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11 April 2001 Issue
Puppymill Auction

from Trevor Chin - tmchin@yahoo.com 

This was written by a Japanese Chin breeder and columnist for the AKC Gazette who witnessed in person the following ~~

As I walked up to the front of a big metal barn I first notice a sign beside the door, "No cameras or video equipment, violators will be prosecuted." Wearing plastic boots and gloves I entered the barn and quickly understood why the sign was there. The front half of the barn was filled with dust covered chairs, the back half looked like a concentration camp for dogs. There were row upon row of filthy, rusty wire cages filled with dogs, 300 of them to be auctioned. I first noticed some powder puff Cresteds that turned out to be Maltese, then I did see some Cresteds that I thought were some kind of Terriers and so it went. These dogs did not meet any standard for their breeds. They were in the poorest of poor condition; splayed, swollen, inflamed feet from spending their entire lives on wire. Cavalier puppies were sick, dull coats, shivering little bodies with little legs hanging down through the wire, it just ripped my heart out. Two large dogs were covered with mange and had big tattoos on their hips like we see on cattle on wild west movies.

It gets worse!!! I walked to the very back of the barn where two men were huddled together, I casually walked by to observe them micro chipping AKC dogs, on the premises, on a filthy dirty table in the most unhealthy of all circumstances. I returned to the car and got my own chair and felt like the lowest form of human being present. The auction started, dog after dog sold bringing anywhere from $50 to $500. They had girls working bringing the poor creatures to the auction block where people would run up and poke, prod, and then pry open their mouths to check bite, I'm not sure why, they were buying bad bites and dogs with only one testicle for breeding (inherited condition). The dogs could not stand on the table, it was apparent that they had never been on solid surface. Every dog I saw looked as if it had given up all desire to live and to be truthful with you, death would have been a blessing for all of them.

They lifted up a huge Chihuahua that was very pregnant and the auctioneer told how she always whelped 5 to 6 puppies, good mother and still had a lot of good breedings left in her. I looked at my sale sheet and she had whelped just six months ago and was 7 1/2 yrs. old. One Chi male they could not get out of his plastic carrier because he was biting, the owner came with big heavy leather gloves and tried to get him out, a rescue person bought him for $43, I believe he was far beyond rescuing.

Most of the AKC dogs were sold with anywhere from 1 to 4 supplemental transfers, just imagine the life they lead. Now we will get to the buyers, all the Southwest Mo. puppy mill owners were present. One of them lives at Miller, Mo. only 8 miles from my home and the other one lives at Mt. Vernon, Mo. only 10 miles from me, unfortunately this one now has a so called agent showing her Chin, she has 15 in her back yard up on wire along with 110 other dogs and 15 different breeds and her daughter had recently been fired from her job working at this sale barn. These people represented the scum of the earth, as dirty as the barn they were in. I wanted to take these people outside and use a pressure washer on each one. They strutted around proud as punch of themselves and their accomplishments in the "dog industry".

The auction started at 11:00 am and I stayed for only two hours after they sold 100 dogs with the other 200 still to sell, it was 1:00 PM when I left, which meant it would be about 5:00 before the auction would be over. Now keep in mind that a large portion of these dogs were brought in the evening before and put in the cages. They were not offered any food or water because they didn't want them to eliminate in the cages before the sale.

These poor dogs have no quality of life, no love, and no attention. They just seem to go back and forth from one puppy mill to another, there was no one there just looking for a pet. These dogs could never be pets now, they are simply puppy manufacturing plants. This is part of what is call the "dog industry," one I assure you we should all be up in arms about. AKC should have more respect for their Kennel Club than to turn a blind eye to what is going on every weekend, not only one but usually two each week end, continuing into June and then starting again in Sept and running through Dec.

I was introduced to the USDA inspector that waltzed through the barn and then seemed to disappear. I don't blame her, she was far too dressed up for the occasion and certainly looked out of place. The AKC inspector did all she could, she did pull some papers of some dogs, the new owners won't know until they try to register them but most of them got though under the wire. Thanks to Laura Rencher insisting that I get on some Paxil, I made it though without bursting into tears, instead it made me furious. I have thought of nothing else since last Sunday. I keep thinking, what can I do to make a difference? But then, Madeline O'Hare single handedly got prayer removed from schools so perhaps I can do something. I intend to go to some more such auctions and I will take pictures even if you do have to bail me out of jail. I am going to try and get reinforcements to go with me. Perhaps if we make enough racket, AKC will start to listen. If 'the fancy" isn't thrilled with my June column in the AKC Gazette just wait until they read the Sept issue. I welcome any and all advise and suggestions, I'm
determined that together we can make a difference. Betty

P.S. A few of us who are involved with Boston Terrier rescue have been trying to save some of these puppy mill auction Bostons whenever we can. We rehabilitate them, spay/neuter, vet them, and find wonderful homes for them. These dogs CAN be saved and there are some of us out there who are trying our best! Please help us if you can. For the Love of ALL Bostons, Roie Griego

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