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Even Keel Exotics 
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Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 8:07 pm
Posts: 507
Location: Michigan
I do not want to start anything or stir up trouble, but I wanted to share what I know about Even Keel Exotics and Zachary Keeler, to beware any potential customers from buying from him.

First off, I would like to disclaim that I have not have any personal experience with Even Keel Exotics, except when I contacted them last year to ask about their foxes. I only asked very general questions - what age the kits are pulled, price, the law in Michigan, et cetera - and I received no reply. Not even a "call us for more information" like they are so fond of on their Facebook page. Before I learned all of the negative things about Even Keel Exotics, this minuscule experience already made me weary.

When I met one of my friends that bought her fox from Zachary Keeler, my negative views on Even Keel Exotics only strengthened. We were talking about the laws here in Michigan - about how foxes that are not red are legally recognized as domesticated animals, and how you only need a sales receipt and an interstate health certificate if you buy from a breeder out of state - when she told me that she did not receive any sort of paperwork for her fox. I was shocked. I received a sales receipt, USDA papers and a health certificate for Loki.

She then proceeded to tell me about when she picked up her fox. She apparently met Zachary Keeler in his driveway. He had been running errands or something of the sort, because he had pulled her fox out of the car to hand to her. She said that as soon as she handed Keeler the adoption money, he counted it and promptly retreated inside of his house. Keeler also told her that her fox was a marble fox, when she is most definitely a platinum/whitemark cross fox.

After learning about my friend's experience with Even Keel Exotics, I tried to do some digging. Zachary Keeler has a very bad, bad reputation in the sugar glider and hedgehog communities. I swiped this post off of an online sugar glider community:

Quote:
Well I got in touch with the one person I know that has been there. Here is what I sent her, followed by her reply.

Quote:
Hey I know this is going to sound wierd, seeing as how I do not know you personally, but I know you went to Even Keel Exotics to get your sugar glider and wanted to ask you a few questions.
There's alot of stories about his animals dying within weeks of getting home, is your baby doing ok?
Did you tour the facility at all? Were they clean? Did the animals seems healthy?
There is a petition going around to get his USDA license revoked/or get him shut down and you are the only person that I know that has personal experience with the man, so was curioius as to what you thought of everything.
Thanks, Sam

P.S. if you ever need help with your glider, or have questions please feel free to ask! I love talking gliders with people.

Quote:
Oh hey you! Josh's friend right? Ummm yeah I can see why something like that would be going on. Little Vesper is ok, she's healthy and all, but she's far from friendly. I've been taking every step recomended by every sight I could find and she's still overly agressive. This means she was NOT handled correctly by the owner, I'm fairy positive I was the fist human to handle her at all. From all the reviews I've read it's VERY rare for a sugar glider to bite at all. And if they do, they rarely ever break skin. The first day I went to activly try to bond with vesper, she bit me at least 10-15 times, making me bleed pretty much every time, I had scabs on my hands for weeks lol. She's doing a litte better every day but I'm pretty much trying to tame a wild animal who has had no human contact what so ever before hand, and that's not how she should have been raised at all by a profesional breeder. As for how clean he was, lol he wasn't. Josh and I had to wait for him to get ther for a while and even from the outside the place was filthy. Ther were gross fish tankes and cages piled up out side this tiney little house. We allmost left just from that sight alone. And when we went in the oder alone almost knocks you off your feet. The smell of tons of diffrent animals piss was the only thing you could regester lol. The foyer was filthy, there were flies everywhere, in Vesper's cage, and some little baby turtles, there were paper fly traps every where covered, it was absolutly DISCUSTING. You couldn't see beyond the foyer, ther was this plastic curtan, and we wern't allowed to go past but from the smell you could only immagen, you know? I would compleetly suport his licence being taken away, the world horder to breeder would sute that place more.

