It has been a nightmare buying a dog from Sharon Loney. This evil person is not ethical or a reputable breeder at all. It has been emotionally exhausting and a financial burden but before we go into her operation which is HIGHLY likely a puppy mill or backyard breeding operation, let’s start from the beginning. For a very long time, I was in love with Shiba Inu dogs but I did not want to buy one. I waited over a year to hear back from a Shiba Inu rescue but someone would always get the dog before me.
My friend had purchased a shiba from Sharon and it seemed like it had worked out for her. For a while, I was hesitant even though I had Sharon’s contact information, I should have followed my gut feeling and not purchased from her. However, the pandemic made me feel a bit impulsive and I felt it could be a good time to have the dog of my dreams when the world is collapsing and I could die at any moment. So, I started talking with Sharon again, I expressed to her that I had already adopted three pets from shelters, she didn’t really seem to care about the details of my home life or where the dog would be going, more so she wanted to tell me that she wouldn’t be able to sell and ship the dog in a few days so if I wanted it, I needed it to act quick.
She quickly sent me the pictures of the dogs that seemed to be in her “most recent litter” and I chose one that I fell in love with, Sharon had named her Chelsey. Then she asked me for the full payment and the nightmare began. She quickly shipped the dog and the Delta cargo people sent me a picture of a dog that did not look like the one I had chosen online. At first, I sent this picture to Sharon and I asked her, is that her? And Sharon just replied “yes that is her” and I was like "she looks a bit different from this picture(picture she showed me via email) but maybe cause she looks scared" and she replied “yes”. The dog arrived and for the first few days, I tried to convince myself that it was the same dog that I had picked out but my husband and I compared pictures side by side and it was not the same dog.
It wasn’t even a dog she had displayed on her website of her “most recent litter” which fuels the theory that she has a puppy mill or is a backyard breeder. The dog I had chosen was of light complexion and had a light nose, the dog she sent me had a completely dark nose. The dog she sent also has extremely dark eyebrows, which the dog I chose via the pictures she sent me via email did not. I quickly scanned the email she sent me and compared it to the website and noted that she was reusing the picture of the dog I had chosen with the name of another dog she claimed to have.
It was the same dog picture but two different names. The dog she sent me barely looks like a Shiba as well, it looks mixed. This is where it all begin to get from bad decision to one of the worst decisions I’ve probably ever made in my life. We renamed the puppy from Chelsey to Daisy. Since I had told Sharon that I had other pets in my house, two cats and a dog that I had adopted from shelters, I expected her to send me a healthy puppy.
Even though it wasn’t the puppy I had chosen, I tried to be as accepting of the puppy as much as possible and I let the puppy play with my other animals including my dog. Then I took the puppy to the vet, the vet told me that the puppy had ear mites and an ear yeast infection which I was horrified by and I had never had to deal with even after adopting three pets from shelters. I then started keeping the puppy away from my other pets from fear that they would also pick up the ear mites.
The vet had requested a fecal sample to test for parasites and I was hoping to not be another one of Sharon’s Red Barn Kennel horror stories(which I found after getting the dog from her) about Giardia but of course the matter went even worse and the fecal sample returned positive for Giardia. Again, I was horrified since I had never dealt with it before and I was appalled that I paid 1k to a breeder for a dog this sick. From what I read online, Giardia is typically only acquired if a dog is living in really disgusting conditions and drinks from water that contains feces, eats or smells another animals infected feces.
I started to notice that the puppy would eat her own poop and I have to be monitoring her to run to pick up the poop so she doesn't eat it. The puppy also pees and poops in her crate even after she has been allowed ample time to go potty on the wee wee pads in another area away from her crate while we complete all of her boosters(We're keeping her inside) – something that not even the dog I adopted from a shelter ever did. This made me realize that it was because of the way the puppy had been raised to that point.
It is likely that the puppy was kept with other dogs and that Sharon was not diligent in cleaning their area so her dogs were likely eating or drinking each other’s bodily fluids. Various other reports (dating back years) about Sharon show that other people have also received puppies with Giardia from Sharon. She also breeds pugs and boxers, she has given people boxer puppies with Giardia. It has been really difficult to watch the puppy go through all of this, and the puppy is extremely depressed.
As I dug into Sharon, I found out multiple reports about her under her old business name "Red Barn Kennel." I thought it was even more sketchy that she had changed her business name so when you search Central Iowa Pups and Sharon Loney, it doesn't return all of the horrible reports/reviews associated with her and Red Barn Kennel. I am also now finding out of how lax it is for puppy mills and backyard breeders in Iowa. Iowa is the second worst state in terms of laws to shut down and protect people against horrible puppy mills or backyard breeders.
When I confronted her about the ear mites, Sharon did not reply for days and I knew her silence meant she had taken the money and ran and didn’t want anything else to do with me or the sick puppy she sent me. Then a few days later, I texted her a picture of the vet email that said that the puppy had Giardia – she replied and she said, “she probably got it from the plane ride…you received a puppy that sells for $900 and up” I was disgusted by her and furious that she would first try to lie and say that her kennel does not have puppies with Giardia when there are other reports of her selling puppies with Giardia and I was also infuriated that she would try to say that she gave me the puppy for a lower price, therefore it was okay for the puppy to be sick.
She did not mention anything about helping me cover the insurmountable vet costs that I have now accrued due to her sending me a sick puppy. Now I have to deal with trying to get this sick puppy healthy. I had to get my other animals tested for Giardia and since it’s zoonotic I also have to fear for my husband and I’s well-being till the puppy doesn’t have Giardia, something that Sharon could care less about. She put me and my family at risk by sending us a sick puppy for what she sees as the low price of 1000 dollars. It is highly likely that this operation is either a puppy mill or backyard breeder.
Please don’t make the grave mistake that I did, do not give her your money, this person only cares about making a quick buck and getting away from responsibilities of sending sick puppies as fast as possible. She is not a responsible breeder. She does not care about where the puppy will go, she does not care about you or your family’s wellbeing. I made the grave mistake of trusting the experience of my friend versus doing the research on her name and finding all the reports and threads attached to her of complaints of her doing this over and over again to people all over the United States. Please, run away from this person while you can, she ripped me off and sent me the wrong puppy and one that is extremely sick.
Sharon Loney and her likely puppy mill are not worth the emotional and financial burden for what you think will be your dream dog. It is not worth that operation not cleaning their areas properly and letting the puppies consume their bodily fluids till they have parasites that are difficult to get rid of like Giardia. I have no idea how this person has not been shut down by the humane society by now. At the end of the day I learned, never to trust a breeder(specially one that is willing to ship you a puppy, not ask anything about you and never meet you – all online), always do your research(dig deep, something I didn't do till after when I found all of Sharon's reports with Red Barn Kennel) and it’s always better to adopt a dog that has all its shots and has been tested for parasites from a shelter than buy any dog from any breeder.
At the end of the day, we will be giving Daisy a loving, clean home and we will help her get healthy but if I could do it all over again, I would have waited another one to two years for a Shiba Inu from a rescue.