Official Posting by the NRTA on complaints posted  May 10, 2009

The NRTA Board of Directors has come to a decision on four complaints that were submitted on April 19, 2009 against NRTA Breeder Kim Seegmiller of Seegmillers Kennel, MO.
Actions that were taken went into effect May 10, 2009 and are as follows for Violation of NRTA Codes of Ethics:

1. Permanent removal as a member/breeder from the NRTA/NRTR
2. Strip out all of Brown’s Grit’s and any dog in questions litters
3. Disallow any further registrations of any dog bred by her which includes puppies or dogs transferred.
Anyone who that intentionally tries to bypass and sneak a dog in will be dismissed. (Which means: We will not accept for registration or transfer any dog that was bred by this person. So if you purchase a dog or puppy that was bred by this person it can not be registered or transferred to the NRTR as of May 10, 2009 )

All cases of complaints are governed by the following rules:

Breeders Code of Ethics

*I will always breed for quality in my dogs, concentration always being on producing a dog that meets the standards and has proper temperament for the breed.

*I will always attempt to place each dog/puppy in a proper home or environment.

*I will take full responsibility for the health and welfare of the puppies that I produce and never knowingly ship or transfer a sick or unthrifty  animal.

*I will not ship a puppy before the age of 8 weeks old.

*I will be honest to potential buyers and never make claims that I can not live up to.

*I will have a written guarantee on every dog/puppy that I sell.

*I will not sell to brokers or pet stores.

*I will not falsify a dogs paperwork and will provide all promised paperwork by the age of 12 weeks to the new owner.

*I will keep proper records on all dogs I sell or place

*I will not participate in the fighting of any dog breed.

*I will not knowingly breed a female to more than one stud dog during the same breeding cycle that produces a litter of unidentifiable parentage.

*I will not breed to an "American Hairless Terrier" or carrier of the Hairless gene to sell, promote or represent them as Rat Terriers.

I understand that failure to rectify a complaint lodged against me or failure to abide by the above code will result in suspension or removal as a NRTR breeder.

NRTA Code of Ethics supersedes Breeders Complaints Policy.
Any complaint that one may have about a breeder should be forwarded in writing. The NRTA must receive 3 written complaints before any appropriate action is taken. If these complaints are upheld the following actions may be taken by the President.
1. Suspension from the breeder's list until said complaints have been corrected.
2. Permanent removal from the breeders list.
3. Suspension from the club.
4. A suspension list will be included in the newsletter. Each complaint will be forwarded to the person the complaints were held against when received so that they may address the issues.

RE-INSTATEMENT- If a person has been suspended from the breeders list, 3 letters of recommendation must be received by the NRTA stating that the issue at hand has been rectified. The Board of Directors will review these letters for re-instatement.

Because the complaints have affected so many dogs our members and breeders have asked for a more detailed explanation of the circumstances surrounding the findings. It has not only affected one breeder but all the breeders and owners of the Decker Rat Terrier. Several changes have taken place with the registering of the Decker that will be outlined at the bottom of this page so that future problems can be eliminated and continuance of the Decker can go forward.

This is the letter submitted to the Board of Directors per our rules and regulations on handling complaints on any breeder that is listed with us.

Dear Board Of Directors,
     I am submitting the formal complaints below for you to review. There are very serious accusations included in them so please be sure to read it all very carefully and fully to understand the issues.
In a nutshell the basic complaints are:

1.Litters that were supposedly born out of Browns Grit x Simons Lucy, bred by Kim Seegmiller are in question as to who the real sire is. This would have been a 100% decker breeding. Statements are made with attempts to disprove this mating by the litter producing Natural Bob Tails which were never seen in any original Decker Rat Terriers and no Black and Tan colorations. It is suggested that another sire was used in producing this litter and his name is Seegmillers Angus. Should this be the case the litter would not be 100% Decker Rat Terriers.

2. A litter was supposedly born out of Seegmiller’s Ultraviolet (Polly) x Seegmiller’s Bullet and is also in question as to whom the sire really is and in addition the owner of the Sire, did not sign off on the litter registration but Kim Seegmiller got one of the pups registered through the NRTR as a single registration anyway.
Please submit your recommendations to me after giving it some careful thought as to how best to deal with the issues.
Thank you in advance for an expeditious reply,
Margaret Burz
NRTA President

Please note: (Any person(s) filing a complaint, names are omitted and are only made pubic to the person(s) that the complaint was filed against) the names are omitted so that people are not deterred from making complaints in the future.

The following is the ruling found by the NRTA Board of Directors on May 9, 2009 sent to Kim after she responded to the allegations.

Issue 1 Brown’s Grit.  A request was made to you to summit DNA Samples from Brown’s Grit and Seegmillers Angus. You stated that the DNA wasn't available from either. Seegmillers Angus was lost by your brother and that Brown’s Grit’s DNA from collected sperm that was frozen had been used up. You were then asked to summit DNA from puppies of Brown’s Grit’s, which you refused to do. Due to your refusal to cooperate in any manor and to clear this issue up when requested to do so, which you are required to do under the Breeders Code of Ethics, you have left the Board of Directors in a unanimous vote with no choice but to permanently remove you as a member/breeder from the NRTA/NRTR and to no longer except any registration from your kennel.

