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Hey everybody! Welcome to part 5 of this insane story of how the owner of Off Leash K9 Training LLC, Nick White, has let what was once a reputable company become a complete shitshow. Today we’ll be talking about how exactly that happened and how the story of Baloo became completely twisted by the owner of that franchise, Randi Laferney. If you need to catch up, here ya go: Part one, part two, part three, and part four. I’m just gonna warn y’all now, this is going to be a long one. I suggested you grab a beer, get some popcorn and celebrate the rollercoaster this is to the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
You may remember the name Michael Breitsprecher from part three of our investigation. The only information that was made publicly available was what the family had written in the blog I’d featured in that article. None of it made any sense. How ,in the span of two weeks with texts and video showing a healthy dog, did he just up and die? I was fortunate enough to speak to with Michael, the accused dog killer, and not only got to the bottom of what had really happened, but I also went down yet another rabbit hole of greed, negligence and straight up fuckery at the hands of Randi LaFerney.
I really dunno why the hell the women who really run things straight into the ground so hard and tunnel straight to hell are hot, but don’t let the pretty faces fool you. This chick in particular is one hell of a sociopath, and from what several sources have all independently from one another confirmed she’s only after the money, admittedly only about the money. She’s allegedly so obsessed with stacking that paper that she’s willing to let dogs suffer, put them in danger and let them die.
To truly understand what happened with Baloo, and so many other poor dogs, we have to back up a few years. In 2014 OLK9 began offering the opportunity to own a franchise which was promoted by a blog post in July of that year. This was what used to be required to operate a franchise back then:
As an Off Leash K9 Training trainer, you will spend 21 days at our facility in Northern Virginia, observing and taking part in over 240+ hours of dog training! You will see all breeds, ages, and sizes! You will see all temperaments and energy levels!
At the end of your 21 day training, you will have all the tools, knowledge, and know-how to deal with basic obedience, advanced obedience, and behavioral modification.”
That sounds all well and good, until shit went sideways and exploded from around 30 locations to 80 and they couldn’t have that volume of trainers being trained at the OLK9 headquarters anymore. They began to assign outside trainers, all of whom had varying training methods. That’s a fantastic way to make damn sure your brand is about to become really inconsistent. This lead to an explosion of franchises all over the country, a coinciding serious dip in quality control, and a Craig’s List add in Palm Beach County, Florida posted by Randi and responded to by Michael. He had been a real trainer, and groomer, for quite some time before this and thought this was a great opportunity for him and his husband (you know we’re a progressive blog and love the gays). Looks apealing, doesn’t it?:
Michael ended up heading to Virgina to be trained by Nick White, but while there he was assigned another trainer by Randi for an unkown reason. Whatever the case was Randi southern charmed her way into Michael’s trust bubble and he went with it despite not liking their training method of “If the e-collar isn’t working, turn that shit up until it does. Then call it training”. Michael had stuck to what he’d learned before and was the most effective trainer for the South Florida franchise, something Randi would come resent them for later on. Michael and his husband were the faces of OLK9 in that area and that made that petty bitch Randi jealous as hell. That makes sense considering she allegedly threw a hissy fit when she was told by OLK9 owner, Nick white, that she had to pay Michael more than she was planning on before they were hired. When the boss says an employee has to be paid more than what they’re getting paid, that tells me that she was offering peanuts for what this guy was about to take on which you will see in a moment is fucking insane.
After training in the summer of 2016, Michael went on to work with Randi for some time and he and his husband had pitched the idea of “Camp Off Leash”; a 5 acre farmhouse with five bedrooms, 3 baths, an in-law apartment and horse stables they had converted into a boarding area for the dogs, which featured very large areas for dogs to hang out in between training and playing with heavy-duty, well ventilated cages:
You need to use the panorama setting to get it all in one shot!
