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Shannon Fountain
shannontcb@live.com
Aurora Colorado 80010

 

                                                                                                                                        October 7, 2014

To the Board of Directors, Mile High Rottweiler Club;

It is important to note that even now, as I am writing this letter, it fills me with a bittersweet feeling, both in sending this letter which I now feel was inevitable and in posting online the failings as I see them of the club and its structure, its members and the manner in which they have (in my opinion) disgraced both the breed which I love, and the very idea behind having a breed club. This club should be an outlet for that love and a place for those trying to strengthen the breed to ethically move it forward. I loved administering the Facebook page, and being the secretary of the carting event. I intended to be more involved. However, as I studied the bylaws in order to be more informed, I realized how many problems there are and how poorly this club was shaped.

The last series of correspondence between myself and club has left me no choice but to stand up next to the only person in this club who has helped me. I met Brenda through Dodie, whom my family bought a puppy through. Brenda helped me learn to show, and to go to for training as well as encouraged me to join the club. The truth is that there are very few “nice people” in this club. Very few members support each other and promote the breed in an objective professional manner.

When I got my first potential show rottie, I read on the AKC website that they recommend going to shows and talking to the people who compete within your breed. I walked up to Teresa Williams who had won breed that day and asked if I could ask her some questions. She said “no” she didn’t have time to help someone with a pet not a show dog.

The bias was apparent even at my very first show; I began to get the questions on where did I get my bitch and when I told them the response was well maybe your next dog won’t be a backyard bred dog. I found it very upsetting at the time because I loved my dog (and still love my dogs) no matter what they look like or where they were bred. For the next three years, I kept to myself. After Brenda gave me Jet, I was so proud to actually own a dog that could win in the ring; that’s when Laura Write-Smith informed me that I could never breed My “No Name bitch” to the #1 rott in breed history. Well I did! I called Keith Carter on my way home from that show. And he agreed to the breeding.

The first time that I tried to get more involved (by donating a dog bed to a charity auction in 2010) my gift was insulted and they tried to refuse to use it. Some water had spilled on it and it was dusty. It was ultimately wiped off by Jayne and it was fine, hardly worth the insulting attitude of most club members. It was at that same show that my dog was injured. I was attempting to stop the bleeding and even though she did get blood everywhere; all anyone from this club could talk about was the mess. Not one person asked if I needed help or even if my bitch was okay.

I was called by the secretary of the club sometime after this with a warning not to associate with a certain club member because that person was “giving the BOD a hard time”. I informed her that I was an adult and fully capable of making my own social decisions. Quite honestly I find it incredibly childish to impose social consequences in an attempt to silence dissent.

I have sat through several meetings and have found that trying to make suggestions at a meeting is futile. When I brought it up in the meeting that it was too costly and time consuming to do all of their (amounting to four altogether) health clearances at once. I was told by the secretary of the club (the same one that made the aforementioned phone call) to “Drop it” because I wasn’t a voting member.

I found it peculiar that the BOD decided not to grandfather in three dogs, as their tests were already done.  I like to think that this can more easily be explained by laziness as opposed to malice. However, this issue seemed to effect mine and Brenda’s dogs exclusively. This is especially evident since (to the best of my knowledge) I was the only one who bred in 2009 and 2010. The rules changed in August of 2012 and my clearances were done in May of 2011. Why make life harder or complicated for just two members of your club?

Brenda’s first accidental, breeding happened seven years ago with Legend and Gauge. Legend was returned to Brenda at which time she had been told that Legend was spayed. She had no reason to doubt this until her son called her while she was in Arizona and told her that Legend and Gauge tied. It should also be noted that he called me first in order to assist due to the fact that he was panicked and had no idea what to do.

There were four pups of the eight to survive the whelp. At this time, a club member wrote a letter to the BOD “anonymously” (with their return address on it). Brenda was never given an opportunity to self-report. She was promptly told that this was just one of those things that happen. It was never brought up again.

Six years later, Brenda went out of town again and her other son put all of the dogs out. Player broke through his run and got Legend again. I am aware of these events because I was there.  I was contacted again in order to help and check Player for injuries. Brenda self-reported this breeding after going through at least two vet visits to decide what should be done now that Legend was nine years old. The final verdict was that Legend was in good health and there was far less risk to just let her have the puppies. She had twelve and five survived. I was there for the birth (as I usually try to be for anyone who asks) and helped as much as I could. Brenda placed three of the pups in pet homes and kept two. She did place the male in a home but she still owns him.

