View Full Version : Puppy Mill Auction Alert?

23rd October 2006, 04:05 AM
(I'm not sure this is the right place to post this, so feel free to move it.)
Living in a part of the USA that seems to have a high population of puppy mills, I frequently stumble upon info on puppy auctions in my area. For example, next weekend there is a biggie with over 600 dogs and lots of equipment (going out of business). I found out that there are many Cavs on the block: 28 females and 18 males.

I've contacted Lucky Star in the past, but they don't purchases dogs from puppy mill auctions. The same thing with the few CKCS regional, state, & city clubs I've contacted. And while I understand their reasoning, the thought of so many dogs at auction hurts my heart. I want to help, but don't know how to do so with out lining the pockets of these millers.

Does anyone know of any rescue organizations that deal with puppy mill auctions? I'd feel better if I could at least alert them of upcoming auctions in my area...in hope that at least a few dogs might be able to be helped in some way.

Any suggestions or organization referrals?

23rd October 2006, 06:13 AM
?? Lucky Star do purchase from mill auctions -- or someone purchases for them -- unless they have changed the way in which they acquire their dogs.

This is their own 'about us' from their website:

We are all familiar with the puppies in pet stores. Most of these puppies are sold to these stores through wholesalers who purchase their "stock" from people who mass-produce many different breeds of puppies for profit. In an effort to provide happier, healthier lives for the "breeders" who have spent all of theirs so far in filthy cages...and to help limit the chances of Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppies ending up in pet stores, a fund was created to purchase any breeding age CKCS that may come up in auction sales, which are held throughout the United States.

Our first "rescue" from such a sale was a female named Classic Star. After her purchase at an auction in Oklahoma a young boy came up to pet the dog. He asked what her name was and upon hearing the name Classic Star he said he thought her name should be "Lucky" because she was Lucky that we bought her! We loved the name and it stuck with both the doggie, Lucky, who now lives with a wonderful family in Missouri, and with this organization.

Lucky Star Cavalier Rescue has since rescued over 500 Cavaliers. We became incorporated on January 6, 2000, and were granted the IRS status of a nonprofit charitable organization - 501(C)(3). Our mission is to rescue and protect the breed which we all so dearly love. Donations are always welcomed and will be used to purchase Cavaliers and provide health care. The dogs are given the proper veterinary care and are then placed in foster homes to assess their individual personalities. Once we are certain we understand the needs of a particular dog, we then begin looking for a permanent home that is just right for him/her!

23rd October 2006, 08:21 AM
I always thought they took them from there as well....as their web page points out...

Alison, Wilts, U.k.

23rd October 2006, 03:57 PM
I know that there's no way LS can purchase/save every cav in every auction. That would require a large amount of funding on a regular basis. They also have to consider the long range effect of buying cavs: millers will consider cavs a good seller and therefore increase their cavy breeding program. And that is definitely NOT the result LS, or any of us, wants. That's what I was told when I sent LS and CKCS regional/state/local organizations with rescue committees.
...they are dealing with kennels that are closing down and are trying to get all the "oldies" out of there... it is more of a "consignment auction' where millers are trying to raise money for themselves. There are no "deals" and there are a lot of puppies. LS figures puppies will get bought and end up in homes... They want to get the poor older dogs, and bitches who have been bred and bred and get them out of that vicious cycle.So I've only alerted them to "total disbursement" or "going out of business" auctions. This would account for over 100 cavs in this area in September and October. But the only rescues from these auctions I've been able to locate are the three that HUA bought, rescued, treated and are trying to rehome.

And while my brain understands that purchasing cavies from PM auctions only increases the millers incentive to breed more cavies, my heart just wants to free every dog from this cycle. It's a catch-22 situation. Living so close to many of these auctions, I'd like to help but don't know how. I've offered to assist but have not been needed. I just wish I could do something.


23rd October 2006, 04:53 PM
I wanted to clarify that Lucky Star's whole reason for existence is to buy cavaliers out of auction -- though occasionally they come through to them for other reasons.

This raison d'etre is not without controversy for the reasons you've pinpointed -- some do feel that buying them at auction creates a market for the millers and pushes prices up etc etc and only encourages more auctions.

However my own feeling is that there is the tiniest handful of people who try to buy a tiny portion of such dogs out of auction situations and the most basic laws of supply and demand -- and the fact that there is obviously a good market amongst the millers themselves to buy such dogs -- could not have much affect on how many go up for sale and the price. It would be different if every breed rescue were attending every auction to buy all the cavaliers (there's the sad paradox).

I do think people need to think carefully about what constitutes a rescue situation and think through what suits them and also benefits the dogs and the breed (and also recognise that we all learn as we go along and some of the arguments for doing one thing or another may at the beginning not be clear, leading us to do things we later would not do). For different people this may mean different things. The bottom line for me is that buying dogs from petstores is not in most cases a rescue operation but a purchase -- and an action that continues to make petshops a good outlet for millers -- unless you are taking out a sickly dog that otherwise would have no chance. The petshops rely on people feeling they can't leave that little puppy in that cage -- I would guess those feelings fuel more purchases than any formal intention to go a store and buy a puppy. All of which suits the shops and the millers. Better to report substandard conditions in pet shops to the local humane society, write the manager of the shop to complain, write the corporate headquarters to express your opinion.

Buying from auction I do support, but again I'd want to know more about the group doing it and how they fundraise etc and what happens to the dogs they take out; how they home and so on.

If I was in a situation where I could buy out a bunch of dogs at a modest cost I'd do this too, as I'd know the cost could be absorbed by adopting families. But I'd not do this as a regular thing to home puppies -- I'd be more interested in getting the breeding adults out of a bad situation as most puppies are going to be rehomed to families anyway.

I feel those who think any attempt to help mill and auction dogs thru purchase is wrong, are wrong themselves (there are some in the clubs in particular that feel this way). The future for such breeding dogs is grim -- unlike the vast majority of sale puppies. I say get them out if you can and this is where you want to give support.

There are a few small groups who also buy dogs out but they tend to be local. Maybe some will know who can be contacted locally in a given area. I have seen websites thru Petfinder for cavaliers available thru such groups so they are out there.

24th October 2006, 08:47 PM
Our Posey was a rescue from an auction in Missouri (my understanding is that she and her two siblings were at risk of being snapped up by a puppy mill, as they were five months old—they would have been bred and bred. But she was obviously put up by a puppy mill/shoddy backyard breeder.)

Anyway, the dear woman who we adopted her from has made this her life's work, along with a network of other rescuers in Missouri (and a vet who handles their medical care). She rescues all breeds—but she did comment that whenever they rescue a cavalier, they get dozens and dozens of inquiries about adoption (she had a very extensive questionaire to choose people, and checked up on references). They do charge a reasonable adoption fee, which I imagine covers the cost of purchasing the dog at auction.

Anyhow, if you PM me, I can give you her email address. She's in southern Missouri—I traveled to pick up Posey, and had to drive from St. Louis almost to the Arkansas border—so it's possible they'd be interested in doing a rescue in Arkansas. Or, she might know others in the region who can.

24th October 2006, 10:41 PM

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