The Ringworm Story – Author’s Comments

Julie's shoulder with ringworm infection

Author’s comments

In researching this article I have gained some insight into the world of APH breeders. My main impression is that first and foremost they are pet lovers and hobbyists. They see breeding as a part of their hobby and its by-product, hoglets, as a way to finance something that can be very expensive, especially when their pets get sick. Most will claim that they do not make any money from breeding as anything they earn is ploughed back into their pastime.

There are breeder lists on several of the hedgehog internet communities I have visited but before breeders can be added to them they must adhere to a code of ethics. If you do read the UKAPH forum dedicated to this subject it is plainly evident that the breeders that post there are openly hostile towards Heavenlyhogs. They explain this hostility by referring to their past dealings with her when they were lied to or let down by her in various ways when they first tried to help her.

I’ve gone through several exotic pet forums where Heavenlyhogs is a member. She is a prolific poster and seems to be something of an attention seeker. On occasion she does not hesitate to use the “sympathy card” of her disabled children, her grandmother or her post traumatic stress disorder suffering partner when she is criticised for her actions. With her cavalier attitude towards breeding she is very prone to “putting her foot in it” and she has alienated experienced breeders of exotic pets of all types. When she is criticised about her ethics or lack of knowledge she claims that there is some kind of personal vendetta against her.

It seems to me that she is a person who is trying to turn what was initially a pastime into a money making venture. While it is debatable whether this is a bad thing in itself, what concerns most reputable breeders is that in her search for profit her ethics and more importantly the care of her animals have taken second place.

None of the breeders blame her for having the ringworm infection in her herd, although it is fair to say that several believe it is a consequence of her skirting around the quarantine requirement. Ringworm is basically everywhere, it is opportunist and will strike wherever it finds an opening. Nor is it incurable but, as Ian and Julie are finding out to their cost, it can be very difficult to eradicate. What many breeders, and non breeders alike are appalled at, is way in which she dealt with the matter as regards the new owners.  Despite many promises of refunds, after 5 months they have yet to see a penny and are unlikely to do so. As she has publically admitted that her herd has never been checked by her vet for ringworm, but self-treated as a precautionary measure, many breeders believe that her herd is still infected with the disease.

Perhaps this latter belief is based the fact that within weeks of stating she was self-treating her herd for ringworm she was already advertising the arrival of new hoglets for the New Year. It should remembered that Ian, Julie and Chaz have been treating their pets for several months and in one case the infection has still not cleared up!

Michelle Fountain aka Viljoen is still selling pet hedgehogs, mainly through online classified ad sites such as preloved.co.uk. Her name has been removed from the Hedgehog Central breeders list. She no longer advertises on the Reptile UK forums as people are quick to flood her posts with warnings of ringworm etc. I strongly urge people who may be considering buying any kind of pet from this woman to read posts in the links to the forums I have posted on this page: Dodgy Dealers before they make up their minds.

After publishing this article I contacted Heavenlyhogs to inform her about its existence. The next link contains her reply and I will add to it with information about what happens in the future.

Chapter IX – Follow-up

39 Comments on "The Ringworm Story – Author’s Comments"

  1. As someone who’s known the lady in question for about a year, I am appalled at your behaviour and others. I have seen everything that you have put her through, and the nasty spiteful vindictive emails, blogs, website whatever end here. If I was her I’d have contacted a solicitor and saught legal advice. What the lot of you are doing is pathetic, are you school children? Are you incapable to keep your mouths shut when you don’t agree with anything..? Did anyone hear of the phrase “if you haven’t got anything nice to say…”?

    Tomorrow this lady is having blood tests done on a non hedgehog pet, to test for a potential virus, which she may have through no fault of her own, but from trusting another breeder to care for her pets. She could behave like some breeders and not bother. After all she could just cull the pets she has and start all over, but she’s making the effort to correct something, even though there might not be an issue.

    I’m sick of seeing petty, pathetic, mindless ‘adults’ behaving like school girls. Grow up.