In May of this year, Brenda bred Nalha to Player which lead to a litter of beautiful puppies. I congratulated her on the yahoo board and as it turned out this was a mistake. Two weeks later, I received an email from the secretary explaining that this was a breach of the COE and it was removed. I felt that this merited further explanation. When I asked “why”, I was told that it was due to Nalha’s heart and eyes having been done at eighteen months. I feel that a simple phone call to me or Brenda could have had a more positive outcome all around. We would have redone those tests without any further issue. Instead, it became a frenzy of unwarranted attacks and verbal abuse directed at Brenda.

Unfortunately, around the same time I ended up with an accidental breeding of my own. I self-reported to the Board, to which I received a response from a board member that by anyone’s standard would be considered rude.

Here is my self-report letter and the response emails:

 To the Board of Directors of the Mile High Rottweiler Club,

We regret that we must self-report the breaching of the COE. TCBROTTS NYX GODDESS OF DARKNESS WS40743703 “Nyx” was inadvertently bred to TCB's Lord of the Ring Lord Sauron WS36351902 “Sauron” (Sire: CH Marlo's Bello Soldato WS11117507, Dam: CH Skywind's Langley V Leehaus TT WS16687201, Owners: Shannon Fountain and Brenda Haskin, Breeder: Shannon Fountain and Brenda Haskin, DOB: 01/12/2011, Hips: RO-73305G25M-VPI, Elbows: RO-EL9156M25-VPI, Cerf: RO-378559, Heart: RO-CA5681/25M/C-VPI,CHIC# 88603 passing). “Nyx” was being temporarily cared for in a home not of her own while in heat. Due to this situation, both she and the male were kenneled when the parties left the house and when they returned both dogs were out of their kennels. She has been confirmed pregnant by a blood test with the veterinarian’s office. The co-owners have discussed with the veterinarian at length about possible decisions and ways to terminate the pregnancy. With the conclusion that letting her have the puppies is safest for her health. The breeding breaks the COE because Nyx was 12 days short of being 24 months of age which the Mandatory Practices say she needs to be for her required health clearances with OFA.

 

 

 

Sincerely

Terry Barcus, 3XX-XXX-XXXX

 and

Shannon Fountain, 3XX-XXX-XXXX

 

This is the email response from a BOD member:

 

Bernie   6/02/14   Keep this message at the top of your inbox 

To: shannontcb@live.com, randigb@comcast.net, cattoman@aol.com, evrmor@comcast.net, jill.hehr@gmail.com, oconnel4@ix.netcom.com, eigenrotts@aol.com, jc.thomas@comcast.net, brooklyns12@hotmail.com

 

After reading the statement....this last sentence seems to be a thumbing of the nose, after the recent string of correspondence.

 

(The breeding breaks the COE because Nyx was 12 days short of being 24 months of age which the Mandatory Practices say she needs to be for her required health clearances with OFA. )

 

So which of the co-owners (Shannon or Brenda) were responsible for this "accident"...both of these women have been breeding dogs long enough to know how to keep bitches in season apart from intact males.  If the bitch was impregnated by Sauron, who is co-owned by Brenda and Shannon...which one of them was negligent?  Who ownes Nyx?  I  want to see the ownership info on Nyx.

 

Shannon and Brenda need a workshop on the MP's.  The first infraction is that the breeding took place before the bitch turned two.  The second infraction is that she does not have health clearances.  One does not excuse the other.

 

In Section 3, #2 it states in part "...Breed only mature dogs and bitches which are no less than 2 years of age..."    then it goes on to say ..."have passed all required health tests.

 

While we are at it...keep in mind that one of the two owners thinks that 2 missing teeth is ok...3 is a DQ...and as long as I am rambling...long coats are also a DQ...even if you shave the dog...just sayin...

 

b

 

 

Bernie McDowell

mttop@aol.com

 

The board chose to see these accidents as “accidents” (the addition of quotation marks to a word or phrase outside of their designation is seen as a sign of disbelief on the part of the person/s using them, and is generally not only considered to be rude but is most often employed with the purposeful intention of being rude or snarky). This sudden mistrust was placed upon us despite having been members in good standing for 10 and 15 years respectfully.

