CAUTION!: Marie Larkin/Celtic Irish Puppies/Emerald Puppies & Celticcavaliers.com
Marie Larkin, based in New York state, is a well known BROKER (NOT a breeder!) of cavaliers and some other breeds which she claims she imports from 'family members' who breed these dogs in Ireland. She operates as Puppies By Marie and Celtic Irish Puppies and Celtic Irish Yorkies and Celtic Irish Westies, and Emerald Puppies (there may be other names as well) and her ads can be found on numerous puppy ads websites.
A judgement was made against her in a Hempstead, NY court for selling a sickly puppy considered unfit for sale under New York State's lemon laws. The vet she uses to approve her puppies as fit and healthy was also implicated by the judge in the case. This is a matter of public record. I have a copy of the judgement and this can be obtained from the correct court by anyone who is interested.
As general guidance, if you are considering a puppy by ANYONE in the US or Canada claiming to import or sell Irish dogs, read THIS FIRST!!!
It is completely untrue that Irish dogs are healthier or breeders held to a higher standard by the Irish Kennel Club or law. The EXACT OPPOSITE is generally true of the country as a whole: Ireland has a disgusting reputation as one of the puppy farm capitals of the world, with many breeders breeding dogs in appalling and despicable conditions. Very little legislation actually exists to PROTECT animals from being exploited in this way, which is why brokers make fortunes off importing cheap, sickly dogs and selling them to the unsuspecting abroad. Irish imports sadly have a very bad name worldwide for this reason. If you want advice on finding a reputable breeder, read more here.
Brokers are widely despised in the breeding world. They buy up lots of puppies, which are packed into large crates for airline shipping or ground transport (recently two brokers with a truck were stopped in Ireland (late 2012) who had large plastic buckets full of dozens of puppies that could barely move around; some dead). In the course of writing on the Irish puppy farm industry (I am a journalist) I spoke to a woman who had seen the crates of cavaliers shipped to the US for a well known broker, by air -- many were under legal age for shipping and several were already dead in the crate. Consider: what responsible, caring breeder would ever sell off entire litters of puppies with no regard as to who they ultimately end up with? None. Good breeders do NOT sell to brokers -- and it is ILLEGAL for national club breeders to sell to brokers. Brokers buy up puppies from mass breeders/puppyfarmers/backyard breeders who know little about the breed and are highly unlikely to properly health test. Puppies=livestock. The cheaper the production, the more profit. Such puppies are bought up for $50-100 each in Ireland, Wales, Eastern Europe, the US and other puppy farm centres. Then they are sold for hundreds, even thousands, to unsuspecting buyers.
REMEMBER, AVOID ANY BREEDER OR BROKER WHO ASKS FOR CASH, MONEY ORDER, BANK DRAFT PAYMENT -- which creates NO legal record of a sale, NO taxable record etc. Note that if you pay by the above methods you have NO way to reclaim the money except by taking a court case and NO way to prove what you bought. ***A reputable breeder WILL NEVER demand these recordless forms of payment!!***
Considering an Irish cavalier?
NB: This is a reiteration and summary of points made many times on this board. As a general point, if you are buying a puppy in the US, Canada, Ireland, the UK, or anywhere, remember:
1) Please be aware that a broker is NOT the same as a breeder. A broker operates as a middleman, selling on dogs that are purchased en masse from breeders. Reputable, health focused, club-affiliated breeders do not allow their puppies to be taken en masse by a third party to be sold to new owners they have never met. Breed club websites reiterate this point very clearly.
2) Also please be aware that Irish dogs are NOT, as some brokers and breeders misleadingly state, 'more healthy' because Ireland supposedly has stricter laws on breeding!! Quite the opposite: Ireland has WEAKER rules in the Irish Kennel Club than in many national breed club organisations, and with cavaliers, there are NO requirements in the breed club that cavaliers have a single health test before breeding. The only reason Ireland has rabies-free dogs is because Ireland, like the UK, does not have rabies! It has NOTHING (sadly!) to do with the 'quality' of dog breeding in the country. Ireland actually has such POOR LAWS on animal welfare that thousands of dogs, many of them cavaliers, are kept in mass breeding establishments in horrific conditions that are TOTALLY LEGAL (see links below). Such places are the source of many if not most of the 'irish champion line cavalier puppies' imported into the US/Canada. Many of us are fighting to change this situation. If someone tells you Irish cavaliers are healthier than lines elsewhere *for any reason whatsoever*, be immediately suspicious. I would not buy a cavalier or any breed from anyone making such a statement.
3) Finally, PLEASE DO NOT EVEN BEGIN TO CONSIDER BUYING PUPPIES IN IRELAND, OR FROM IMPORTED IRISH PARENTS OR PUPPIES IMPORTED DIRECTLY FROM IRELAND, WITHOUT READING THIS FIRST:
And also looking at this:
There are many reputable breeders in Ireland who may be contacted through the breed club secretary (see www.ikc.ie for a list of club secretaries) and each should be rigorously interviewed about their approach to health and conformation before you ever consider purchasing a puppy from them. On the flip side, Ireland because of its extremely weak animal welfare laws is currently the puppy farm (mill) capital of Europe with many dogs bred in appalling conditions to produce masses of puppies that are then sold by brokers to the unsuspecting. In particular, cavaliers are sold by brokers into the US in this way.
DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE YOU BUY!!