was something desperately wrong with Smokey. He couldn't sell him so he sent him to me "free." He makes deals like that a lot. As I said, I sent Jack a private e-mail informing him of what happen and his answer was to publicly call me a murderer over the Internet. I would never have made my experience public if he had not done that. He has done this to many people. I have found TRD websites that warn people off getting a puppy from him - with heartbreaking stories similar to mine.

So who's the murderer??? How many dogs has he killed with his greed? Sending sick pups (that died) and aggressive adults that ended up in kill shelters (since the people he sent them to had no idea of how to manage them)? How many people has he traumatized because they had to make a hard decision like I did? No, we should not excuse all this because that’s how Jack is! What I wrote is not slander – this is what happened. I don’t have to use foul language to communicate how I feel about something or someone. This is not the case with Jack Sterling; his abusive language, cruel comments aimed at personal appearance, race, religion are simply apt to cause people to dislike him – cause and effect. People do criticize him about the number of dogs he has and his breeding practices - have been for years, but it’s because it is just common sense that it is impossible for one person to take care of that many dogs! He has admitted this himself! That’s why people call him a puppy miller, his out of control situation is the definition of being just that; raising dogs for financial gain, not giving them the food/medical care/socialization that is necessary (especially for TRD) for them to live as a member in a human family. I just had a litter of 10 and it is another full time job providing what they need. I cannot image trying to manage a situation with 4 or 5 litters on the ground at the same time! I guess the bottom line here is that Jack is not a victim here – he has made his bed himself! Most have seen the “happily ever after emails” posted on Jack’s site. Since he runs the site and has control over the posts, my hope is to balance the issue. If in fact these are people writing and everything has turned out well for them and their dogs, I am really happy for them! Just know that there are some very unhappy customers out there and it could have gone very differently for you. I believe there may be a lot of unhappy customers that are reluctant to tell their story due to the emotional abuse and threats that Jack uses to try and quiet any criticism. Myself, I don’t care what Jack or any of his “people” have to say – I really do just consider the source.

Rose M. Woodward