The secretary responded to my concerns by saying that it was not slander or rude because no names are mentioned. There are so many reasons that this is incorrect (and feels more like defending a board member than responding to my concerns) not only is the letter rude with or without employing names (it did however use our names in an insulting manner but that’s the least of my concerns here) but it leveled accusations toward us as breeders, accusations that can be leveled at any of our dogs due to the fact that they included no names, These accusations include intentional breeding of missing teeth and long coat and of shaving him which we would never do as it would be a major breach of our personal ethics.  The damage has now been done and we are now aware of how this BOD member feels about Brenda and myself. People should not act this way in civilized society.

I replied to the BOD with the following:

 

Shannon Fountain    Attachment  6/02/14   Keep this message at the top of your inbox  Documents

To: Bernie, Randi Rotts, Jayne Catto, Janna Morgan, jill.hehr@gmail.com, Ellen Oconnel, terassa williams, Julie Home, Laura Wright-smith

 

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I Shannon Colleen Fountain take full responsibility to this accidental breeding. Sauron is my dog. Nyx is my dog. Brenda has nothing to do with this. Brenda co owns almost all of my dogs because she helped me when no one in the club would even talk to me and she also got me to join the club. Brenda GAVE me Jet when my boy Hades was not doing anything in the ring. There fore Brenda gets to co own everything that she produced. I know we are not the 1st members to co own each others dogs. The dogs that have Brenda listed 1st are hers and the dogs that I am listed 1st are mine.

I apologize for not including Nyx's information that is an over sight on my part. Nyx is owned by my Aunt Terry and myself. She is a Bogus daughter and lives with my Aunt and Bogus. My Aunt does not believe in Kenneling her dogs after puppy hood, I have dog sat Nyx since her 1st heat at 6 months. Normally I would send Sauron out to my Aunt's during any of the girls heats, but Bogus and Sauron have started sizing each other up. My Aunt with her age and her CPOD could not break up a male dog fight. I own all of my Aunt's dogs due to her age and that she has a life depleting disease, if she passes before the dogs they come to me. I also own my mother's and father's dog for the same reason. As I still care for my Grandmothers dog after she passed 2 years ago.

Nyx came to my house on the 20th of April just starting her heat. Sauron has never broken out of his kennel with any of the other three bitches I have here. There was no sign that he would go as far as he did. Both wire Kennels were totally destroyed and I have the bill to prove it. I have also never seen a bitch that was ready on her 6th day. We took her to the vet for the "morning after shot" if she had not been bred then it would most likely cause her to have pyro. We could have a c-section done about ten days before she is due and just let the puppies die, my Aunt and my self have a problem with this. We waited to inform the club until we knew she was pregnant.

My Aunt and I both wrote the letter as professionally as we could. I am sorry anyone took offense to it I apologize again. I had planed on taking Nyx to the Ft Collins health fair on the 5-4 but I was reminded that she did not turn 2 until the 7th. OFA would not have accepted her hips and elbows as she would have been short of being 24months

Since the ARC MP's were voted in in 8-2012 all of my dogs after that have been all done at 2 or older. I like the Wellness Clinic in Ft Collins and I will continue to use them. They have a health fare twice a year and I try to make sure I hit them.

I do understand that this 2 violations not just one. I had no intentions on breeding Nyx until she at least had been in the ring a few more times. My Aunt never had intended to breed her and only kept her intact so I could show her. I had planed to breed Rosie this heat cycle to a very nice dog in NC but that now has to be on hold, due to the fact that my Aunt can not whelp a litter.

I am attaching a list of all the dogs I own and co own and there health clearances and links to there pedigrees. Again if you have any questions my number is 303-XXX-XXXX
Shannon

There were no replies in regards to this email or this subject. Subsequently I received my letters of reprimand on July 25th 2014.

RE: Accidental breeding                                                                                                                   July 14, 2014

(TCB’s Lord of the ring Lord Sauron WS36351902 x TCBROTTS NYX GODDESS OF DARKNESS WS40743703)

Dear Shannon,

Thank you for notifying the Board of Directors of The Mile High Club of Greater Denver of your accidental breeding. As you know, one of the duties of a responsible breeders is to ensure the safety and security of all of their dogs, especially intact dogs to prevent accidental breeding. It is standard practice for MHRC to send this type of letter to any owner/breeder having an accidental breeding.