Since this was part of Randi’s business, she had agreed to take on the lease for the house, while Michael and his hubby paid for the electric, water and ended up paying for pest control to ensure the safety of the dogs. Randi had previously refused to spring for the service, because it wasn’t as though dog’s lives were at risk or anything. No biggie. This was the beginning of the problems these two would have with Randi. Another issue that arose at this time was how Michael had two stipulations: 1) That every dog must be up to date on his vaccinations before coming to the camp because dogs coming into contact with other dogs who are not vaccinated will spread disease. 2) That if there were two or three dogs living in a home together that they were not to be separated and all dogs trained together. Make sense? If one dog is trained and the others aren’t, then how the hell is that going to be effective? Answer: It won’t. Randi refused to enforce both conditions which is important to note as this directly affected Baloo.
In December of 2017, business was booming and Randi had pushed 30 dogs on two trainers, as is typical with Off Leash where they overload the trainers they have with more dogs than anyone can handle, no matter what space they have. However this couple who really care about the dog’s wellbeing found themselves waking up at 5 am to feed, train, play with 30 dogs. Daily cleaning of every single surface of the facility and a pressure washed deep cleaning once a week, never really being able to rest throughout the day between taking care of and cleaning up after thirty (30) fucking dogs until November later that year. Eleven whole months of Randi pushing dogs in and Michael and his husband turning them around.
I’m telling y’all, while I was listening to the description of this insanity Michael was telling me they had dealt with, I started feeling sympathy overwhelmed. That’s kinda like Kevin Cullen’s “Second hand PTSD” except I actually felt bad for these guys. They soldiered on and did every damn thing, every damn day until they had their first inkling that something was really wrong with Randi ,aside from just being money hungry and not caring about the dogs she was working with.
Michael’s husband had suffered a seizure in September and was driven to the hospital. While en route, they received a phone call from Randi who had the minerals to question whether or not this was actually happening. Imagine that shit. You’re driving your loved one to the hospital after what was obviously, and later proven to be, a seizure and your boss calls and asks if they’re faking it. Nah bitch, nah. That right there was the second sign that they were dealing with a sociopath, but these guys stuck with it because they loved what they did and did it well.
Now remember what I said concerning the stipulation that if two dogs lived together that both must be trained at the same time, or not at all? Well, Baloo was one of two dogs who lived in one home, the other dog being his sister and best friend. Upon hearing about Baloo, Michael said he refused to take just the one dog, Randi turned around and said that they had paid in full and there was no choice but to take him. So take him they did and within two days, Baloo was actually very responsive to commands and training. See how he learned to sit on an overturned bucket thing? Cute as all hell.
Not only are these guys really good, qualified and experienced trainers, but they also know how to make sure that the dogs are comfortable, healthy and safe at their facility. Aside from making sure that the place was kept spotless, odor free and hygienic they had digital thermostats to maintain a constant temperature of 72 degrees. The dogs were treated to a haircut by Michael, as well. They even had, I shit you not, salt lamps and essential oil diffusers to comfort the dogs and uplift their spirits. It’s like these dogs went to a training boot camp that was more spa and just camp. Michael and his husband wanted folks who were trusting them with their family pets to rest assured that their dogs were being taught obedience, but were also being pampered. They only trained and played with the dogs outside in the very early morning and later evenings when it was cooler outside so that they wouldn’t get too hot while learning their puppy stuff. Here’s their video:
Here’s where things get shitty, however. Despite making so much progress, Michael had to send these texts to Randi on July 4th:
(English is their second language, German being the first. It’s a damn good try, at least)
Here’s the things about the Akita breed, they can be aggressive. Don’t bother Googling “Akita Attributes”, I already did it for ya:
“Can be aggressive” and “The large size of the Akita can make him difficult to control“. We’re talking about a dog, albeit a sweet one, who has a bite force of 300 to 350 pounds of pressure combined with the anxiety of being separated from his family and most importantly his sister. He was so upset that he was chewing the walls of the his cage which, as you can see in the pictures above, are obviously heavy-duty and made to last a lifetime. Somehow, Baloo bent them all up with ease overnight. This poor pup was so upset about being there alone that I believe this is how he had lost his tooth as reported in the necropsy although it was never found during the deep cleanings, so who know where it happened.
