Beware of Pierre-Luc Charron - Sunrock
I promised I would recount the tale of the young doberman who was surrendered to me and whom I placed in France. But in order to fully understand the kismet in his story, I think it's important to denounce the breeder who completely abandoned this dog in his time of need, among other things, and how he wronged both this boy's new owners as well as his previous owners.
You might want to put some water to boil and curl up with a nice large mug of something warm, perhaps as well prepare a snack.
There is a lot that could be said about Sunrock Dobermans and Pierre-Luc Charron, because the level and depth of con artistry this man has is almost elevated to an artform.
Let me first start by saying that Sunrock hasn't always been smoke and mirrors. When the kennel started out, Pierre-Luc was married and he and his husband were both involved with the dogs and running the program together. His now ex-husband managed to keep things running decently. But it all went downhill fast when Martin left Pierre-Luc last year. Martin was always the one with the love of the dogs. Pierre-Luc was in love with his ego, and now it is very clear, with money. At the time I bought Nadia, the two were still together, they were being mentored by two long time, experienced well-respected breeders. When I got Nadia things were mostly "by the book". I got Nadia in 2015 and there was still some shady stuff that happened prior to Martin leaving (although it was primarily Pierre-Luc's doing) but I will go into that at a different time maybe.
Alright, got your snacks? Got your drinks? Because you are about to read a sordid tale of deceit and uncouth character.
Right now I want to focus on 2018 to the present.
We will start with the April 2018 litter by Can GCH Sunrock DJ Memories x Can CH Mick Rick's Remember Zara's Dream.
Firstly, I would find out later that Summer (August 2018) that Michele Lauzon of Mick Rick had signed a detailed contract for them to follow prior to breeding Zara. They had to do ALL of Michele's required health testing (which exceeded the basic, insufficient testing they did on her) and Michele had to approve the stud at least for the first breeding. They also had to finish Zara's AKC Ch. (As an aside they tried showing some of their dogs in the States, and didn't pay Kelly Marquis her handler fees so they're essentially persona non-gratta Stateside). They did not respect any of those clauses before breeding her to their homebred male. (A very nice dog for sure and I'm not just saying that because he's a 3/4 brother to Nadia, he IS a nice dog. But that's no excuse for breaking contractual clauses.) Oh, and Michele Lauzon told me that when they bought Zara, the check bounced... she had to hound them to get her money, and they did eventually pay up.
Now freak occurrences happen, and I know until recently most people weren't aware that Dobermans could carry MDR1. BUT I expect some degree of transparence. Half the litter died after their first set of shots and dewormer. They of course didn't mention this or announce it and the only reason I know is because I was in touch with someone who had a deposit on that litter. About a month after the puppies went home some pet owners tried to warn Pierre-Luc that their puppy was possibly cryptorchid. It didn't really matter to the owners they just wanted to let him know, especially as this can be genetic. His response? "Well he had two at vaccination." Also looking up the OFA pages of the parents the "cardiac" results are "Normal" but a closer inspection shows that these results were submitted by a GP, not a cardiologist. And it is not the "Advanced Cardiac" which basically means it's just an auscultation using a stethoscope. More things came to light about this litter this past Spring 2019, more on that later.
Martin had moved out by then, and his last official dealing with Pierre-Luc was to get a Miniature Schnauzer puppy from him. (As while Sunrock started only doing dobermans they added Mini Schnauzers along the way). Later that Summer, Pierre-Luc bred Can Ch Sunrock Ace of Hearts to Ch Sunrock Red Hot Ember Fabert.
Now people may feel differently about this than I do, but I would like to point out that Ace was not yet 2 years old at the time this breeding occurred (Born January 2017, bred August 2018). I would also later discover that the "health testing" he claimed for this dog was one basic blood panel and FALSIFIED OFA prelims. The Dam's prelims also didn't appear in the OFA database when I looked up the number which I thought was odd but they weren't visibly/provably doctored.
