Yorkshire terriers are one of the most popular dog breeds in America today. You’ll find dozens of breeders advertising their Yorkies on Facebook or Craigslist, but what happens if something goes wrong with the sale? A couple in Clinton ran into a roadblock with their deposit on a Yorkie.

Yorkies are often described as being bright and affectionate, with distinct personalities. Before you buy one from a kennel, it’s best to know something about the breeder, including whether they’re registered with the state or with the American Kennel Club.

Ruth Richards has a new Yorkie, named Candy. She’s about four months old. Ruth Richards and her husband Bernard are dog lovers. They’ve cared for many different ones over their 65 years of marriage, but they were heartbroken when Cookie, their favorite Yorkie for years, died in early June. They wanted a replacement.

Debbie Hashbarger, Bernard and Ruth’s daughter, found in late June a potential replacement puppy for her parents on Facebook. Pam was one of several Yorkies born in a litter on June 24. The price for the pup was $1,000.

The Richards went and saw her, and fell in love. Hashbarger said because Pam was a newborn, her parents would have to wait about two months before they could bring her home. 

“I said, ‘How much deposit do we have to put down to save this dog?’ She said, ‘I only require $300,'” said Hashbarger.

Ruth Richards wrote the deposit check for $300 and gave it to the co-owner of Yorkies and Friends,  but within a few weeks, Casey Whitson sent text messages to Hashbarger that the dog was sick.

“She said she’s really not doing well. She said, ‘I’ll go and mail you out a refund check.’ She said she may possibly have issues in the future,” said Hashbarger.

Unfortunately, the puppy died before the Richards ever got her home. However, Yorkies and Friends gave them hope for a replacement puppy.

“They made a promise that we could get another one, but we haven’t heard from her,” said Bernard Richards.

Additionally, they never heard anything about their deposit, despite another text from Casey Whitson promising it would be returned. Ruth Richards says the operator of Yorkies and Friends stopped answering her calls.

“My parents put out $300 down on this dog. She said she would refund it. We have not gotten a refund,” said Hashbarger.

WATE 6 On Your Side called Casey Whitson of Yorkies and Friends. Within several days, we caught up with her  At first, hitson said she “didn’t have money to refund the couple” and that she “no longer operated Yorkies and Friends.”

However, puppies were shown on the site within the last week and a half.

“This leads me to believe she is still selling pups to make money and we’re not getting our $300 dollars back,” said Hashbarger.

Over the weekend, the Rchards received $125 of their $300 deposit for the puppy that died. The couple said Casey Whitson apologized and promised they will eventually get their entire money back.

The owner, again, apologized and said she’s done nothing wrong since she didn’t have the money to pay back the Richards, but said she eventually will ge tit to them.

It can be tough to collect from a breeder who runs a private business that may or may not be licensed with the state.

To make sure you are getting a purebred animal, check the American Kennel Club’s breeder referral site. The Quality Breeders Association also rates breeders on a points system.

Always get references and follow up by checking them. You also have to be comfortable with the breeder, so ask about their plans for the future.