Issue 2. Seegmillers Bullet of South Fork bred to Seegmillers Ultraviolet to produce Seegmillers Patriot. This litter has been ruled invalid due to an improper registration being filed. You also refused to provide any proof of mating (A requested DNA sample to the sire’s owner of this litter. We will contact Patriot’s owner Bridget Placka and Bullet’s current owner Jackie Hagberg for DNA samples to confirm the mating. (Sent out to those concerned 5-09-09 The Board Of Directors findings are that the dog was illegally registered having no confirmation of the Sire's signature and her refusal to DNA the sire of the dog.) There was no response on this issue.

The President of the NRTA spoke with Kim Seegmiller in reference to the complaints submitted on a couple of occasions in an attempt to rectify them.

First Seegmillers Angus was talked about to try and get DNA from him. She stated that he was with her brother.

The second conversation was on 4-29-09 and went as follows:
She stated that Augus (one of the sires in question) disappeared while on a hunting trip with her brother since their conversation on 4-20-09 and therefore no DNS could be taken from him. This was only 9 days after the first request for DNA.

Browns Grit semen that she had frozen was already used up on a breeding of Seegmillers Otteline but she did not get pregnant so no more was available. Grit is deceased. Therefore no DNA could be used for testing.

It was also requested that a DNA sample should be submitted of the offspring of Browns Grit for a profiling but she adamantly refused to submit any DNA on the 8 offspring that she owned. Every attempt was made to Kim in order to try and come to some resolution on the complaints. She did not comply in any way.

When the owner of Bullet at the time of the breeding in question requested DNA on his breeding to her female, she said that "it was not worth the headache and all the pups would be sold without papers", the NRTA has a copy of the email reflecting these statements. The owner had concerns that Bullet was not the sire because Kim had stated on her web site that the sire was Angus but then changed it to Bullet. Furthermore the owner of Bullet did not sign off on the litter and notified Kim that he would not until a DNA was done. She refused to DNA but single registered one offspring anyway (Patriot). No DNA has ever been received by the owner of Bullet being completely refused by Kim Seegmiller.

The NRTA has received written reports of Kim stating that "It was no-ones business how many dogs I exposed a bitch to." Also "She was asked if she put multiple males with her females. She stated it was her breeding program and she could do whatever she wanted." We are still receiving reports of similar tactics of denial of DNA when studding out her dogs, letting different litters run together and guess whom they belong too once it it time to go back to the Mother, contracts written without the approval of the dam's owner, and holding dogs hostage. We can not pursue them as she is no longer with the NRTA but they will be kept on file. Basically there is a hefty list of non compliance to twisted dealings and simple questions that could be rectified.

It should be noted that the Breeders Code of Ethics and NRTA Code of Ethics have been in effect since 1996. From that time until present the NRTA has received about 50 complaints varying from minor to serious on both breeders and members.  Some for having kennel conditions not up to par, lack of contracts not being given to puppy buyers, shipping or selling of unthrifty pups, people wanting there deposits back, posting of derogatory statements on message boards, misrepresentation to a buyer, lack of proper paperwork and other issues. 9 breeders have been permanently suspended for various violations since 1996.

Apparently many knew of situations for several years but did not want to make waves or stir the pot until it finally got to the point where they could no longer hold it to themselves. The integrity of the breed was at stake and people wanted the truth to be known in order to fix the problems before they got more out of hand. They felt that they were cheating the breed and cheating the people that they had sold the offspring to. The burden became to much to hold inside and was finally brought to the attention of the NRTA in hopes to rectify disputes.

This is a full explanation of Kim Seegmillers dogs of what we will not accept in the future, as of May 10, 2009. We will not accept for registration or transfer any dog that was bred by Seegmillers. So if you purchase a dog or puppy that was bred by her it can not be registered or transferred to the NRTR. The reason for not accepting transfers or offspring is because that would just allow continuation of her dogs under another name. Any dog she owns or co owns would be listed as a limited breed status for record keeping purposes.  It does not affect any dog that you previously purchased before this date.

The question of Clarks Duke?

Many documents and pedigrees were submitted to the NRTA from Kim Seegmiller about 4-5 years ago in reference to new Deckerblood being found.  Some were found to contain no proof of lineage and were rejected, some were found to be valid and traced back to the original decker dogs. In the case of Clarks Duke a pedigree with his lineage in it was submitted and Kim spoke with Barry Clark and relayed to the NRTA that all information was accurate. But until a complaint was filed we had no reason to believe this information was incorrect and was taken with “good faith”. Please see this link for rules in NRTR registering.

