I bought two Maltese puppies last summer.
I paid a small fortune. Hollybelles emailed me photos and we kept in touch with each other on the progress they were making as they grew.
They seemed in good health when I received them, but some of their habits are a little bad - like eating their feces. That only comes from bad manners with the mother and the care they get in the firs few weeks and months.
The second thing is one of the dogs has Perthes Disease. Most vets will tell you it is hereditary - but not proven yet. I had to have surgery on my one dog at 11months old. It cost $2k for this.
They also have bad knees. They pop in and out. The Doctor told me that they will probably have to have surgery down the road. I tried calling Hollybelles and she has never returned my call. I had no intention of seeking any thing from her, but wanted to advise her not to continue to breed the same two dogs, as this can keep being passed on. She never responded to anything. They also have microchips and she is to be called . Well what good is that if my dogs are lost and she is out of business!
I had blind faith. However, I do love them and I guess I did my rescuing with out even knowing it. They have beatiful coats, and personality plus.
Maltese are high maintenance. Groming is constant, but can be enjoyable if you have time.
: I may be one of a few but I have purchased two great dogs from Hollybelles. All in 1998. I visited the home on two occasions, made and received several phone calls and never saw or thought anything that would make me suspect awful things were going on. I visited the home on Bowman Rd. and saw several dogs who were seemingly well and happy. This was a two story house and I never went beyond the first floor but I did not hear anything as far as barking in distress or smelled any odors that were offensive.
: What went on beyond that, I have no idea. I do know that Jennifer had a handler who was showing several of her dogs and was very successful.
: I am not defending anything. I only know what I knew and saw in 1998.
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: : The message here is a good one...unfortunately, the owner of the puppy mill was a "reputable" breeder!!! What a slap in the face to those of us trying to promote appropriate buying practices.
: : -----Original Message-----
: : : This is the case of the puppy mill bust that happend a few weeks ago in TN.
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: : : There were 230 Maltese rescued from abhorable conditions...many of these dogs have never seen the light of day or had their feet on the ground. Case in point why you should NEVER buy a puppy from a puppy store. Those of us who love the breed realize that only experienced owners who show their dogs and know which characteristics to perpetuate, both physical and temperamental, should be breeding. Over the past 13 years, I've owned 2 Maltese females...the first I purchased when I was 18 from a backyard breeder who, I didn't realize at the time, was obviously breeding to make_money. I bought this puppy at 7 wks old..I now realize that her nervous temperament was largely due to her lack of proper socialization. She also suffered from heart problems that should have been diagnosed before she was sold. At any rate, she was loved throughout her life and died 2 yrs. ago at the age of 11. When I bought my 2nd Maltese puppy, I did my homework. I found an excellent, reputable breeder who raises dogs and shows. I was asked a series of questions before I would even be considered as a potential owner..which I greatly appreciated. I did not get my puppy until she was 12 wks. old...and believe me, the extra wait is definitely worth it. I have a smart, well-adjusted, healthy puppy. My breeder also sold her with limited registration, which I believe all pet-quality puppies should be. I had her spayed at 6 months old and she continues to be queen of our home. Some day, after my children are grown, I too would like to begin showing Maltese. They're wonderful little dogs. They also come with a lot of responsibility, so PLEASE think responsibly when buying a puppy of any breed, and PLEASE consider leaving the breeding up to professionals.