This brings us to Baloo’s death. Sadly, on July 6th, Michael and his husband had to have their own dog put to sleep. They had a vet come to the house because they felt it was better for her to pass at home while surrounded by people who love her. Those are some folks who really care about dogs’ lives. That right there speaks volumes. Now obviously had there been anything wrong with Baloo aside from obvious stress and separation anxiety there would have had the vet check him out right then and there. The only problems up until now had been small cuts on his mouth from chewing metal apart and had been eating a bit less. This was towards the end of his second week and was supposed to be going home soon, so Michael figured he’d return home to become untrained again, but at least he’d be happy to be reunited with his whole family.
The very next day, July 7th of 2017, Michael’s husband had called him over saying that Baloo wasn’t very alert or responsive. Over the phone during our interview, his exact words to me we “It seemed like his mind was just gone”. Obviously they rushed Baloo over to the vet that South florida Off Leash used where the vet said that he was dehydrated. That doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary when you consider that he was so emotionally fucked up.
Here’s where we see the ultimate shady side of Randi: When she was informed of the situation, which was on the way to the vet, she demanded they go to a local emergency room for animals. This made no sense considering that Baloo was almost at the vet’s office when she said this. Why was she protesting using the vet that her business has used since the start? As Michael tells me, she allegedly told them that she was hoping to avoid a lawsuit. Michael said fuck that and continued on to the vet where he’d get more than adequate care. (Now there is a lawsuit against her.)
Baloo spent 9 hours at the vet’s getting checked out, observed and getting fluids. Michael and his husband were by his side for nine hours before Michael took his exhausted hubby home with the intentions of returning to the vet right after. On the way back to the vet, Michael got a call from the vet’s office and was informed that while he was gone that short time, Baloo wasn’t doing well at all. By the time he reached the vet’s office, he had seen Baloo in a muzzle with several people surrounding him making sure he didn’t try and bolt. Michael wasn’t allowed to go in to see Baloo and had to leave him there over night, there wasn’t shit he could do about it.
The next morning, instead of the vet calling him, Michael called to check up on Baloo and was happy to hear that he was doing well and he could be picked up in an hour. Except that thirty minutes later…Baloo was dead. The vet said he had died of shock. How the fuck does a dog go from being a little dehydrated, to agitated enough to be forced to wear a muzzle to just fine, then dead of shock in under 12 hours!? This makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! It’s quite interesting to see that not only did Michael immediately do the right thing and take Baloo to the vet at the first sign of something being wrong, but also to see that Baloo died in the custody of the vet. The vet is a bit shady himself, considering he missed the cancer in Michael’s dog who was just put to sleep days prior to this, dismissing the x-rays as “bad”. When reviewed after the dog’s death by another vet, it was very obviously bone cancer. Any who…
So, Baloo has now passed and Michael is understandably upset and calls Randi to let her know. His account of it was that she wasn’t all that concerned with this issue, and wanted Michael to take Baloo’s body over to Gainesville, Fl. for a necropsy. She couldn’t be bothered to go over there or go with them herself because she was hanging out with her new boyfriend. OK. Whatever the reason, it’s not good enough to not be there when something like this happens. No excuse.
Michael had no choice but to take Baloo’s body, which was placed in a box, over to Gainesville for the necropsy. The necropsy didn’t happen for 10 whole days. Why? Because Randi refused to pay for it for that long without informing Michael or his husband. Ten days, this dog’s body was sitting in an ultra cold fridge, becoming more and more dehydrated (and losing weight) until Randi finally decided to cough up the money to have the necropsy preformed. All the while she was also complaining about the $6,000 vet bill she’d have to pay, which is just about when the truth about how this entire operation was being run.
Michael ended up paying the vet bills out-of-pocket while asking Randi why she wouldn’t call the insurance company to cover the cost. Randi’s excuse de jour was that she didn’t want her premium to go up. Now, any time someone doesn’t use the insurance they supposedly have, it’s a giant red flag. This is the exact reason you have insurance, so you’re not fucked right now. Sure, you’ll have to pay a bit more in the long run, but it’s always worth it to make an insurance claim. So why she didn’t, and why Michael and his husband had to pay for this themselves, is something of a mind fuck…but we all know why.