Anyhow... at the time this mating occurred he was approached by a family in France who were interested in getting an American-line, cropped and docked black doberman. They did not like the look of Eastern European show lines and this would be a first doberman for them. They did not want a floppy-eared, long-tailed dog so a local breeder was out of the question for them. That Pierre-Luc Charron lives in Quebec and speaks French is only a bonus. He approved them, and asked for them to pay in full 3500$ CAD for a pet puppy, had them sign a contract. This family would later tell me that he was charming and friendly, open and communicative before they sent the money. As soon as he had their money he became distant, cold, disinterested. He also later asked them for more money in order to provide a crate, and the cost of shipping a puppy cargo. (All told they gave him 4650$). Litter was born, 5 puppies, 2 females and 3 males.
He also from that litter, sold a pet male to a man who had no prior dog or pet owning experience whatsoever.
There would be one more breeding before his shadiness would be exposed. This last breeding was of Langdon an outside stud to Sunrock April Mist, a homebred bitch. She whelped in January 2019.
February 13th 2019 was the date that the family in France was supposed to receive their puppy. He told them everything was in order. They got the flight number and schedule. They turned up at the airport... no dog. They contacted the airline, who told them there had indeed been a reservation made for a puppy. But that the reservation had been cancelled.
They tried reaching out to Pierre-Luc and got radio silence in return. It was incredibly traumatic for them - they had already named the puppy and gotten food and water dishes with her name on it, a collection of collars and tags with her name on it. The young woman and the mother had both taken two months off from work to better welcome this puppy, dad is retired. Food, treats, vet check appointment, toys, an orthopedic bed... ear posting materials. They were ready and couldn't wait to welcome her.
Well fortunately they aren't the kind of people to roll over and take it. In March 2019 the young woman started writing to everyone on Pierre-Luc's contact list to tell her story. She also wrote on Sunrock's facebook page commenting and warning people that she had been scammed. And of course we are talking about a full month after the puppy was meant to arrive... they still hadn't received any kind of reimbursement or explanation. Eventually the young woman reached out to Martin, P-L's ex and told her P-L was a mythomaniac manipulator, however he himself no longer had anything to do with Sunrock. Similarly, the owner of the last stud Pierre-Luc used, who also were one of his former mentors, publicly stated that they had nothing to do with any other Dobe breeder in QC, and that they no longer had anything to do with P-L. As you can imagine Pierre-Luc's reaction was very quick. He deletes his kennel's facebook page and of course blocks the young woman everywhere.
Firstly he started messaging everyone in his contact list, telling them that this woman was lying, and that he had merely decided not to send the puppy because he no longer trusted this family, and that given her current behaviour he was right. Of course what he didn't know is that when I got his message, I had already gotten her side of the story and I had asked for proof. I saw the entire email exchange, I saw the bank transfers and statements. She even forwarded her email exchange with Air Canada stating there was a cancellation, and that people do go full reimbursement for cancellation. Now I know there are two sides to every story so I waited to see what would happen.
For the record I think it is perfectly legitimate for any breeder to decide for whatever reason that they no longer want to sell/give a puppy to a prospective buyer. I think it's perfectly fine to back out of a sale, especially if you're shipping a puppy far away. So I have no problem with that. However it is in my eyes completely unethical to fail to notify them of this, and furthermore to fail to reimburse. I get it if a deposit is non-refundable but 4650$ is not a 500$ reservation deposit. If you're taking someone's money with the promise of delivering something, then fail to do so and fail to notify them, that's called scamming.
So while he is telling almost everyone he knows that he decided not to send a puppy to them anymore (to other people he says the puppy died in transit), he writes back to this family in France and tells them that her puppy actually died of Parvo along with another pup in the litter (which is a ridiculous lie - ok if your litter had parvo why the hell did you breed another one and why didn't you warn every single person that went to your house and bought a puppy? He sure as hell didn't). He offers them his pick female, OR to reimburse them, OR to get a puppy from his last litter on the ground as he still had multiple pups available. The young woman rightfully is supsicious of this, and says she would only take a pup if he is able to provide proof that the ears were legally cropped by a vet in a jursidiction where it is legal (he goes to Ontario to get them done), as he failed to provide this for the first puppy and also failed to provide proof of registration. She gives him a reasonable amount of time to provide this and he fails to do so. She calls him out on the Parvo thing. She gets no response and he makes no move to reserve a flight or to wire back her money.