Source: http://www.sugarglider.com/glidergossip ... C_ID=43065

I also found a petition online that was trying to get Keeler's USDA license revoked. Directly from the petition:

Quote:
Some of this would make your stomach turn. I bet he didn't know the USDA keeps copies of records for the public at http://acissearch.aphis.usda.gov/LPASea ... earch.jspx And all you have to do is search 'Even Keel Exotics' to find it. There's a report on there from Dec 28, 2010 that says in September, earlier that year, he picked up a truck of 206 sugar gliders from a dealer nine hours from where he was. He did this in the back of a rented U-Haul truck. He only checked on the animals once when he stopped to get gas. Half were dead by the time he got home and half died within a week. When the USDA agent was there to make the reports he found very unsanitary conditions, everybody in too-small cages, without proper veterinary care and more; including poor diets that kept the animals just sustained.

There are many reports from customers that say their animals barely live a week once they have been taken from his facility and even while walking through this facility not a single person has refrained from commenting on the crowded conditions, dirty floors and smells.

It is here that we can share our stories and it is here we can all combine our experiences to put a report together on Zachery Keeler that will end these poor animal sales and conditions.

And in the mean time, remember, that if you buy from him he is making profit and he will continue. He is a broker who just buys animals at wholesale, cheap prices and sells them for profit; he is not one of the many, professional and reputable breeders of these exotic species. Stop supporting him and Even Keel Exotics will die.

Source: http://www.change.org/petitions/even-ke ... -practices

If you look up Even Keel Exotics in the USDA database to see their inspection reports, you will find that in 2010, he received 7 violations, mainly for sugar gliders, including: not following a veterinarian approved diet for sugar gliders (2.40) not having regular veterinarian care for his animals (2.40) inadequate/inaccurate records of transactions for more than 246 animals (2.75) incorrect handling of animals resulting in 206 sugar glider deaths (2.131) space requirement violation for male sugar glider (1'x1'x1.5' enclosures) (3.128) poor sanitation (3.131) improper care in transit (3.140).

Even Keel Exotics is also listed as a breeder to avoid here: http://sgaa.forumotion.com/t242-breeder ... s-to-avoid

I've read from numerous places that Zachary Keeler does not keep his animals in appropriate cages or enclosures, and that they are not kept in sanitary conditions. He also brokers the majority of his animals. I would not be surprised if he brokered them all, as he only seems in it for the profit.

While most of this seems to revolve around sugar glider and hedgehogs, I would like to quote Alynn from a previous thread about Even Keel Exotics:

Quote:
He claims that his marbles are a cross between his arctic foxes and red foxes, which means that he's probably getting his red foxes, arctic foxes and arctic marble red fox terminology all mixed up. He also says that in his experience arctic foxes smell a lot worse than red foxes and recommended I buy the red foxes instead of the arctics since I would be a first time fox owner.
He will not let me visit the parents, probably because that requires an exhibitor's license, so I can't verify that he will have arctic fox kits. He also says that he cannot provide a pedigree/proof that his foxes are captive bred.
He has them on Science Diet dog food, and provides the first round of shots to the foxes. He says that he does take them into the vet for a health check but doesn't provide a health certificate. He doesn't ship if you're interested if buying out of state.
He does get them started on litter training, and tells me I can keep an arctic in a large dog crate, which I've already heard. However, he's told me (and others) that the red foxes can be kept in the same manner, unless I heard wrong (which there is a chance that I did, so don't take my word for it).

Source: viewtopic.php?f=64&t=7826

His whole operation is just very shady in general. And while I may be misjudging Even Keel Exotics because I do not have any personal experience with them, I still would not recommend them for any type of animal.


Mon Jul 09, 2012 4:25 pm
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Joined: Thu May 31, 2012 9:02 pm
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Location: Northern Michigan
I have had personal experience with them, and would definitely not recommend it to anyone. More like a dealer than a breeder, and not one who seems to be knowledgeable or care about his animals. I feel like warning the people on his FB page who say they want his kits, and steering them in a better direction!


Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:21 pm
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Unfortunately, if you did that, Zachary Keeler would delete your comment and then block you. I've seen it happen many times.


Mon Jul 09, 2012 6:33 pm
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I think it would be great if this thread could somehow be saved on the forum and not deleted in the future so those looking for information on breeders (Even Keel in particular) will find this.


Mon Jul 09, 2012 8:34 pm
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Since the topic of sugar gliders came up, here's how Even Keel acts in the sugar glider community. In Zachary Keeler's own words.
http://www.sugarglider.com/glidergossip/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=31018&SearchTerms=keel

Even Keel is considered a mill breeder in the gilder community. The diet that he so adamantly supports (mostly pellets) is known for being unhealthy for gliders and causes health problems, discolored fur, calcium deficiencies, terrible musky odor, and a drastically shorter life span. Often, you can tell just by the color of the glider if they're healthy and well taken care of. If they aren't, they'll look brown, rather than their beautiful gray color they should have. Like my boys.


Mon Jul 09, 2012 10:13 pm
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Yeah, mine was def. not a pleasant experience and with customer service so terrible it's a wonder they get any business... The only thing I can think of is that they don't care who they sell their animals to as long as they get their money.


Tue Jul 10, 2012 10:30 pm
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Quote:
The only thing I can think of is that they don't care who they sell their animals to as long as they get their money.

That was one of the first things I realized when I looked over their Facebook page. Terrible. Not only would that make him an irresponsible seller, but it results in irresponsible, uneducated, unprepared buyers. If the breeder doesn't care who gets the animal, the buyer is already going to take the ownership of the animal less seriously. This in turn can result in buyers providing improper care or worse...and in turn, that hurts our cause as responsible exotic owners. Every bad owner makes us all look bad.


Wed Jul 11, 2012 12:01 am
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Speaking of unprepared buyers... there was a tame arctic fox loose in my area a few months ago. I read about it in the newspaper. I live about an hour away from Even Keel Exotics, so I am beginning to wonder if it came from them. I mean, Zachary Keeler obviously sells animals to anyone and everyone, so I would not be surprised if he sold a kit to a person who knew absolutely nothing about foxes, and then they just ditched it after it reached sexual maturity. I don't know, I'm pondering to myself. It just makes me wonder, though.


Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:03 pm
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Probably. So far this year, I've seen three babies go back up for adoption already, by people who just couldn't take care of them any more. They seemed the ages/colors of his kits so I wonder if some of those might have been from him, as well.


Wed Jul 11, 2012 8:27 pm
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WOW !!! if ONLY i had seen this months ago....I have dealt with Even Keel, the first time was to purchase a sugar glider pair, one of the males I had to put down within a few weeks because he got pneumonia which ended with a very high vet bill, then about a month later I ended up buying ANOTHER glider from him to replace the one that passed away. The third time was to get Roxy. I had the two sugar gliders that had just had joeys, so I decided since he takes trades i would trade the 4 gliders for Roxy, after I got home I felt really bad and contacted him that I wanted my two adults back I did get them back but it took at least 2 days, when I went down there again same story of sorry about the mess, this time he gave me my gliders in the pouch i gave them to him in it was soaked in urine and smelled HORRIBLE! When I got them home I had to feed them not once, but twice because they were sooooo hungry! Every time I have been in this place it is FILTHY!! This last time i was dealing with him i got home and started researching how to file a complaint against them. This cannot be a healthy environment for these animals, he always has said the same thing to me, "excuse the mess, i'm in the process of moving animals" no I think this is how he handles his animals. Not sure if i'm being paranoid but now i'm really concerned for the health of my Arctic, I have never seen the back of his place where he keeps the other animals and am concerned about how he cleans kennels after he sells an animal and replaces it with another in that kennel. I know this is wrong but i haven't gotten her into the vet yet for a health check and REALLY need to. I will definitely be checking the petition because i don't think he has any business handling these animals.....I really hope people see this thread about this place so no one else has to get a pet home and deal with health issues.
Shannon


Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:56 am
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the_unstable wrote:
I think it would be great if this thread could somehow be saved on the forum and not deleted in the future so those looking for information on breeders (Even Keel in particular) will find this.