As you know the Mile High Rottweiler Club is a Code of Ethics Club. Every member is required to sign the Code when they apply for membership and abide by the Code of Ethics for every breeding. In August, 2012, the club membership voted to adopt The American Rottweiler Clubs Mandatory Practices. Among the breeding requirements listed, both sire and dam of any litter must have OFA certification prior to breeding. This includes hips (passing), elbows, eyes (normal) and cardiac (normal).

Since the dam of the litter was not two at the time of the breeding and therefore too young for OFA health exams, the litter should be placed on limited registration until the dam has all of her health clearances completed. If the dam does not pass hips, eyes, or cardiac, the Boards requests that the litter remain on limited registration and the dam be spayed or neutered at the appropriate age with no further breedings.

Potential puppy buyers must be informed prior to purchase that the dam does not have the appropriate health clearances. This information as well as the information about registration should be included in your puppy contract.

It is your duty as a breeder to ensure the safety and security of bitches in season to prevent accidental breedings, regardless of where the bitch is housed or who is responsible for her care at the time. The Board and the Club does not take breedings that violate the club’s Code of Ethics lightly. Please educate your family as to the seriousness of this infraction.

In the future, please take all precautions to prevent accidental breedings. Please notify the board when the dam’s health certifications have been completed.

Regards

 

Randi Garske

MHRC Secetary

 

RE: Breedings not meeting Mandatory Practices                                                           July 14, 2014

Dear Shannon,

The Board of Directors for The Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver has been notified of multiple breedings that did not meet the Mandatory Practices at the time of the breeding. The litters in violation of the Mandatory Practices are attached.

As you know, the Mile High Rottweiler Club is a Code of Ethics Club. Every member is required to sign the code when they apply for membership and abide by the Code of Ethics for every breeding. In August, 2012, the club membership voted to adopt The American Rottweiler Clubs Mandatory Practices. Among the breeding requirements listed for Rottweilers born after January 1, 2008, both sire and dam must be x-rayed and have OFA certification at two years or older prior to breeding. This includes hips (passing), elbows, eyes (normal) and cardiac (normal).

The Board is requesting the health certifications of any Rottweiler you own or co-own be brought up to date to meet the Mandatory Practices before being bred. Thank you for having eyes recertified. Please do the same for hearts. Hearts may be an auscultation by your regular veterinarian.

Since MHRC follows ARC Mandatory Practices, these updated health clearances are also required to be in compliance for ARC.

 

Regards,

 

Randi Garske

MHRC Secretary

 

Breedings:

TCB’s Shaka Vitani (WS32096201), owned by Shannon Fountain, Co-owned by Brenda Haskins

CERF: 18 MO, 2011 (5/21/11), eyes redone 5/1/2014

CARDIAC: 18 MO, 2011

Bred to Blueridge Beyond Measure (WS11435403)- puppies born 7/28/13 (owned by Charlie & Jayne Catto)

Bred to Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy (WS35373503)- puppies born 2/17/14 (owned by Brenda Haskins & Wendi Lewellen)

Heart and eyes on both litters are in violation of ARC MPs- Vitani was not 24 MO at the time of the clearances

TCB’s Skywind’s Shaka Nalha (WS32096202 owned by Brenda Haskins/Shannon Fountain

CERF: 18 MO 2011 (5/21/11), eyes redone: 5/1/14

CARDIAC: 18 MO, 2011

Bred to Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy- puppies born in early May, 2014

Heart and eyes are in violation of ARC MPs – Nalha was not 24 MO at the time of the clearances. The eyes were redone after the breeding. Heart has not yet been redone.

Nalha has a grade 1 elbows, bilateral and Player has Grade 1 elbows unilateral. This does not violate require MPs, however, the recommendation is to breed Grade 1 only to clear elbows.

TCBRott’s Shaka Bogus WS 32096203, owned by Terry Barcus & Shannon Fountain

CERF:18 MO, 5/21/11, redone: 3/22/14

Cardiac: 18 MO, 5/21/11

Bred to Cheers Von Ballardhaus ( owned by Jackie Loos), puppies born 5/7/12

Bred to Kaktus’ Diamond in the RuffV Knopf (owned by Cathy Anderson), puppies born 2/17/13

Bred to Skywind’s Girl Got Rhythm (owned by Brenda Haskins), puppies born 10/17/12

All three litters violate the MPs for heart and eyes

After accepting responsibility for my only accidental breeding; the club continued to blame the “Boo-boos” on Brenda.