So then she calls Interpol. Interpol contacts local municipal police. They show up with a warrant, and they also send in the Animal inspectors because he did not have a permit to be breeding dogs and he was living in a municipality that had a limited number of dogs per household rule. They confirm he had more dogs than allowed and pups on the ground. This would've been mid to late march.
Couple of weeks go by and the young woman does not get any news from the police. She calls them up and... I'm biting my tongue here about what I think of their professional rigour, but the police are totally surprised that he didn't pay her back. Apparently he showed them the emails stating he was offering her another pup or going to pay her back, and they took that as sufficient proof. They never followed up or asked any proof of his claims. So they closed the case. They tell her she'll have to take it up with small claims to get her money back.
Meanwhile P-L buys himself a new fancy 5 figure warmblood for Eventing (he is also into horses) sells his latest litter and probably thinks he's done pretty well for himself all things considered. Meanwhile the young woman is busy building a case and gathering evidence for small claims. Of which she has plenty. I also happen to speak to him at one point using the excuse of wanting him to see how Nadia has been coming along and matured. He lets it slide that he had to bring some of his dogs elsewhere. Later the young woman gets a call from animal control and state that when they did a followup visit most of his dogs were gone and there were no more puppies left.
Meanwhile one of the puppy owners from his last litter reaches out to me because he is living in my area and wanted tips for ear posting which I was happy to do. They're in love with their new puppy he's smart, etc. etc. So no issues there... for now. But remember them because they too eventually run into issues with Pierre-Luc regarding their puppy.
Sometime in mid April, I get a message from a man who tells me he has a coming 1 year old Doberman from Sunrock he bought as a show and breeding prospect but still hasn't received the registration papers for. He asks if this is normal. I tell him it is not. I also tell him it's highly abnormal that he would have been sold a show AND breeding prospect without getting any kind of mentoring and guidance or any support. I remember his dog from the year before as a puppy he posted a picture of him in a doberman group on facebook, he was knuckling over badly and his ears were a mess. Pierre-Luc was nowhere to be found in spite of the fact he tagged him in the post, and said what a great dog his puppy was. So this man write to Pierre-Luc and asks where the papers are since he would like to start showing his dog. Pierre-Luc says the papers are on their way, not to worry, and that he can get a temporary listing number. Of course another rather damning thing... he knew this guy specifically wanted to get into showing and eventually breeding. Yet he fails to tell him what any of that entails. The guy didn't even have any understanding or knowledge of breeding rights vs limited reg/non-breeding, didn't know what health testing was, didn't even know where to start taking handling classes with his dog. These are all massive fails on a breeder's part imo.
Eventually, I decide to call the CKC to find out if the dog is indeed registered. Well, not only was that dog not registered (and so the papers were nowhere on the way) but there was NO litter registered to the dam or the sire's IDs. So not only were the individual dogs unregistered, but the litter itself was never registered to begin with! At this point this means that Pierre-Luc comitted a crime in the eyes of Canadian law. Per the Pedigree Act of Canada it is illegal to sell an unpapered dog as purebred, and to misrepresent the animal as purebred if it is not registered. (It doesn't matter if the animal is genetically pure and the parents are registered, if the animal itself is being sold as purebred (in this case, as a Doberman Pinscher) then the animal HAS to be registered with documented ancestors in a federally recognised registration body. Where dogs are concerned that is the Canadian Kennel Club).