Are most threads usually deleted?

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:28 pm
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If you google "Even keel exotics" you'll see a few petitions against them on the first page, thankfully!!!!

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Past Pets: Sea-monkeys, 7 Cottontail rabbits, a Wakin goldfish, a cat & a betta fish.
Wishlist (for near future, in order of when I'll get them): Siamese cat, Belgian Malinois, & serval.

~RIP my Cottontail rabbit Brownie AUG 15 2011~
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Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:29 pm
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We have in the past had to removed old threads to save space but we have plenty of space at the moment.

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Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:03 pm
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FoxyRoxymom wrote:
The third time was to get Roxy. I had the two sugar gliders that had just had joeys, so I decided since he takes trades i would trade the 4 gliders for Roxy, after I got home I felt really bad and contacted him that I wanted my two adults back When I got them home I had to feed them not once, but twice because they were sooooo hungry!

I'm a bit confused. Why trade 4 gliders for one? Is she a special color? I haven't kept up with your other posts so I apologize if you've posted pictures before. 4 nice standard grays might be worth a nice Mosaic or Leu. I'm leery of people who take trades already, but when they do, I look at what the trades are worth. Since standard grays are 200-250 from a good breeder, then multiply that by 4 for what Roxy was worth. And the adults, you got back? He gave two back but let you keep Roxy? I don't understand that bit either.. but maybe I didn't read it thoroughly enough.


FoxyRoxymom wrote:
I did get them back but it took at least 2 days, when I went down there again same story of sorry about the mess, this time he gave me my gliders in the pouch i gave them to him in it was soaked in urine and smelled HORRIBLE!

So the pouch you took them in was soaked in urine and smelled that bad after just two days? I change mine weekly (they like having their own smell in the cage) and I can't smell them at all. Did he stick your babies in a mill cage full of other breeders or something? Mine only pee that much on their pouch if they're left in there constantly and they don't have any play time. And still it has to be left for well over a week. My boys don't smell bad at all.



Also, I said this in a post before, but I'll say this again: he's a known mill breeder and the glider community just does not approve of him or like him at all.
Priscilla Price is AMAZING if you look for another breeder. She does ship. Her babies come SO tame and so gorgeous. Mine are amazing. All of mine come from her. She has a great breeding program and she's constantly getting new colors. My all time dream glider is the snow leopard platinum - not to be confused with the darker platinum.
Closely followed by THIS! OMG look at that face!!!! :piggy: Okay maybe I have a new favorite. I've never see one like that before. WANTWANTWANT. I know what mosaics look like, but PIEBALD?! Priscilla has done it again! *Squeee*


Fri Sep 21, 2012 9:35 pm
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sarajeku wrote:
FoxyRoxymom wrote:
The third time was to get Roxy. I had the two sugar gliders that had just had joeys, so I decided since he takes trades i would trade the 4 gliders for Roxy, after I got home I felt really bad and contacted him that I wanted my two adults back When I got them home I had to feed them not once, but twice because they were sooooo hungry!

I'm a bit confused. Why trade 4 gliders for one? Is she a special color? I haven't kept up with your other posts so I apologize if you've posted pictures before. 4 nice standard grays might be worth a nice Mosaic or Leu. I'm leery of people who take trades already, but when they do, I look at what the trades are worth. Since standard grays are 200-250 from a good breeder, then multiply that by 4 for what Roxy was worth. And the adults, you got back? He gave two back but let you keep Roxy? I don't understand that bit either.. but maybe I didn't read it thoroughly enough.


Roxy is her arctic fox. So she traded four sugar gliders for a fox. Even Keel Exotics charges a ridiculous amount for arctic foxes. I think somewhere around $600-$800, I can't remember exactly.


Sat Sep 29, 2012 2:05 pm
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