I purchased a 3 month old female english bulldog from Suzy Holleran, the breeder at Walkin’ Blues Bulldogs in Santa Rosa, CA in Sept of 2013. I chose her after searching for a reputable breeder and found her on the breeder referral pages on the Bulldog Club of Northern California as well as the Bulldog Club of America websites. I was led to both of these sites via the AKC website. When Suzy told me she had a female pup available, whose only defect was droopy looking eyes (ectropion) and sent me photos of “Lola”, I was in love. By purchasing from this “bulldog club recommended breeder”, I figured the $3000.00 price was worth it, since I would be avoiding all the terrible health issues associated with poorly bred bulldogs by unscrupulous breeders who only care about the money. The pup was a gift for my daughter for her 12th birthday so I wanted to make sure there was no heart ache. Boy was I wrong. The day I picked Lola up, she had little red bumps that Suzy assured me were just “puppy acne” that would go away. She said they had just sprayed the yard for bugs and it was probably a reaction to that. She gave me some shampoo that would clear it up. When they did not, I called Suzy and she told me that the dog must be having a reaction to something in my house. To make a long story short; hundreds of dollars in vet bills later, Lola was diagnosed with congenital canine atopy. She was also diagnosed with an inverted tail (spine deformity) which may need to be surgically removed if it starts becoming infected, and luxating patellas (loose knees). I was advised that the tail and knee issues were present since birth and there was no way a breeder of bulldogs of over 20 years could not know that the dog had the issues, as they are pretty obvious if you know anything about bulldogs (which I did not). Lola was refereed to a specialist veterinary dermatologist who confirmed the congenital skin issues and conducted a skin allergy test, showing Lola positive for severe environmental allergies from grass, pollen, dust, mold, cotton, and ants. Her allergies were so bad that no anti-histamine product worked and she would blow up in hives with every reaction. She was put on weekly injections for the rest of her life for desensitization therapy. Her allergies are better now, but not gone. This ongoing treatment is extremely expensive. I contacted Suzy Holleran and advised her of all of these issues (we had only had the pup less than 4 months). She denied any liability. The only thing she said she would do was to buy the dog back. Nice right? A typical reaction from an unscrupulous breeder, knowing full well that no decent person would ever return a dog already beloved by their to suffer an unknown fate. What was she going to do with her if I gave her back? Put her to sleep? And what about all the money I already spent on vet bills? This was not an option as Lola was already a member of the family and the love of my daughters life. I managed to get Lola’s vet records from the vet Suzy used to do the initial puppy check and found out that Suzy lied to me when I purchased the dog. The puppy had the skin problem at the time of the vet visit, which was 3 weeks before I even called to inquire about a puppy. The vet had prescribed medication at the time to resolve the skin problem. The medication did not work as the dog still presented the problem 4 weeks later. Suzy knew this but sold me the dog anyway, stating that the skin bumps had just developed and were probably a reaction to the insecticide they had just sprayed in their yard. When I found this out I was livid. Now I knew for sure that I had been lied to and that the dog’s health had been grossly misrepresented. Paying the top dollar amount of $3000 for a dog with so many issues was a total rip off. I sent a demand letter requesting that Suzy repay the $2500 in vet bills that I had already accrued in an effort t close the matter before civil litigation. She again took no responsibility, offering to pay “some” of the bills only if I signed a confidentiality agreement. There was no way I was going to do that and let her burn another family, especially since she had held on to 2 pups from the same litter to show and breed! My vet bills continued to pile up. When Lola was 9 months old, she began having seizures and had to go to a neurologist at UC Davis. After an EEG, Lola was diagnosed with idiopathic seizures (no found cause; genetic in origin). Thankfully, they are not yet frequent enough to warrant any medication, but that may change. When Lola was 11 months old, she began limping and was referred to the an orthopedic surgeon after the vet x-rayed her legs. Lola ended up having a $3000.00 knee operation to fix her patella. Lola has had over $6,500.00 in medical procedures for her hereditary issues alone, all before even turning 1 year old! I have attached letters from multiple vets and specialists as well as photos of Lola during an allergic reaction, after her allergy skin test, and after her knee surgery. This poor puppy has been through so much in her first year, but there is nothing we will not do for her. Do not buy a dog from Suzy or Chris Holleran of Walkin’ Blues Bulldogs. They know about the hereditary problems their dogs carry and do not care. Lola’s brother and sister are on the website as currently being shown and will be bred for pups (“Walkin Blues Matt “Guitar” Murphy” and “Walkin Blues Ginger Not Mary-Ann”). They are Lola’s litter mates from parents “Goldenstars Brisa” and “B-Loved Nothing but Net” (Swoosh) and carry the same defective genes. This breeder knows this and apparently could not care less.
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