At this point it feels like my ethics are being called into question. Up until this point none of the members of the club, let alone the board have shown even the slightest interest in my puppy contracts so I find it hard to believe that any of the members would know what is in them.

Please be aware of all facts involved before you state that I have broken the MPs. For the benefit of those who have been questioning my ethics I will reiterate; my Shaka litter had their heart and eyes done at 18 months in May of 2011, which is over a year before the club changed the MPs. When I was preparing the Shaka litter, I did so with full knowledge of the MPs which were active at the time. Even if they were not obliged to by act of law, I should think that at least one Board member would have been compelled by common courtesy and mutual respect to give me a call and let me know that they wanted them to be redone. Wouldn’t that have worked better than getting the whole club (not just me) into an uproar? Even now in the aftermath, there is a sense of gun-shy around the club. Everyone who did, had or was planning a litter felt as though they themselves had violated the MPs, whether or not they had. Vitani, Nalha and Bogus all had their eyes redone on 3/22/14. The facts feel changed to me as a result of this biased ruling. Bogus also had his eyes redone in 2012 before he was bred to Skywind’s Girl Got Rhythm. The breeding to Cheers Von Ballardhaus (owned by Jackie Loos), was born three months before the MHRC changed its rules. The breeding to Skywind’s Girl Got Rhythm (owned by Brenda Haskins), puppies born 10/17/12, also took place before that meeting. I also want you all to know that I had bred Bogus five times and Vitani twice before anything was ever said. It was only after I congratulated Brenda on her litter did this even come to light. Terry Barcus (my aunt) has never received a letter of any kind from this club.  I guess her membership fee does not count.

 I can deal with the unprofessional individuals and the outright rudeness from the Board as well as the club (with clear and notable exceptions); but when the BOD decides to make any disciplinary action public as well that is just wrong, especially when their facts are questionable.

Brenda received this letter from the secretary of this club on July 18th:

RE: Accidental breeding follow up                                                                                 July 16, 2014

Dear Brenda,

In June, 2013, you self-reported an accidental breeding between Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy (WS353735/03) and Skywind’s Last Kiss (WS06761018.) The Board sent a letter of Reprimand on July 1, 2013, requesting the litter be placed on limited registration and the dam have her hips x-rayed, submitted and disclosed. A copy of this letter is enclosed.

From recent dog show results, at least one of the puppies from this accidental breeding is on full registration, being shown in conformation. In addition the dam has not had her hips x-rayed and disclosed. This violates the conditions of the previous letter of reprimand and is considered a serious infraction.

Non-compliance with the terms of the letter of reprimand from July 1, 2013 brings into question your responsibleness as a breeder and the integrity of the Mile High Rottweiler Club, its Code of Ethics and its membership. The Board is again requesting that the dam’s hips be x-rayed, submitted and disclosed. Please provide proof of hip x-rays to the board by the end of August.

If you choose not to comply, the Board is inviting you to resign your membership. If you choose not to resign, this will be put to the membership for a vote of expulsion from the club.

Until this situation is resolved to the satisfaction of the Board, you are not a member in good standing.

Regards,

 

Randi Garske

 

 

 

RE: Breedings not meeting Mandatory Practices                                                           July 14, 2014

 

Dear Brenda,

The Bord of Directors for The Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver has been notified if multiple breedings that did not meet the Mandatory Practices at the time of the breeding. The litters in violation of Mandatory Practices are attached.

As you know the Mile High Rottweiler Club is a Code of Ethics Club. Every member is required to sign the Code when they apply for membership and abide by the Code of Ethics for every breeding. In August, 2012, the club membership voted to adopt The American Rottweiler Clubs Mandatory Practices. Among the breedings requirements listed for Rottweilers born after Janury 1, 2008, both sire and dam must be x-rayed and have OFA certification at two years or older prior to breeding. This includes hips (passing), elbows, eyes (normal) and cardiac (normal).

The Board is requesting the health certifications of any Rottweiler you own or co-own be brought up to date to meet the Mandatory Practices before being bred. Thank you for having eyes recertified. Please do the same for the hearts. Hearts may be an auscultation by your regular veterinarian.

Since MHRC follows ARC Mandatory Practices, these health clearances are also required to be in compliance for ARC.

 

Regards,

 

Randi Garske

MHRC Secretry

 

                                                                                                                                                                    July 18,2013

Dear Brenda,

The Board of Directors of The Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver has received your letter self-reporting an accidental breeding. Thank you for your notification.

