On 5/18, I purchased a 12wk old doberman puppy from Canis Maximus. Looking back all the signs of a “back yard breeder” were there. Irina would not allow my family and I to come to her kennel to see the pups, claiming she was too tired and could only meet us in a PetSmart parking lot. Driven by the excitement of a potential new family member, we complied. Upon inspection of the pups, they all had extremly large golf ball sized lumps on their necks and Irina claimed that was normal due to the recent vaccinations they recieved (later to be disproven by my vet). As the pups played with my kids, one in particular, remained sitting at my wife’s feet. We interpreted this endearing behavior as that of a loyal, potentially mature pup and so chose him. Little did we know his behavior was symptomatic of a larger issue. The pup’s tail had sutures from a recent docking that were torn and so we agreed to have her vet re-suture and complete the sale on Thursday, 5/18. On that day, Irina gave me a series of drugs accompanying the pup, that I was told were related to the healing and pain of the sutures. The pup was excited and romping around in his new home the first 2 days, however Sat morning (5/20) brought with it a terrifying sight. As I attempted to bring the pup out for his morning duty, he could barely get up. His back legs failed him as he looked back at them with confusion. I carried him out and once standing he could walk, however his legs continually gave out and he conceeded to laying down to urinate. I rushed him to the vet (#1 Rated Stephen City Animal Medical Center in Virginia) and upon review of his medications my vet was very concerned a pup so young was on a steriod (and asked if I was made aware of any pre-existing conditions), which I was not. I later called Irinia’s vet and was told the steriod was to expediate the tail healing. However, my vet explained steriods would actually delay healing of an open wound. Furthermore, my vet explained cosmetically, the nodules of scare tissue lining his cropped ears was b/c the sutures were left in way too long and they would not be going away (further discrediting her so-called vet). More importantly, he explained the pup had fluid on it back hock joints and they were both very inflamed, thus causing the lameness. The vet ran a culture among other tests on my puppy and I was notified he had Ehrlichia (EC-EE) a blood-borne tick disease. While ticks are admittedly very common, my vet said it was very rare for a puppy so young to have this. More importantly, the long term impact of the dogs developmental health (growth platelets, joints, etc) was at risk. B/c of Irina’s neglect the puppy was already in the the 3rd stage of the disease. My vet confirmed there was no possible way the pup could have contracted the disease and exhibited symptoms of it in the short 3 day period before he was seen. Disease Overview: Dogs get ehrlichiosis from the brown dog tick, which passes an ehrlichia organism into the bloodstream when it bites. It is also possible for dogs to become infected through a blood transfusion from an infected dog.[1] There are three stages of ehrlichiosis, each varying in severity. The acute stage, occurring several weeks after infection and lasting for up to a month, can lead to fever and lowered peripheral blood cell counts due to bone marrow suppression. The second stage, called the subclinical phase, has no outward signs and can last for the remainder of the dog’s life, during which the dog remains infected with the organism. Some dogs are able to successfully eliminate the disease during this time. In some dogs the third and most serious stage of infection, the chronic phase, will commence. Very low blood cell counts (pancytopenia), bleeding, bacterial infection, lameness, neurological and ophthalmic disorders, and kidney disease, can result. Chronic ehrlichiosis can be fatal. When I called Irina, she advised it was likely b/c I was using a soft pet bed and he is used to just newspaper in his kennel. She also, denied any knowledge of a pre-existing condition and told me I am responsible for the pets health after purchase as per the contract. She showed no concern for the dog’s health only for the impending vet bill. Irina refuted the fact the pup had this disease, b/c “the pups mother was tested and she does not have the tick born illness.” This further demonstrated her dettachment from logic. I sent her video proof, to which she responded “this is just proof of a sleepy dog.” She went so far as to ask what we did to the dog! I stopped payment on my check immediately and awaited my vets further results of the bacterial culture. I explained I awaited these results in the next few days and would be in contact after I had the complete picture. In the interim Irina grew extremely irrate and threatened to call the police, and continued texting my w/ excerpts of the contract quoting breach was punishable by fines and prision time. As the days passed, our pup did get increasingly better thanks to the multiple antibiotics (Doxycycline) prescribed by my vet. Over much deliberation (considering the bond we had forged w/ the new puppy and our “savior” status to it) we decided to return him. We have previously had a doberman that died of cancer at 6 yrs and this is why I sought out what I thought was a quality breeder. It appears even back yard breeders can charge a $2400 price tag. When Irinia picked him up he was 75% better but, still walking w/ an arched back and stiff hind legs. Irina paid me for the medication but would not reimburse me for the $900 vet bill I incurred. Her choice to pay me for the medicine was acknowledgement of a medical issue w/ the dog, despite her insistant denial. Days later, I recieved an email from Irina stating her vet had tested the pup and results came back negative for any tick born illness. I advised my vet told me that negative resultes are often the case when a puppy is on antibiotics. Irina further communicated she has not given the pup 1 pill of antibiotics and he is hopping around like a bunny. I advised, for the pups sake I hope that is not true, everyone feels better after a few days of antibiotics but, it takes a full cycle to effectively work. In addition, I thanked her for proof of her willful neglect (in writing) that I would be using in my cival case. I have since found a fantasic breeder of pure bred Euro Dobies in Memphis, TN. While I admittedly frown on shipping of dogs, this breeder offered to accompany the dog on a flight to my local airport for only $50 more than a standard airline dog shipping fee. His openess to educate me on DNA testing of his litters, provide pictures of his kennel, talk in depth of his experience and committment to the bettering the breed as a whole, made my decision easy. My advice to readers and potential new puppy owners is this… Check your emotions at the door, this is a business transaction for the healthiest, highest quality family member you can afford (not the cutest). Google the breeder in advance, had I done so I would have avoided Irina. Look for signs, if the breeder is seemingly hiding things or defensive to say too much, run. Canis Maximus needs to be shut down. It is clear my experience is only 1 of many. The woman refutes everything logical with lies. My concern at this point is the new owners of the pup I had this experience with, they will never know the truth and may endure the heartache of his life cut short. I ask that readers consider all Canis Maximus pups, my pup…. (Ronin) b/c you simply don’t know what you are getting.

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