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Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 05:21
by MrsAdmin
I was browsing the net and wondered how the Tegan doodles were going when I came across this. Can it really be true? How could any breeder, let alone one held up as the leading light of the Doodle world, do such a thing as neglect their dogs and then just dump them.

I just feel totally shocked. I just hope the Pound found them decent homes and not just packed them off to more misery.

Kristen from PAA
Blast from the past
Sun Apr 27, 2008 8:16PM64.12.116.133

The Labradoodles were turned over to animal control after their breeders split.

The Australian Labradoodles once had their curly coats groomed and ate doggie gourmet meals of raw meat, V8 juice and yogurt. The Labrador-poodle hybrids fetched $2,900 each for their breeders, Angela and Derek Cunningham, until the 47 dogs became victims in the couple's divorce.

The Labradoodles were neglected -- their non-shedding coats matted and covered in sandspurs. Packed into outdoor kennels at the breeding ground in Lady Lake, Florida, some dogs suffered heatstroke, some had sores and others drank slimy green water. When Angela Cunningham took control of the dogs late last month, animal-control officials warned her that the dogs' care and living conditions needed dramatic improvement. The next day she sent 30 dogs, worth at least $75,000, to the pound.

In less than two days, every designer dog was adopted for less than $150 -- a financial casualty in a divorce fraught with accusations. "I panicked," Angela Cunningham said as she stopped to swallow tears. "If I had five more days, I would have spread them out across the country. But I was scared."

Court records show Angela Cunningham tried to take out a restraining order and block Derek Cunningham's access to the property where the dogs lived. Another one filed against Derek Cunningham's girlfriend mentioned that the dogs were packed into kennels and were not being groomed. Derek Cunningham, who did not return calls seeking comment, also tried to block Angela Cunningham's access to the dogs. In the end, Derek Cunningham was evicted from the property. Angela Cunningham was given access to the dogs again.

She had the dogs for two days before turning them over to animal control. Unaware of the battle behind the scenes, Labradoodle lovers inundated the Lake County Animal Shelter just before Thanksgiving. "I had a woman from Oklahoma or something calling me from a plane," said Rene Segraves, the county's assistant animal-services director. "I said, 'Ma'am, you better turn around and go back. They're gone.' "

The dogs were dirty, underweight and had been neglected, Segraves said. Leslie Kalwara, former secretary for the Cunninghams' business, spread the word to other Labradoodle breeders that Angela Cunningham had turned over a fortune in neglected dogs. Outraged breeders contacted rescue groups. The messages zipped across Labradoodle chat rooms on the Internet. One nonprofit rescue group named the International Doodle Owner's Group Inc. volunteered to adopt them all, but the shelter declined. The national group patrols Web sites and classified ads across the county looking for Labradoodles or Goldendoodles (golden retriever-poodle hybrids), in shelters.

Most dogs IDOG rescues are tossed aside by backyard breeders who tried and failed to capitalize on the hybrid-breed trend. "They're [the Labradoodles] not coming from reputable breeders, until this big fiasco," said IDOG's Rescue Coordinator Jo Cousins, who said she finds Angela Cunningham's decision baffling. "There are so many people who would have stepped in and helped, and she chose to dump them into animal control."

The Labradoodle world regards the Cunninghams as pioneering breeders. The Cunninghams started their first breeding center called Tegan Park in their native country of Australia in 1992. The couple leased a ranch here in 2005 to transfer their Australian operation to Tegan Park USA, providing closer access to other breeders, who paid up to $25,000 for a Tegan Park stud dog.

But after the divorce, even the most expensive of their dogs went to the shelter, where a deadly virus spread. Canine parvovirus infected at least three dogs as they waited for the surgeon to spay or neuter them. One Labradoodle died, and the shelter euthanized another dog that began showing symptoms. New adoptive owners have quarantined at least a half-dozen other Labradoodles. "It's just a tragic end to those poor dogs," said breeder Peggy McElroy who had leased the Lady Lake ranch to the Cunninghams.

During the divorce, McElroy said, she paid a groomer to help clean the dogs, but only a handful received care before Derek Cunningham ushered them off the property. She said she thought Angela Cunningham would restore the business and take care of the neglected dogs. "It's almost like when a mother kills a child," McElroy said. Angela Cunningham said she's still grieving. She kept two of the 17 dogs she did not send to the pound. The rest are staying with breeder friends who promised to give them back when she's ready to start over.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 06:19
by MrsAdmin
I did some more digging and found out that this article was written by Erin Cox in December 2006 for the Orlando Sentinal newspaper in Florida USA.

So all this happened before the current clearout in Australia. :shock:

It is also reported on several sites that help was offered from many people to have the dogs and to re-home them but that this was refused because dumping them made 'good' business sense as a tax write-off (or something to do with the divorce money split). Yet the owner is said to have kept two dogs to preserve as breeding stock.

Now the Tegan Park auction is another 'business' decision, whilst Acacia Park seems to hover in the wings.