As you know the Mile High Rottweiler Club is a code of Ethics Club. Every member is required to sign the Code when they apply for membership and abide by the Code of Ethics for every breeding. In August, 2012, the club membership voted to adopt The American Rottweiler Clubs Mandatory Practices. Among the breeding requirements listed, is that both sire and dam of any litter be x-rayed and have OFA certification prior to breeding.

While the sire of this litter (Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy WS353735/03) did have all of the required health clearances, the dam (Skywind’s Last Kiss WS06761918) had no health clearances.  In addition, the dam was 9 years old at the time of the breeding. At a minimum, the dam must have OFA hips.

Since the dam does not have the required OFA hip clearance, the litter must be placed on limited registration with AKC until such time that the dam has had and passed OFA hips. If the dam does not pass, the litter should remain on limited registration. Please notify the board when the dam’s hips have been x-rayed. There are veterinarians that will x-ray without anesthesia, if this is a concern due to the dam’s age.

It is your duty as a breeder to ensure the safety and security of bitches in season to prevent accidental breedings, regardless of where the bitch is housed or who is responsible for her care at the time. The Board and the Club does not take breedings that violate the club’s Code of Ethics lightly. Please educate your family as to the seriousness of this infraction, not only the violation but the health risk of breeding a 9 year old bitch.

In the future, please take all precautions to prevent accidental breedings.

Sincerely,

 

Randi Garske, Secretary

Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver

Mailed 7/19/13

 

TCB’s Shaka Vitani (WS32096201), owned by Shannon Fountain, Co-owned by Brenda Haskins

CERF: 18 MO, 2011 (5/21/11), eyes redone 5/1/2014

CARDIAC: 18 MO, 2011

Bred to Blueridge Beyond Measure (WS11435403)- puppies born 7/28/13 (owned by Charlie & Jayne Catto)

Bred to Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy (WS35373503)- puppies born 2/17/14 (owned by Brenda Haskins & Wendi Lewellen)

Heart and eyes on both litters are in violation of ARC MPs- Vitani was not 24 MO at the time of the clearances

TCB’s Skywind’s Shaka Nalha (WS32096202 owned by Brenda Haskins/Shannon Fountain

CERF: 18 MO 2011 (5/21/11), eyes redone: 5/1/14

CARDIAC: 18 MO, 2011

Bred to Chancellor’s Hollywood Playboy- puppies born in early May, 2014

Heart and eyes are in violation of ARC MPs – Nalha was not 24 MO at the time of the clearences. The eyes were redone after the breeding. Heart has not yet been redone.

Nalha has a grade 1 elbows, bilateral and Player has Grade 1 elbows unilateral. This does not violate require MPs, however, the recommendation is to breed Grade 1 only to clear elbows.

TCBRott’s Shaka Bogus WS32096203, owned by Terry Barcus & Shannon Fountain

CERF: 18 MO, 5/21/11, redone 3/22/14

CARDIAC: 18 MO, 5/21/11

Bred to Skywinds Girl Got Rhythm (owned by Brenda Haskins), puppies born 10/17/12

Heart and eyes on Bogus are in violation of ARC Mandatory Practices. Bogus was not 24 MO at the time of the breeding

I will now address the letters that Brenda is supposed to have “received”. In the first letter, it states that the letter of reprimand was mailed on July 1st, 2013 but the dates on the letter sates July 18th and 19th of 2013.

According to Brenda she never received a letter in 2013, which I find difficult to refute as my friend has never been untruthful to me unlike the various members of the BOD (see above). They cannot seem to keep any semblance of continuity even in their own letters.

Randi and Teresa made the claim that they asked Brenda at a dog show if she had received the “LETTER” and they seem to have done so in a moment without me noticing the interaction. Brenda and I are at every show together and I never saw them nor heard them ask. Brenda and I talk every day, so I found it odd that Brenda never told me that she got a letter of reprimand. I really think that if she had gotten a letter stating she could not show her Danie’s niece and nephew, she would have called me. I had been constantly convincing her stay in the club for the last six years. The fact that Randi co-owns Teresa’s dog seems to taint their already nebulous claim. Brenda owns both of the dogs she is showing out of that breeding and there was no sell of the one who is co-owned. The others are on limited registration.