The man is understandably upset, and decides to file a complaint with the CKC against Pierre-Luc. Per the CKC's own rules the breeder has to deliver registration papers within a reasonable amount of time to new puppy owners (I believe it is within 6 months). CKC notifies the breeder and Pierre-Luc quickly reaches out to the man and tells him that the reason the litter was not registered was because the bitch and stud were both to his ex's name, and he hadn't had time (a year, really?) to transfer the dogs back to his sole name, plus his ex had unpaid membership dues. He says he paid all of those things and paid to get the litter registered. Case closed? Not really. The man is done getting yanked around. Pierre-Luc threatens him to try and get him to drop his complaint. The man saves the voice mail then blocks him.
Now, since Pierre-Luc wasn't on top of things, he did not have this man sign a non-breeding agreement or a co-ownership agreement. In fact, as I quickly realise, he didn't even get this man to sign a contract or sales agreement. Which is part of the reason his complaint was so contentious. Per the CKC's own rules these things need to be sign at the time of the sale/pick-up and submitted by the breeder thereafter. The only thing this man had was a piece of paper with the sire and dam's registration numbers (which thank goodness for, because we may not have been able to track down the fact the litter was unregistered to begin with) and with the microchip number of his puppy (without which he may never be able to get his dog's papers). So, the CKC tells Pierre-Luc he needs to register the dog with the man as sole owner, and with full registration. Now Pierre-Luc claims he had the man sign a contract. So he forwards to the CKC a blank copy of his standard puppy contract. The CKC then asks the man to send them a scan or photo of his SIGNED contract. Which doesn't exist. He tells them he never signed anything and doesn't even know what the contract looks lile. So the CKC asks Pierre-Luc to provide a signed copy. (Because, as any responsible breeder would, surely he had his puppy owners sign two copies of the contract and kept one copy for himself and given the other copy to the client... right?) Naturally, he is unable to produce this.
Therefore, the CKC orders Pierre-Luc to register the dog, at his own cost, with the puppy owner as SOLE owner of the dog, and with FULL registration (ie breeding rights). Which understandably, Pierre-Luc doesn't want to do. I don't think any responsible breeder would want to give breeding rights to one of their puppies to someone who lacks knowledge and experience. Co-ownership is another matter. But tough tiddy man, if you had been on top of your **** and had this man sign a non-breeding agreement or at the very least a sales contract (since CKC will honour breeder contracts stipulating the owner will not receive papers until proof of spay/neuter, or will not get full breeding rights until health tested, titled etc. whatever other conditions, as long as they are clearly outlined). I'm also on my end trying to educate this man as much as possible about what breeding dobermans entails, and I start stressing how important it is for him to start taking handling classes and title his dog and above all, all the health testing before he can even consider offering him as a stud, let alone get a bitch and breed. I told him he should ideally look for an experienced mentor. To my great relief he has been nothing but receptive to learning and has decided he wants to pursue IPO at least for tracking and obedience and wants to take his time and not rush anything. Just earlier today he was asking me about health testing again, what the full list is, where to get it done and so on, what's the best age to start etc.
So... Pierre-Luc tries to find a way out with another lie. He tells the CKC that they need to allow him to register the dog to his own name because he actually refunded the dog's purchase price to this man. My jaw dropped when I saw that email exchange. How is he going to claim he refunded the dog when the dog is still living at this man's house!? Naturally the CKC (unlike the local police, apparently) does their due diligence of asking for proof of reimbursement. Pierre-Luc goes radio silent. From there they give him a warning that he has a certain amount of time to register the dog, to the man's sole name with full rights or face disciplinary action. Pierre-Luc stops responding to the CKC from there on out. The deadline comes and goes without a peep. The CKC tells the man he can submit his case to the registration review which would meet in November 2019. Depending on what they decide this could mean that the CKC registers his dog for him directly. He also gets told that he will be notified as soon as the disciplinary action decides on a suitable sanction for Pierre-Luc's failure to register the dog in a reasonable amount of time. Since we are now in November 2019 there's an update on this, but I'll get back to it later.
Part 2 is next (I exceed the character limit).