  2. heavenlyhogs | 10/03/2009 at 11:29 pm |

    Thank you Jen,
    the pets refered to are rats.
    My pet rat abandoned 13 babies 9 of which died the remaining 4 i was left to hand rear.I contacted a breeder desperate to save them after hand rearing them for 3 days.The breeder agreed to foster them to one of her mother rats and unfortuately 2 of the 4 died.However 2 survived and were returned at a suitable age.To my horror the remainig 2 died after 2 weeks hence the blood tests for thorough investigation to make sure my other rats are safe.
    The whole point is that i AM a RESPONSIBLE,CARING breeder that takes care of her animals their health,welfare and their hygeine ect.
    Maybe it would be beneficial to myself if i dealt with people just as well but i do and did at the time resent all the underhand tactics and remarks to draw me out and make me out to be some back street breeder.
    The fact remains ian and julie had from the time of the posts in HHC AND rfuk to send me via email their nominated choice for donation,i gave up emailing them and chaz had more than long enough to post her vet report and i gave up emailing her.Frustrated i withdrew my offers.Now i have a response i have agreed to the refunds once again.
    With regards to breeding for profit,well no i don’t and YES i do give some hedgies away free and 1 such hedgie is going to Jen completely free of charge.All i have asked of Jen in return is to donate a sum of her choice to hedgehog welfare.
    All i await now is the nominated charities for which refunds are to be made and that is an end to the matter for those concerned but due to constant public defamation ect i doubt very much it will be an end to it for me.

  3. I’m sorry your rats died but what on earth has that got to do with any of this?

    You see you’re contradicting yourself again Michelle. Earlier you didn’t dispute the fact that you had received their vet’s bill and offered to pay them £100 of the £150 total.

    You didn’t dispute the fact that your partner decided that he had to examine the forum posts and emails before he paid the money, so you withdrew the offer. And then they heard nothing from you for 3 months.

    Your partner came on this blog a few days ago and said that he still hadn’t decided whether he was going to pay or not.

    Now you are saying you withdrew the offer because you got fed up with waiting for the name of the charity from them. So which is it?

    Michelle you have said that you will pay them. The money is supposed to cover part of their vet’s fees. The fact that Ian and Julie have decided to donate the money to charity is THEIR BUSINESS not yours. Even if they decide to keep it for themselves it is nothing to do with you, you will have fulfilled your promise. You don’t have the right to demand that they send you the name of the charities. You just need to pay them whatever you decide to send them and let them deal with it.You don’t seem to understand that.

  4. K.A.Gaston | 11/03/2009 at 12:21 pm |

    Well at least the rat breeder had the sence to sort out or at least try to help one of her customers instead of ducking and diving away from the issue and throwing obstacles in the way and therefore reducing stress and not making a situation worse. I’m not involved in this story at all other than what I have read from all these links etc – I must say I am absolutely appalled by this scenario – If it were me I would be mortified that I had caused all these problems and would have just refunded the buyers asap and swallowed the loss – its rather obvious that the ringworm has come from this paricular person and all of this would have been avoided if the breeder had just shown a more professional attitude from the start – the replies are disgraceful from Heavenlyhogs – surely all the reply needed was – ‘yes, I am very sorry the ringworm was an issue it has been sorted within my herd now and my animals are clear – I am actively attempting to resolve this matter with my customers. Thank you for your concern.’ and in all honesty this should have been dealt with a long time ago by the sound of it!!

  5. Michelle has the right to demand to see proof of the animals having seen the vet and that the animals had in fact been treated for ring worm.I have every right to choose when i want to pay any money to any one as at the end of the day this has been nothing but a witch hunt on michelle from the very start.MICHELLE DOES NOT BREED OR OWN PETS TO SELL ON FOR THE MONEY.You lot make me sick and i tell you what i wish i could really say what i mean but then michelle would hold it against me.
    Frankly i am sick to the core of all this Michelle hasnt done nothing wrong apart from step on peoples toes that do use these animals as money making machines that do indbreed like mad to get specific colours that do keep their animals in such a state that its appaling that they think they could come onto any forum or any blog and say something when they themselves cant do the right thing.It`s sickeing to think you people live in a first world country where bullying,back biting and vindictiveness is at the order of the day.I have seen michelle cry on many occasions because of the lies that has been spread about her and in the way she has been treated but there is no let up on her there is no reprieve for her all because of what???? 150 quid or because she`s stepping on people toes that thought they had the monopoly on these pets???
    NOT only are you lot a bunch of bullies but for the life of me i dont understand why michelle is being singled out.she doesnt seek attention she doesnt bother or harm any one shes not keeping animals because she wants to make money from them she does it because she loves animals because she cares about them.Michelle has done a great job with the animals she has and yes she has had a couple of setbacks but so does everyone and why her business should be made public and why she should be ridiculed for every little thing she does is just sad but then what would you expect from jealous ignorant people.

    MICHELLE puts more care and love into her animals than what 99% of the people that took the time to put their 2 pence worth on this witch hunt.i have never ever come across a more judgemental people as you lot but i tell you that youre quick to pass judgement on something you dont know anything about and some one you know nothing about.

