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Filing a Complaint Against a Listed Breeder

IMPORTANT: Recently I have received complaints from people about breeders who do not list with the FBRL. In some cases, these people are not even cat breeders. I can only act upon cases regarding current FBRL-listed CAT breeders, because the worst thing I can do to them is to eject them to the service.

Please do not submit complaints about breeders who are not cat breeders and who are not CURRENT subscribers to the FBRL.

Please be aware that I cannot act on ANY complaint immediately. Such matters require careful consideration, and in most cases I will need an opportunity to contact the breeder to get the breeder's side of the story. I must be fair to all parties -- to you and to the breeder.

My power to act in these situations is limited.

I ALMOST NEVER eject breeders permanently from the FBRL as the result of one substantiated complaint, except in extremely limited circumstances. These circumstances include but are not limited to: having cats confiscated by animal control, being convicted of a charge related to animal cruelty, or being ejected permanently from a major cat registry. I have occasionally removed breeders in proven cases where fraud or misrepresentation of themselves, their cats, and their cattery are involved.

A single substantiated complaint will go on file. Further complaints may result in a breeder's expulsion.

Here is what you should know about filing a complaint:

I am primarily interested in cases where a breeder has sold an ill, parasite-infested, or otherwise harmed or unhealthy cat AND HAS NOT OFFERED A SATISFACTORY RESPONSE WHEN APPRISED OF THE SITUATION. Do not contact me before you contact the breeder! Give the breeder the opportunity to fix the problem. If the breeder is unwilling to fix the issue, THEN I would like to hear about it. Protect yourself from these situations by becoming an informed consumer.

Read this article before dealing with any breeder.

I am NOT able to help with complaints involving financial disputes. In situations where there is a financial dispute, such as deposit arguments or problems, failure to refund money, or similar things that boil down to arguments over money, proper recourse is through an attorney and/or small claims court.

I am only an advertising service, not the cat police. The ONLY thing I can do is to remove the person permanently from the service, IF the situation warrants removal and after proper procedure has been followed.I attempt to be fair to all concerned. Depending on the severity of the situation, you might be better off going to the local Humane Society, Better Business Bureau, small claims court, private attorney, or the registries, as well as informing me. Remember, I almost never remove breeders on the basis of a single complaint.

Do not send third-party complaints. I only want to hear from those who have been directly hurt by a breeder's actions. Complaints that are essentially photocopies of someone else's complaint documentation will be disregarded. This is because I have no way to question the injured party and see if the situation has been resolved or not. I also question the motives of people who send me such documentation when the injured parties won't come forward themselves.

Identify yourself completely when you contact me with a complaint. Please include your full name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. Include all relevant details, including dates where possible (sometimes I can advise you about relevant laws if you live in Lemon Law state), the name of the breeder in question, and if possible, supporting documentation such as veterinary letters and bills. If you wish your name kept confidential, please indicate this as well. I will not respond to anonymous complaints under any circumstances.

Provide documentation. Without documentation, situations often boil down to "he said/she said" arguments. I will not follow up on any complaint without documentation. The following documents are most helpful to me:

  • copy of sales contracts and health guarantees signed by both parties (seller and buyer)
  • veterinary documents -- photocopies of medical records, bills, a letter from your veteriarian
  • records from animal control, newspaper articles, etc.
  • photocopies of registry suspension notices from association magazines

The following documents do NOT constitute proper documentation on their own, but may be submitted ONLY as supporting information with proper documentation as outlined above:

  • copies of e-mails to and from the breeder (this one is very mushy -- e-mails are too easy to falsify)
  • copies of protest letters sent to associations (a protest is not proof)

What else can you do?

Here are some other ways you can deal with a problem breeder:

  • Try to resolve the problem calmly and rationally with the breeder first. In most cases, no further action is necessary.
  • If the problem involves physical abuse of an animal, local animal control should be your first line of action.
  • Complain to the breeder's registering body (CFA, TICA, etc). Most associations have a set procedure for filing such complaints. Contact the association and ask for the appropriate paperwork. Like the FBRL, however, most associations are unable and unwilling to get involved in personal and financial disputes.
  • Take the breeder to small claims court. Many times if you do not have a written sales contract and health guarantee with a breeder, such action is not fruitful. However, it does send a strong message and may be worth doing. Filing in small claims is not expensive and you do not need an attorney.


How to send complaints and supporting documentation

Step 1: Fill out the Breeder Complaint Form.

Step 2: Send supporting documentation:

  • E-mail (only AFTER submitting the form):
  • Mail: FBRL Services, PO Box 254, North Chili, NY 14514
  • I will try to respond within two business days and keep you apprised of the situation, as long as they fit into the rules above. Unfortunately, there are some things I just cannot fix.


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