We sell all of our pets on limited registration, but again the club never asked. In the first letter sent to Brenda, they made no qualms about stating that things be done in the manner prescribed by the BOD and if not, the only other option (which was made clear to us was non-negotiable) is for Brenda to hand in her resignation. They have no idea the tumult which they have caused in us by forcing this choice as we have both loved this club and found it troubling that the Board members found that in the case of accident the only recourse they could devise was to apply a steady stream of discomfort which could have only led to the loss of members which seems to be the opposite to the point of a club. The BOD is supposed to guide the club, instead they seem to think that they rule over members.

The secretary has informed me that the letter sent to Brenda also does not violate our bylaws on the way disciplinary actions are to be handled. It states in the letter that all of these breedings were reported to them, but there are no documented complaints included. This is also against the bylaws. The BOD thinks that it is not a violation of the bylaws because they are not enforcing a disciplinary action, but the implication of future disciplinary action is in and of itself a disciplinary measure. It is often called a written warning.

Nalha’s eyes were done on 3/22/14 before she was bred to Player. Bogus was not bred under 24 months. He was born November 9, 2009. I know when my dog was bred. He was bred the day before the MHRC meeting in August 2012 as well as the day of the meeting and the day after. Before the BOD and the club voted in the new ARC MPs, I put forward an argument against the changes. They made it clear that I was not a voting member so I was wasting time by doing so. Bogus also had his eyes redone in August 2012. It seems that the accusations were baseless and yet merited calling me unethical.

Now, I would to address Brenda’s resignation and the unethical way in which it was handled by the secretary and the BOD. Posting this letter was reprehensible, even now I find it difficult to see how these acts of childish shaming and blatant bullying can be anything other than malicious. This is Brenda’s resignation letter accompanied their response:

To the esteemed members of the MHRC,

               It is with a heavy heart and much deliberation that I have chosen to resign from the Mile High Rottweiler Club. I have been a member of this organization for fifteen years and have never before felt that the voices of a privileged few have monopolized the collective voice of the group. But as of recently this seems to be the growing theme amongst us. It is a shame we’ve come to this, and I expect and hope for the sake of all still involved that the quality of fairness and honesty returns to this once great organization.

 

Sincerely,

Brenda Haskin

 

RE: Response to resignation                                                                                                 August 6,2014

Dear Brenda,

We have received and accepted your resignation from The Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver. As you have been made aware on multiple occasions, MHRC is a Code of Ethic Club. When members do not follow the Code of Ethics, they should be prepared for the potential consequences. The Board is elected by the membership and it is the Board’s responsibility to uphold the Constitution and Bylaws and the Code of Ethics.

Last year, when you self-reported your accidental breeding with a 9.5 year old female with no health clearances, the Board acknowledged and thanked you for your self-report and requested that the litter be placed on limited registration until the dam had her hips x-rayed in accordance with MHRC’s COE, based on her date of birth. This is the second accidental breeding with the same female. After the first accidental breeding in 2008, this female should have had health clearances completed and disclosed. If she did not pass hips, the prudent, responsible breeding practice would have been to spay this female to prevent additional accidental breedings.

As evidenced by show records, the litter from 2013 was not placed on limited registration as requested. OFA shows no record of hip clearances or any other health clearances for this female. The Board offered solutions and attempted to work with you on this situation and you chose to resign rather than discuss options.

Members who have had accidental breedings in the past did place their litters on limited registration until the appropriate health clearances were obtained, without being asked by the Club. You chose to ignore the request and the Club’s Code of Ethics.

In addition, you are co-owner on several females that were bred in violation of MHRC’s COE. In August, 2012 the membership of MHRC voted unanimously to follow the Mandatory Practies of The American Rottweiler Club. During this meeting, the possibility of grandfathering in Rottweilers who had already had clearances under the age of two was discussed and the decision was all Rottweilers born after January 1, 2008 must follow the appropriate ARC Mandatory Practices requiring four health clearances at 2 years of age or older; hips, elbows, heart and eyes. With the number of MHRC members that are also ARC members, adopting the ARC Mandatory Practices was the most logical step in rewriting our Code of Ethics which had not been updated since the club’s inception in 1989.

While the Club appreciates your volunteer work at various events, volunteering, donating and supporting the Club does not exempt ANY member from following the code of ethics.