    WHY CAN`T YOU PEOPLE JUST LET MICHELLE BE SO SHE CAN CARRY ON WITH HER LIFE.WHY CAN`T YOU LOT JUST ACCEPT THE FACT THAT SHE IS ALSO A HEDGIE BREEDER AND THAT SHE NOT LOOKING TO GET RICH OUT OF IT BUT SOMEONE WHO IS LOOKING TO GIVE TO THE HEDGEHOG COMMUNITY.

    PLEASE LEAVE MICHELLE ALONE NOW. PLEASE STOP THIS VIDICTIVE BULLYING THATS GOING ON.THIS HAS GONE ON FOR LONG ENOUGH.I REFUSE TO SEE MICHELLE CRY ONE MORE TIME.GET A LIFE AND LET MICHELLE BE.SHE HAS DONE NO ONE ANY HARM.ALL SHE EVER WANTED WAS TO BE RECOGNISED AS A BREEDER HERSELF AND SHE GONE THROUGH GREAT LENGHTS TO MAKE THAT A POSSIBILITY BUT BECAUSE OF PEOPLES JEALOUSY SHES THE ONE BEING TARGETED.

    LEAVE MICHELLE ALONE !!!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hi Marius thank you for your obviously heartfelt comments.

    However, you seem to be losing the plot again.

    First things first, Michelle is not the victim here, if there are any victims in this story it is obviously Ian, Julie, Kendal and Chaz. So please stop trying to make out that this is all part of some conspiracy led by jealous breeders.

    I am not a hedgehog breeder, Ian and Julie are not hedgehog breeders and as far as I know neither is Chaz. I don’t know if any of the other people who have commented negatively on this story are either. What went on before these people bought a hedgehog from Michelle and contracted ringworm has nothing to do with them.

    Until about two weeks or so ago I didn’t even know of her or this story’s existence. The fact that some unnamed breeder inbred his or her hedgehogs has little to so with anything here. You can go on all you like about it but it has nothing to do with Ian, Julie or Chaz.

    As for vet’s bills. By all accounts, and even Michelle has not refuted this, you have been in possession of Ian and Julie’s vet bill since DECEMBER. I don’t think anybody has denied her the right to see the bills.

    You could have closed this story down 4 months by paying them what Michelle promised, instead you chose to procrastinate and play your little power game. All that does is give the impression that you believe if you wait long enough it will all go away… Well as you can see it hasn’t, it’s come back to bite you on the ass again.

    It is obvious you will consider this a witch hunt or vindictive bullying, I obviously think that the story is a fair rendition of what I have read on the various forums. It doesn’t really matter what you or I think, it’s what the readers think that is important. Strangely enough, up to now, the great majority of those who have left comments seem to believe that the story has some merit and that Ian, Julie and Chaz were treated shoddily and unfairly.

  7. One thing I forgot to mention in the above comment.

    I’ll admit to being a little confused now. Several months ago Michelle announced on the Reptile UK forum that she was going to open a pet shop. Pet shops normally sell their animals for money, or was she going to give them away for donations to animal charities as well?

    Perhaps she intended to keep her home based breeding separate from her pet shop?

    I think it reasonable to assume she is selling her pets for money. Personally I don’t see anything wrong with that. I don’t really understand why you’re getting so defensive about it.

  8. Ian Miles | 12/03/2009 at 12:25 am |

    Marius / Michelle
    Julie and I can and will send you the latest vets reports and bills to prove to you the sittuation is still ongoing with Leo. But to be totally honest I think I would just be wasting more money on the stamp. You as HONEST, CARING breeders have NO INTENTION whatsoever of paying a penny. Is it any wonder the Hog community and most readers are turning against Shell.
    You have just said you are sick of seeing Shell crying over this situation.
    If you are controlling the purse strings Marius its YOU that is making Shell cry. YOU are the one prolonging this campaign against her. ARE YOU PROUD OF THAT?
    If she is ever to repair her reputation do you think you are helping?
    I’m sure there is room in the exotic pet trade for another breeder. But I’m not sure the community will ever let this drop even if I run out of steam and give up.
    I initially brought the Ringworm problem to Shells attention to inform her of a possible infection in her stock, NOT to start a 7 month witch hunt. I have always been willing to forgive and forget, hopefully others will to. But only if Shell is seen to become the CARING breeder she says she is. She needs to clean up her act, but by the sound of it she has done that already. Stop trying to endanger everyone by illegally importing hogs, stop the lying and back tracking. And generally obey the basic pet trade rules and guidelines.
    I dont mind her wanting to make a few quid out of her pets, good luck to her. What I do mind is when it affects my wife and childs health, not to mention Leo, Pickles and poor Chaz a poor invalid girl to weak to fight the damage Shell has caused.
    It’s not about the poxy £150 donation Shell promised to charity Marius, because to be honest if you dont send it, I will send £150 myself because it was I who promised the charities I would be sending it. AND I DONT BREAK MY WORD.
    But if I do have to send it Marius this will never go away and it will get a whole lot worse. There are directions I and others can and will take it.
    But to be honest I dont want to open that can of worms for your sake and the small pet trade in general. It will do nobody any good.
    Thats not a threat its a plea for you to stop this.