Maybe I am naive but I really think that dogs should not be regarded as another market commodity to be 'developed' as business propositions around the world, clearing out 'stock' and 'writing-off' in one country when tax advantages can allegedly be gained.

It's also about time that people who are seen/convicted of animal cruelty or neglect in one country should not be allowed to operate in business in other countries. I know that really is naive as it happens all the time with kids, old people and animals of all kinds yet just because it does happen does not mean that it should not be regarded as 'OK' or 'right'. :twisted:

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 07:48
by Carole g
These huge businesses are farms that breed dogs rather than cattle. With huge numbers of unwanted dogs put down in every country, for a business to be founded on the breeding of dogs for nothing more than sale is, in my opinion, unethical. A business succeeds in terms of its turnover, raising production is a sign of success, high sales, high volume are all good things. They sell to any one who can provide the money and a common feature is the disclaimer that they have no ongoing responsibility for the dog once it has left the premises. Their online "application" rids them of responsibility for the dog as any buyer will put whatever they think the breeder wants to hear. It is rare for there to be any part of their contract to give back the all important purchase price if a dog is returned even after a very few days for, of course, prompt resale.
Have you an enclosed garden? Yes
Are you home most of the time? Yes
Whatever the truth is. Careful scrutiny of the buyer is not needed as the paperwork is in place and the cheque didn't bounce.

The positive aspect of the sad story is that some of these dogs are now in good homes, and the breeding "centres", "farms" whatever you want to call them are discredited.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 08:13
by amber
God bless those that suffered, or didn't make it :cry:
What a disgusting practise, beautiful animals like that.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 16:33
by fudgepuddle
Reading that article almost makes me ashamed to own a doodle from those lines :(

I hope those poor dogs all went to loving family homes, and not to breeders - they deserve a fresh start and all the love in the world.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 17:02
by freyadog
i am thinking the dogs now have found loving homes and will enjoy the rest of their days in the green countryside. :)
Oh i do hope this is true. :)

Caroline x

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 28 Apr 2008, 21:42
by MrsAdmin
'Reading that article almost makes me ashamed to own a doodle from those lines '

Don't worry, I suspect that there are many UK breeders too who are pretty disgusted by the shambles that is/was Tegan Park and the ASD doodles; well those who regard it as a duty to care for their puppies and not just make a fast buck.

Perhaps there should be a UK wide code of practice for legitimate breeders who could be then authenticated as acting in the best interests of the dogs (certainly there are some who list on the puppy finder who should be excluded :cry: )

Don't know how it could be policed as money seems to talk in all areas of the dog world but recommendations about the good breeders on this site would help new would-be owners I'm sure.

The EU seems to stick its fingers in everyone's pies - how about dog breeding? Mind you, they are pretty useless about farming and animal cruelty so I don't suppose it would be any better, unless we could all fund the almighty perks bung that would be needed to get the issue even on the agenda :cry:

Meanwhile thoughts and little prayers go out to all the ex-Tegan doodles that they have happier lives now.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 29 Apr 2008, 06:59
by steph08
I have read this story several times over now and I still can't believe it. Although I don't consider myself to be terribly knowledgeable about doodles, I had read about Tegan Park it seemed to be a prestigous place and it was a privilige to own one of their dogs. It just shows us all how things can go so terribly wrong. :cry:
Refering back to one of the posts:
'Reading that article almost makes me ashamed to own a doodle from those lines '
you have nothing to be ashamed about, I don't think anyone could have forseen this happening.

I just hope that the dogs lucky enough to be re homed are now in loving forever homes.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 29 Apr 2008, 10:55
by EmLovesLabradooldes
I was shocked that Tegan was just a big puppy factory. :evil: :( I wonder how many of those poor dogs are coming to the UK breeders? This will probably lower the prices of the puppies as at the moment they are way too expensive for me. :(

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 22 Aug 2010, 08:19
by Uk_property
The good thing is the dogs have their freedom at that property.

Re: Shocking info on Tegan Park

Posted: 22 Aug 2010, 08:42
by MrsAdmin
Sorry, but who are you? This is a thread from 2 years ago and things have changed greatly in that time.

Beverley Manners, the mother of Angela, the Tegan Park owner, has been exposed as a highly deceitful puppy farmer, who has created probably the world's greatest dog scam, and Angela Cunningham (or whatever name she is now masquerading as :roll: ) is now breeding 'pocket' dogs :cry: , but is supposed to be talking of going back to Doodles to make money :twisted: :twisted:

I don't think the pictures on this link indicate that 'the dogs have their freedom at that property'. ... nning-now/

For the latest information on the closure of Tegan Park see this link ... egan-park/

Sadly, once they have made easy money, puppy farmers and abusers can never walk away and I suspect that both these women will continue to exploit dogs because they are egotists who have no consciences. To them dogs are just there as a method of making their lives comfortable with easy pickings :twisted: .