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ElizaBeth Thomas: The Driving Force Of WindRidge

      As the owner of WindRidge German Shepherds, I have been passionately involved in the  German Shepherd breed for over 35 years. In my 35 plus year of working with the German Shepherd breed I have trained and titled many dogs in several venues earning titles such as CGC, CD, and several AKC Conformation Championships. Showing, training, competing and breeding is just a part of what I have done to advocate for this amazing breed. I am also an active animal advocate and have testified before city councils in several areas about abusive practices of animal control/animal shelters, exposed puppy mills to state enforcement across Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri; in 2009 I testified before the Oklahoma Senate as an advocate for the passage of House Bill 1332, requiring dog and cat breeders to become licensed by the state Department of Agriculture if they sell more than 35 animals in a year. The bill also sought to establish minimum standards for housing and breeding animals.

      I am the Co-founder Heart to Heart Rescue and have developed WindRidge community outreach program "Building Bridges" teaching responsible pet ownership and respect for animals, as well as a Community Summer Reading Program. I am actively involved in memberships with the ASPCA, German Shepherd Dog Club of America, and I am in good standing with AKC (American Kennel Club) with which I am apart of the Bred with H.E.A.R.T program, and participate in sending our puppies home with the AKC Puppy Protection Package. 

      As members in good standing of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals since 1997, we take seriously the following ASPCA Position Statement on Criteria for Responsible Breeding: Responsible breeders are individuals who have focused their efforts on one or a select few breeds and through breeding, historical research and ongoing study, mentoring relationships, club memberships, showing, raising and training of these breeds, have become experts in their health, heritable defects, temperament and behavior. Responsible breeders are well suited to educate and screen potential buyers/adopters and provide follow-up support after purchase or adoption. Responsible breeders take lifetime responsibility for the animals they have bred. 

      The ASPCA advocates the following best practices for the responsible breeder:

- Screens breeding stock for heritable diseases; removes affected animals from breeding program. Affected animals are altered; may be placed as pets as long as health issues are disclosed to buyers/adopters.

- Has working knowledge of genetics and generally avoids inbreeding.

- Removes aggressive animals from breeding program; alters or euthanizes them.

- Keeps breeding stock healthy and well socialized.

- Never keeps more dogs or cats than they can provide with the highest level of care, including quality food, clean water, proper shelter from heat or cold, exercise and socialization and professional veterinary care.

- Bases breeding frequency on mother’s health, age, condition, and recuperative abilities.

- Does not breed extremely young or old animals.

- Breeds and rears dogs or cats in their home as they are considered part of the family.

- Ensures neonates are kept clean, warm, fed, vetted and with the mother until weaned; begins socialization of neonates at three weeks of age.

- Screens and counsels potential guardians; discusses positive and negative aspects of animal/breed.

- Ensures animals are weaned before placement (eight to ten weeks of age for dogs and cats).

- Complies with all applicable laws regulating breeders in their jurisdiction.

- Never sells puppies to a dealer or pet shop.

- Offers guidance and support to new guardians.

- Provides an adoption/purchase contract in plain English that spells out breeder’s responsibilities, adopter’s responsibilities, health guarantees and return policy.

- Provides accurate and reliable health, vaccination, and pedigree information.

- Makes sure pet quality animals are sold on a limited registration (dogs only), spay/neuter contract or are altered before placement.

- Will take back any animal of their breeding, at any time and for any reason.

My Vision For WindRidge:

      My children and I are completely devoted to our German Shepherds! WindRidge is not just a kennel.

WindRidge is a family, and our German Shepherds are an important part of our family. My children, now adults, have all grown up with German Shepherds. If you were to ask them, they would tell you they can't imagine life without them. Raising German Shepherds isn't a business for us; it is a lifestyle, and that special family bond shows in each WindRidge puppy.

      Understanding that it takes an especially sound temperament to be safe around a house full of humans from babies to elders and every age in between plus, all their friends has been the number one consideration in WindRidge breeding. So, if you want a puppy that will fit into your family, rest assured, a WindRidge puppy is what you've been looking for.

      We have deliberately stayed small and extremely selective with our training and breeding program; we genuinely have 2 to 4 liters each year. Each of our GSDs has been raised and trained by all our family members. With four of my adult children, two full time employees and ‘well-trained’ friends always ready to visit, help, engage and snuggle, none of our dogs ever lacks attention and love.

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