    Ian & Julie

  9. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 2:34 am |

    I am not opening a pet shop i decided since i could now afford to do so i would open a sanctuary.
    endanger people,do you honestly think i would have deliberately set about to infect myself and my children and whoever else with rabies?WHAT are you thinking?
    If you wanted the cash and a quick ending then why insist you want ME to donate this on YOUR behalf?
    Why not say fair enough we await the cash and leave it at that.Here aswell as in refuk you have stated you want a cheque made out on your bahalf for an organisation.You stated it here too.
    To be honest i wish i had just sent you the cash and put a note in it to say you should deal with donations yourself.
    No damage to Chaz has been made i have not denied i’m paying Chaz however i am entitled to see her vet report and as said if she is in an unfit state to put a stamp on a letter and post it again she could have emailed me and anyone of her famiy could have contacted me about it but since those posts she has not.
    Yet i have seen by various posts/feedback Chaz has been here there and everywhere getting new pets ect???
    I will no longer have a clue what is being said or done because no one can contact me anymore,by address(moving any day now),phone,email or via any forum as a means of harassment because you could have done it yourself via email.
    I will send you your money and you can deal with donations yourself.

  10. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 2:50 am |

    In reply to you spike,no i was not setting up a pet shop for profit,setting up a pet shop cost money and lots of it.It’s not nearly as profitable as you may think.
    Are there no breeders/animal lovers that do it just for their passion for it?
    Like the rat breeding for example i have paid out my ass in vet fees in recent days correcting a problem that was so easy to sort by culling and that is free.I was initially going to sell babies but decided to keep them all.Where’s the profit in that?
    Perhaps you’re right and most here if not all do prefer to make a profit.Damn am i not allowed to be a bit different?

  11. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 3:09 am |

    I will also be making sure Marius(bless him)makes no futher comments to this.Neither will i.
    I am way too busy with moving now and once i do my lifestyle will have changed so dramatically i will have so many better things to do than waste my time and life sat in front of a monitor in my spare time.
    However post will be collected by a family member and posted on to me ian for a couple of weeks.
    Thank you all & goodbye

  12. I’m not going to comment on the obvious contradictions of in your posts Michelle.

    As you’ve agreed to pay the money, the easiest thing to do would be to just post it to Ian and Julie and let them sort out the donation.

    And good luck with your sanctuary.

  13. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 12:05 pm |

    my final note is for you spike you claim to be a neutral party,well i find that very difficult to believe.Since you have always been fast on the heels of things i have or haven’t said or done.But funny never once have you mentioned anything about the mistakes other people have made,like to ian for example for his initial post,given the post was made at such a time in HHC and ian said he didn’t want a refund.So then why go on to make that post in HHC if that was the case at the time even when they changed their minds why not email,funny you’ve never pointed it out.But it’s quite obvious given the fact that they were contacted by certain parties.
    say no more
    That deserved pointing out before i leave this beneficial to hedgehogs in general blog.Maybe you should do a blog about the western africans that eat them and knock heads together with the hedgie sas in the uk and do something about it.

  14. Yes you are right that I didn’t mention Ian and Julie’s statement on HC that they were not seeking a refund. It was in an initial draft of the story I wrote but I decided NOT to put it in the final version as it reflected TOO POSITIVELY ON IAN AND JULIE and I believed it would make readers think I was trying to portray them as some kind of saints. The fact remains though that the information is there on that forum for anybody to read.

    I don’t quite understand why you think this was a mistake on Ian and Julie’s part. Unless of course you’re saying they should have demanded a refund from the start?

    I don’t think they asked for a refund in any of their posts up to the point YOU said YOU would make one. It was only then that they mentioned a hedgehog charity.