Once it was brought to the attention of the NRTA that Clarks Duke may not be what we previously thought, we got on the phone with Barry Clark to confirm. He stated that Dons Skibeaux was bought from Kenny's Kennels and that Melvins Cookie was from a Pet Store. These are the parents of Clarks Duke who were suppose to be a 100% Decker Rat Terriers. Mr Clark also confirmed that he stated this exact information to Kim Seegmiller in the first place. The Board Of Directors ruled that it was a clear case of fraud and adjusted his percentage from 100% to zero.

Changes that have taken place for the Decker Rat Terrier:

Explanation of Complaints and how the NRTA Board of Directors came to its conclusions

When the Board Of Directors reviewed the Complaints that were submitted they saw several problems. Not only were there valid genetic reasons and lack of compliance to rectify issues, one was the issue of percentages. It seemed the Decker Rat Terrier was being based on percentages and greed rather than looking at the dog for what it really was and possessed. The second thing was falsification of records to once again benefit oneself. A decision was made to drop the percentages so focus could no longer be directed that way and to continue creation of the Decker Dog based on what the dog really stood for.

The majority of the Board of Directors really wanted removal of ALL Seegmillers dogs from the database and all offspring from them and so on down the line but came to a compromise with the Approved Proposals (see below). They did this because they felt it was unfair to penalize the work of so many due to one breeder. If they had not compromised, the Decker Rat Terrier would have no longer existed in the NRTA and would have affected 90% of all Decker Rat Terriers. So far this has been well received by the majority of members.

Approved Proposals now in effect as of May 10th 2009

1. Keep registered all dogs that contain 50% or more Decker blood. The percentage would be dropped from their pedigree and they would be known as Decker Rat Terriers. Recording of percentages will still be done in the database for record keeping only and not shown on the pedigree. Very Important Notice: All existing dogs in the database that as of (May 10, 2009) that are carrying 50% or more Decker Blood after the adjustment down from Clarks Duke will still retain the status of Decker Rat Terrier. The Clarks Duke heritage adjustment affected many, but few, if any have dropped below the 50% mark with this change.

2. Browns Grit will be suspended from the pedigrees and listed as such.  The percentage will be adjusted down but those dogs that were listed as Decker Rat Terriers before the adjustment will not be penalized and will retain the status of  Decker Rat Terriers.

Note: If anyone is confused or has a need to know the status of their dog or what percentage their dogs are they can email the NRTA and will be given that information.
The concentration should be shifted to knowing the dogs as Decker Rat Terriers or Decker Outcross. All new and future pedigrees will NOT have the percentage shown on them.

3. All dogs containing 25-49.99% percent blood would go into the Decker Outcross program and be designated as such. Previously designated as Deckerline, now known as Decker Outcross.  Be approved as having the desirable traits (By the Advisory Board). These dogs can be bred to a Decker containing at least 50% blood (Now known as Decker Rat Terrier) and their litter would be registered as Decker Rat Terriers. The reason for the approval stipulation is because there are toys and mini’s that carry % but would not be suitable for the outcross program. In addition this would be done to take the focus off of percentages and to put the focus on creating quality dogs.

4.  All dogs containing 0-24.99% percent blood would have to be approved into the Decker Outcross Program as long as they contain desirable traits (Decker Outcross meaning they carry a certain amount of Decker bloodline) They can be bred to a Decker containing it least 50% blood (once again the % would not be seen, just Decker Rat Terrier on pedigrees) and their litter would be registered as Decker Outcross. This is where the guidelines come in. ( See guidelines below)

5. The following suggestions are being made as breeding Guidelines and to boost the outcross program. This is to be worked on by the Decker Advisory Board. As of now this is still in progress.

(Possibilities: Could require that no dog could be bred to a direct relative (Father, Mother, Sister or Brother) or better yet if someone wants to inbreed to lock in factors you could require that all puppies that are sold be so labeled as inbred.
(Buyer must be told that the puppy comes from inbred parents and would be registered as such) Another thing noticed when looking at pedigrees is that no dog appears more then twice in a 3 generation pedigree; you could make that a requirement.
Set up a questionnaire that for example has 20 questions on it for the dog to meet the requirements of a Decker outcross dog, the dog should “fit” at least 10 or any satisfactory number of the elements on the list. This can be a yes no questionnaire. Does this dog hunt, does it have a scissors bite, does this dog etc. In addition a guideline with elements such as size, structure, color, temperament, what makes a good Decker etc? Submission of photos showing front, rear and side and the dogs bite.

Guidelines and questionnaires should never be set to automatically disqualify a dog.

Exceptions should be carefully looked at.
And most important all should see this article:

6. To avoid future problems, it is required that all Decker litters be DNA’ed at a cost of $38 per dog (Sire & Dam) and that a release form be signed to the NRTA for its records. You would only have to do each stud or dam once and only at the time they were bred so that you would not have to get them all done at once. The Vet DNA Center is all set up with the NRTA and DNA samples have already come in. Basically you would contact them and they would send you out the kit and the release form for the NRTA. The DNA center that would be used is---

DDC Veterinary
One DDC Way
Fairfield, OH 45014
Toll-Free: 1-800-625-0874