Later on down the line,the ACC which stands for Animal Care Control which is an organization that keeps establishments like this in line started poking around Randi. At this point, Michael and his husband unaware that Randi had never gone to the zoning board to pay the $7,000 fee to be able to operate where they were. She also did not have a tax ID, meaning she didn’t register her business. She was running an illegal kennel, not paying any fees or taxes, raking in money by boarding 30 dogs at a time between two trainers and refusing to pay anything aside from rent.
Speaking of rent, Randi decided this puppy paradise was costing her too much and ended up forcing Michael and his husband out of the house. Still trying to work together, Michael suggested buying a commercial place that they could set up like the way they had their dog spa training camp, only larger. At this point Randi finally decided to tell Michael that they couldn’t do that, and when pushed for an answer why, Randi finally admitted that she was unlicensed. You can’t run a commercial dog training/boarding facility if you’re unlicensed. Which she had already known, especially considering that when the ACC became involved they began fining the landlord of Camp Off Leash $1,000 per day that Randi continued this bullshit parade. Gee, I wonder why the hell they had to get outta there!? Almost seems like she was trying to keep that a big old secret, certainly when you consider that she tried her best the entire time to keep Micheal and his man from having contact with the landlord.
With the secret out, Randi hired a real estate agent to find a new place to set up shop and run an illegal kennel/training facility. Allegedly, Micheal was told by Randi to “stay under the radar” and go for a residential place. It’s much, much easier to do this kind of shit out of a residential zoned place rather than a commercially zoned area because no one is going door to door asking to see licensing or registration papers where people are meant to live, not run this sort of business. No matter how much Michael asked, Randi was supposedly against going legit. Especially considering that once you’re found to have been guilty of running an illegal kennel, you can’t ever run a legal one after that in Florida. So why does her LinkedIn say she’s currently the owner of Off Leash K9 Training in West palm Beach, Fl? Meanwhile, her Facebook page doesn’t list any form of employment at all, but she posts all sorts of dog stuff all day long, much of it to do with training. Two different sources independently confirmed not only a very huge portion of these allegations, but also informed me that she is still in operation and makes her trainers not wear the company t-shirts. As a matter of fact,the ACC in Palm Beach County would really like to talk to her, because they can’t find her. Almost as if she’s in hiding and running from the puppy po-po. Strange.
So here’s the information on how to contact them if ya happen to run into her.This is the part of their website where you contact them online: Right here.
If you want to visit:
7100 Belvedere Road
West Palm Beach, 33411
(west of Florida Turnpike)This is their main phone number: 561-233-1200
This number is toll-free from Delray or Boca: 561-276-1344
It really looks like Michael and his husband did nothing wrong here. I spoke to this man for five and a half hours, I tried to record the call (with permission, of course) but my stupid app kept failing, so I took about 15 double-sided pages of notes. I asked every question a person could, he told me more than would ever fit in this blog and there’s were no holes in his story at all. Not to mention several sources who’ve mentioned her prior to me speaking with Michael, and those who confirmed information aftwards.
I feel that this was one unfortunate event after another which culminated in the death of a dog which he, nor his husband, had anything to do with. Something that Randi has been placing the blame for strictly on him. Why, because he was there, did the right thing, took immediate action and did his very best? Ya know, all those things you didn’t do?
I’ve been told numerous times that she’s purely, admittedly 100% money driven which is fine as long as you take care of the animals in your care, are responsible and legal. If you’re driven by money so much so that you become a danger to animals, I’m going to call you out. This kind of shit is utterly reprehensible, deplorable and fucking disgusting. If I was Nick White, I’d cut ties and cut them quick with this one. Also, if I was Nick White, I’d get my shit together really fast and stop whoring out the name of my business to people like Randi, I’d get some fucking standards and I’d retain some integrity.
Until next time, my friends.
Esther Manch on the book