    As for your last comment I the blog isn’t intended to be beneficial to hedgehogs, it’s intended to be beneficial to prospective hedgehog buyers. I’m not quite sure what you’re going on about either.

    I think my next main Blog article will be about how Defra allowed someone to self-quarantine 3 accidentally imported hedgehogs in a house containing snakes, lizards, an unknown number of rats, sugar-gliders(?), cat(s), and dog(s)without (as far as I know) making an inspection to discover whether the said premises were suitable. I’ll also be asking why is it that some people have to pay thousands of pounds and put their animals through the 6 months of quarantine trauma while it appears that others are allowed a Do It Yourself kind of solution. At the moment I’m waiting for a reply from them. But stay tuned it will be coming soon.

  15. And by the way I do not claim to be neutral in this, I think it is pretty obvious where my sympathies lie.

    What I do claim is that the article is an accurate summary of the Forum posts I read. Obviously it does not contain quotes from every post made on the subject but those posts are there for anybody who wants to read them.

    I strongly urge anybody who wants more details to read those posts.

  16. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 5:43 pm |

    The point i was making spike is that until the rather NASTY post in REPUK i was told by ian and julie they didn’t want a refund and blow me what a way to go about changing their minds and demanding it with such a post a simple email request would have sufficed.
    The hedgehogs were here for 3mts already and had already come into contact with my house and its contents,wouldn’t have made much sense to move them.
    Now as far as i’m concerned the only thing i did wrong was to trust anyone.Firsty defra for their mistake,secondly the breeder for selling me animals with ringworm,thirdly the breeder who raised my rats for me which btw i have just got back from the vet and for one of my fifteen rats paid out £190 for relevant tests ect and nothing has even been diagnosed yet.Tell me would a neglectful breeder or uncaring breeder do that for a rat that cost £10 that wished to profit?i DON’T think so.

    My priorities after initial information was to TREAT and have a vet look over a couple of my hedgies and other pets once sorted then and only then was it feesable to reinburse said parties.The animals came first.Sorry.
    I sincerely do hope you do a defra article unfortunately i’m not going to be able to read it but yes PLEASE prevent this or at least TRY to prevent this from happening to anybody else.

  17. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 5:48 pm |

    Obviously my partners company is a new one so we are NOT loaded at this time to take care of this whole mess,however we soon will be but then there wont be a need for it for these incidents.I will NOT be asking marius to pay for what has happened he needs to continue getting his company going for our future.
    Maybe i’m stubborn,maybe i’m too proud afterall i can always go to my wealthy mother.
    Unlike most i like to deal with my own problems.
    Good luck with future articles.

  18. Ian Miles | 12/03/2009 at 7:33 pm |

    Sounds like we have another contradiction going on here Shell.

    MARIUS says he is the one thats going to pay but when he is good and ready.
    SHELL says MARIUS will not be paying.

    I’m confused.com

    Ian

  19. Michelle, NO WHERE in that nasty post you mention can I see Ian and Julie “demanding” a refund.

    As far as I am aware they only began asking you for a cheque made out to a charity of their choice AFTER you emailed them and offered a refund, which you subsequently withdrew.

    Again I’m sorry for any suffering your rats are going through but what has that got to do with this?

    You keep contradicting yourself. On several occasions, here or on the forums you’ve mentioned being a millionaire. You’ve even told us your partner earns millions. Nobody solicited that information. This is only one example of the contradictions there are many others. You also avoid answering “awkward” questions.

    Can’t you see it makes it very difficult for anybody to believe anything you say?

  20. heavenlyhogs | 12/03/2009 at 11:10 pm |

    What has the rats got to do with this you ask.Did i miss something or have you?
    I use to care what people think.That’s why i’ve always been there as others desired to anserw questions and stand up for myself and not do as one commenter here suggested and sum up everything in one sentence i thought the situation deserved more.Personally for me people can read and think what they like,they’re adults.And some will see points i’ve made and some wont it that’s simple.I have no desire to MAKE people believe a word i say.I know the truth and that’s all that matters to me.I don’t feel the need to go into any futher details regarding my private life.
    Must continue packing and my pc is next.
    bye

  21. The thing is Michelle nobody has asked you to go into the details of your private life. Nobody would know anything about your private life if you hadn’t mentioned it here or other places.

    Any idea when you’re going to send the cheque to Ian and Julie?

    And no I haven’t missed anything. I still say your sick rats have nothing to do with story.