 

Regards,

 

 

Randi Garske

MHRC secretary, on behalf of The officers and Directors of The Mile High Rottweiler Club of Greater Denver

This was a truly distasteful way to handle this. President Nixon got a nicer acceptance of resignation then Brenda did. Her simple resignation letter was answered with a letter that was obviously written with every intention of being released, and filled with misinformation.

The moment Brenda told the BOD she did not get the letter in 2013, she should have been allowed an allotted amount of time to get the health clearances or to put the two pups she owns on limited registration. But then again, where does it say in our bylaws that dogs born to pet dogs cannot be shown? If this is so, I know a few Champions that should not be out there including a dog that was purchased out of a pet store (her parents have no health clearances) and has been bred. If the club was so concerned about Legend having puppies at 9.5 years old you would think that just one person in this club would have asked if she had even lived through the ordeal. Just so the rest of you know, this situation did take its toll. It has taken Brenda a year to get Legend healthy. She became so depressed, she could not nurse her pups. These are not the actions of a club that cares about the breed. They did not even care about one bitch’s health, until it suited them to use it to try to make someone look bad. I was there when she had them and I was there for the twenty vet appointments that followed. I was the one who told Brenda it was going to be okay, and I was the one who comforted her when she had doubts about her decision to let her have the pups.

As for Brenda not spaying her after her litter 7 years ago; she does not believe in altering a healthy animal and neither do I. Yes, that means you have to be careful and there is always the chance that it may happen. After having two or three intact males and anywhere from five to seven intact females on her property over the last twelve years, Brenda has had two accidental breedings. I alter my dogs when it is medically relevant. Such as Jets breast tumor (benign).

As for “grandfathering in dogs”, I was at that meeting and this was never discussed. I recall how everybody was talking about how I “may” or “may not” have had a pinch with Bogus. It was all over Yahoo for a while, but no one took the time to just ask me. It was later discussed at a BOD meeting and never held a vote on that subject. So again the BOD is making things up as they go. And why wouldn’t you just grandfather in those three dogs that had their health clearances done a YEAR before this vote unless you were trying to disenfranchise those owners. The secretary sates this is not the case but we know what she thinks since she made several reports of this MP violation against me but never followed up on it until I congratulated Brenda.

If the BOD wants this club to be a COE club, then I suggest start with things that are a lot more serious than health clearances that are done but done at the wrong time for no other reason than the rules were changed. The BOD needs to address the fact that a club member re-did her dogs hips three times knowing that they would eventually pass. We all know that OFA judges hips on dogs of the same age group so if your dog does not pass at two it is no big deal if you just do them again at five or six. This allows the breeder to say they have so many generations of passing dogs even though they are selective about the puppies in the litter that they choose to count. Another member has three dogs up for stud even though seven of their litter mates had torn cruciate ligaments which is not too bad unless they choose not to disclose it. And afterward, they blame the puppy owners and not the obviously faulty structure of the litter. There is a dog studded out with a level bite and no tails on his sperm. That person has never had an accidental breeding because the dog has no drive to breed. There is a member whose whole breeding stock is on a bitch that had three missing teeth. Finally, how about a breeder in our club who breeds bad temperaments, a dog who maimed its owner. Again it must have been the owner not the breeding of the dog. These traits are knowingly being put back into the breed.

Unethical? Neither Brenda nor I have sued our own flesh and blood over a dog. I wonder which club member or members had surgery done on their dog and then did their clearances? Not to mention the most unethical thing that more than one member of this club has done. Getting rid of a dog who does not pass their health clearances. This club supports Rottieaid.  We see the hardship stories everyday of dogs that are abandoned and how bad we feel and judge these owners for giving up there dogs. Do they not realize that they are doing the same thing?

Members of this club just rehome a dog that they have cared for, shown, and put working titles on just because they do not pass! It is as if they lose all of their value when they can no longer be bred.

This is why I must resign at this time. When there are some changes to the BOD and the blanket persecution of people who do not fit its social agenda. I cannot stand by and let people be called unethical when there is truly no unethical intent. I myself know I did nothing unethical and I refuse to be called such. The childish behavior of the BOD will no longer have any effect on me. I am truly passionate about this breed and I am not just a Rottie lover, it is my passion. When this club gets focused back on the breed and less on what some people want or their petty jealousies then I would love to return and become involved again. I have a feeling this letter will not be published with a response and if it is I hope it will be in its entirety.

 

Sincerely

Shannon Fountain




All pics done by Patrick

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