  22. Hi Michelle,

    Have you packed up and left yet? Haven’t you been moving for months? I thought moving for a millionairess who also has wealthy mother and a partner that has a globally successful business would be a easy. Epecially as you need to escape from your life of grime and your piss stained duvets and flea ridden sofa.

    Why on gods earth would you be entitled to benefits if you have so much cash?

    Why would you exept towel bale donations from ordinary, hard working people for you hogs in quarentine when you have so much cash?

    Why say your hogs are in a quarentine centre when they were actually at your house as you are now stating?

    Why say before Christmas that you could not give all the parties involved their money until after christmas as you could not afford it and your family come first. Yet you have gone and added to your collection expensive fire and ice beardies and rats.

    The thing that gets me the most is not the fact you have not paid all parties involved the cash as you said you would. Its the fact of the constant lies and storytelling. I must say you are not a good story teller as you constanly change your mind and contradict yourself. Its quite funny really as you often put your own foot in it. You make it very easy for honest people to see your true colours.

    Face it Michelle……. you are not a nice person.

  23. Thank you very much for dropping by Cookie.

    I didn’t know about the “towel bales”. What are they exactly?
    Nor did I know Michelle was on benefits. Is that true?

  24. heavenlyhogs | 13/03/2009 at 4:47 pm |

    The truth is i don’t care what you say about my home various keepers/breeders have been here and were not disappointed.I’m sure if it IS as said they would have run a mile much less left their animals in my care.lol.Stop nit picking.
    Where the hogs were concerned,the legalities were dealt with,the threat was dealt with the details were dealt with by the people that mattered at the time and those with AUTHORITY.If you have any issues i suggest you contact defra.
    A year ago as described those were my circumstances while saving the quarantine expenses.With regards to dragons,heard of payment plans?Peoples lives change and mine HAS changed.
    We may not have the royalties to throw around right now they have been invested in my partners company,soon will have and that will be ploughed back into the welfare of animals,still i guess you’ll read all about it one day,i will be doing a lot of work with animals and look forward to posting details of my new life and works.
    Then i want you to come to me with the same attitude and accuse me of being a storyteller and a liar.Does the term cheshire cat mean anything to you?
    Some people are capable of change,i do not need to point out those that are incapable of it.
    Well obviously i must be a nice person i responded one last time just for you didn’t i
    🙂

  25. heavenlyhogs | 13/03/2009 at 5:06 pm |

    Just because i had to pay anyone doesn’t mean i wasn’t allowed to accept christmas gifts from my partner does it?
    most of my best draagons were gifts.

  26. Well actually Michelle I did actually contact Defra a few days ago.

    I described the circumstances of your importation of the hedgehogs into the UK and asked several questions.

    The reply came back today as it happens.

    I’m not going to paste the whole reply but if anybody wants to see it you can email me.

    [Reply excerpt starts here:]

    AHDWO 18033

    Dear Mr Murphy,

    Thank you for your email received 9th March 2009 regarding the import into the UK of African Pygmy Hedgehogs,

    To answer your questions –

    1) The first and obvious question is what Ms Fountain saying true?

    Please be advised that due to the Data Protection Act we cannot discuss individual cases with third parties.

    2) I have always been under the impression that if it is discovered that pets have been imported illegally or mistakenly into the UK and not put into quarantine they are immediately put down. If this is the true why didn’t this happen in Ms Fountain’s case?

    Any illegal import is investigated by Trading Standards who are the enforcing authority under the The Rabies ( Importation of Dogs, Cats & other Mammals ) Order 1974. Generally, the owner/s would have the option of re-export, 6 months quarantine or euthanasia.

    3) Is it Defra policy to allow people to self-quarantine their imported pets?

    Please be advised, we do not allow home quarantine.

    [Email excerpt ends here]

    I’ve since replied asking for confirmation about a few things.

    I had asked a few more questions but as in answer to question number 3 they categorically state that home quarantine is NOT allowed they did not answer them.

    Something is certainly not quite right here. Just what it is I’m not sure yet…

  27. As for your comment about changing Michelle, you certainly haven’t, you’re still promising to pay but not actually doing anything about it, as far as I know.

  28. heavenlyhogs | 13/03/2009 at 8:24 pm |

    “individual cases” “generally” “under the impression” “as far as i know”
    sorry i can’t help or respond any futher.

  29. Ian Miles | 14/03/2009 at 11:45 am |

    Still no cheque arrived yet Spike.
    It must be in the second post.

    Ian & Julie

    PS. Watch for the flag on the town hall WHEN AND IF it ever does come.

  30. Wow talk about shooting yourself in the foot. i have recently joined some of the forums which all of these posts are on and have read through them all. i have never seen one person tell so many different stories ie. poor mum with 2 autistic sons who have had to donate their benefits to pay for the quarantine of these hoggies (who she then says were not quarantined but kept in her home) to ‘i am a millionaress’ and don’t care about the money.

    To Mario what makes you think that it is (as you say) up to you when and if you pay any money to chaz and ian when you didn’t sell sick hogs to them in the first place. it is michelle who should have paid up straight away and nothing to do with you but any caring breeder as she says she is would have paid up fast! michelle has had vets bill from both chaz and ian and could have just had the info released to her vet without the need for the paperwork so it is obvious that she has no intention of putting right her shoddy animal care and doing the decent thing and paying up.

    I breed dutch rabbits and if one of my babies went out sick i would pay up so fast! firstly because i wouldbe mortified that i had unknowingly sold somebody a sick animal and secondly because i wouldn’t want to damage my reputation so badly that only the seriously uneducated would buy from me.

    Is amazing that people like this are always the picked on and the whole world is in the wrong rather than them. Amazing how so many people can be wrong and one person right i thinks!

    Nice try in trying to make out that other breeders are making up all this stuff about you because they don’t want you around stealing all their sales but i don’t know a single one of them and have not been made bias by anyone and i can see you for what you are.

    to chaz and ian you are obviously not going to get a penny from this woman or you would have got it long ago but well done for spending so much time and effort nursing these little guys and yourselves round. we need more people like you and its a pity that the authorities are not so much more up on things to have banned this woman from keeping anything more alive that a houseplant 🙂

  31. Thank you very much for your comment Steph, very much appreciated.

    It’s very difficult to understand much from what Michelle’s says because she contradicts herself so often.

    In several posts she declares herself to be a millionaire. In another she says her “husband” earns millions. Then she’s on benefits and struggling to bring up two disabled children. Then she is somehow able to afford a trip to Holland/Germany to pick up 3 hedgehogs which are also expensive buy. In another post she says she has “a keen interest in buying investment properties abroad”, but then she has to borrow money from her sons to put her hedgehogs into quarantine. Then after telling people her hedgies were in a quarantine facility she says Defra said she could quarantine them at home, (something Defra deny is possible by the way). Then we find her trying to sell her pet bulldog because her partner has left her and she’s in desperate straits. The list just goes on and on. It’s very difficult to keep up.

    If anybody dares to mention these contradictions, then they too are all part of the great conspiracy against her, which is being led by jealous breeders.

    For the past 6 months she has been moving home. These “imminent” moves always seem to coincide with the times the gets called out on her “contradictions” (which other less kind people may call them lies).

  32. Hello all,

    No im not to ill to “lick a stamp” just to ill to deal with lies and stress, i gave up on any sort of a refund, didnt even bother to send you the vet report and even tho i didnt bother for those who did Ian and Julie its obvious had i of done so i still would of got nothing. So luckily saved myself stress and more ill health by not persuing the matter, i apploud Ian and Julie for carrying on tho and will help anyone, spike including on any details ect they want/need to know and advise against you at all times to anyone for anything 🙂 So you can quit using the line i didnt bother sending vets bills or what ever you keep banging on about (sorry havnt read most of your posts as there to hard going and most are off topic and full of rubbish)because i have M.E. (chronic fatigue) and £150 and a useless breeder of anything is really not worth my health/time. I do not bother discussing things with you by email as it would seem to be as hopeless as by stamps so it seems.

    If your short of money or rolling in it (depending on which it is that takes your fancy today) you have no excuse either way, short of money dont own as much pets, rolling in it? then pay up, sort your pets out.. what was the results of the rats blood tests outof interest as you were clearly so worried that same sort of thing had happened to you which it had us, i.e ur rats had something when given back to you, know how we felt now?

    Iv bought pets left right and centre? Online i have bought 2 rats and hunting for a new hog..? (this time being VERY careful of back ground research into breeders there hogs and so fourth)

    Chaz

  33. Hi Chaz,
    Welcome to this blog 🙂 As usual you make some very valid points. So many pets indeed. I’ve been informed that since this blog has begun, Michelle has paid out around £1000 for lizards. She’s also boasted quite often that she has had no problem selling her hoglets. They go for around £150 each. Her excuse about having to pay for her Rats being sick doesn’t wash I’m afraid.

  34. MICHELLE | 22/04/2009 at 3:02 am |

    just to make another valid point,if i’m on benefits ect where would i find over £2,000 in fact for the extra high quality snakes and lizards i have/had here?
    You think “I” would have that sort of money?in such a short space of time?
    I wont explain this,because it is not your concern.
    As for selling hedgehogs i have only sold 1 since my first litter,ALL my litters are registered,and money for that hedgie paid some of my veterinary fees and that customer was very happy with their hoglet.The only other hoglet to perhaps be homed is 1 i am giving freely as mentioned before.
    Again yet another assumption.
    And of course i have to pay for my rats being ill,these are very specialised tests.Only a few specialist vets actually do the tests.
    Thanl you

  35. MICHELLE | 22/04/2009 at 3:10 am |

    Now i have made my apologies and agreed to pay vet fees as soon as possible,so i can leave here safe in the knowledge that although be it 3 mts later i have done the right thing,and as the old saying goes better a little late than never.So what more outside of that is it you want?

  36. MICHELLE | 22/04/2009 at 3:16 am |

    seems to me to be blood and if that’s the case i’m in and out of the house every weekend for mail ect for anyone that wants it.
    As for knowing how you feel chaz,in a way yes,but.chances are if this rat thing came from the breeder they KNEW about it and it’s killed some of my rats,i didn’t knowingly sell you ringworm infected hogs or hogs that went on to die so i would say there is a big difference in circumstances there.

  37. Well, it’s been two years since this has all happened. And I am surprised to see the last post just end as such. It gave me a good laugh to read MIchelle feeding the fire, though. Sounds like she is a bit mental, constantly “contradicting” herself, as you say. I do call it lying, and it looks like there is plenty of documented proof of it. My favorite bit was when she implied she put the beardies on payment plan, and then posted directly after, not trying to delete or edit the previous statement that her partner bought them for her as presents.
    Maybe she needs to seek some psychological help. Sounds a bit like a hoarding problem, and she believes she has the animals’ best interests at heart. I wonder if she ever opened that amazing sanctuary that she claimed to have enough money to run. Any updates to the situation? I don’t know much about court over where you are located, but here in the states, this collectively (with doc and vet bills, forum boards, witness statements, photos, e-mails, etc.) is surely enough information to get reimbursement for the hog’s vet bills, ringworm checking for the dogs, as well as the personal bills, and even more for psychological distress for dealing with all of this, and humane societies don’t mess around with numerous complaints (even one visit is enough to get animals confiscated. I would know, I used to volunteer for the animal cruelty dept in my county. I’ve seen horrible things that some people believe are NORMAL living conditions and NORMAL treatment towards animals. ) against animal caretakers, whether they are breeders or personal owners. How difficult is it to write a cheque out to a charity?

    My thoughts: Stop making excuses. If you do not have the money it is required to take care of one ill pet, do not go into breeding. That isn’t being a responsible breeder. Do not use benefit money the government gives you to care for your kids for your pet business. That’s misuse of government money, and there are a hundred people angry that this is how their tax money is being used (wrongfully). I feel so horrible for the rest of the animals in her care that could potentially be ill and she has not had checked or treated. Ringworm spreads rapidly. It isn’t prejudice of species. All of her animals should have been at the very least checked by a vet. My late father was a veterinarian and there is no way he or any respectable vet would treat over the phone. That is simply unheard of, breeder or not. Even in wildlife from home care-the animals must come back in to the clinic to be treated if any new symptoms arise.

    I proudly applaud those who have been informing the public about this case, because they have a right to know, in any form they choose is necessary. Yes, Michelle has every right to defend herself, but she has not been doing so in a professional manner. I felt that this story, as I read it today, was a very fair piece, and that’s my personal opinion. This is no case of defamation of character by others. She is only damaging more of her own reputation by continuing on with all this rubbage tossing. Maybe she finally caught on, and that’s why there are no further posts.

    Sincerely,
    Kate and my 8 hedgie ladies

  38. Oh, and I think I should state that I am not a hedgehog breeder :). Just a very curious individual with a zoology and biomedical engineering degree that loves to read about hedgehogs.

  39. Jimmy O. | 27/06/2012 at 3:51 am |

    Wow heveanlyhogs told you to be mature in the last post but all I’m seeing is her acting like a child. I can clearly see from the facts that those people deserve to be compensated with no questions asked. Oh and to think those animals were rolling in their own feces and urine while maturing and going through the shipping process…. It seems like some people here refuse to look at the facts and she doesn’t deserve to breed a thing.

1 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. The Ringworm Story - The Aftermath

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*