View Full Version : artical about puppy mill auctions

5th April 2008, 12:08 AM
i read this when i was looking at the english toy spaniel rescue website and i thought id post it.

The following article, written by a long-time rescuer

For The Dogs

A Missouri Dog Auction, Nov., 2000

I will never look at the world in the same way again.

I attended my first puppy mill auction in Missouri this weekend, determined to bring home from the auction as many of my breed as I possibly could. I was able to get six dogs. Six dogs pulled from a life of misery.

But that was only 6 out of 200+. I wanted them all. I wanted to run, ranting like a mad woman through the dirt isles of stacked cages, a screaming pied piper, opening and releasing every last one of those imprisoned souls. What I saw behind those latched doors broke my heart, and made it virtually impossible to maintain my equilibrium or my sanity.

I could do this, HAD to do this, for the dogs. For the dogs....

Some cages held one-eyed dogs, others held dogs with recent cuts, and old, ugly scars, dogs with toenails an inch long, dogs whose hair was one large mat, pregnant bitches close to delivery, dogs missing ears, legs, teeth.

There were no wagging tails, no yelps of delight; no bright, trusting eyes or barks of playful banter. Most cowered in the farthest corners of their cages, two or more huddled close together, as if their closeness would bring them some measure of comfort in dealing with their shared misery.
Dog after dog was auctioned to the highest bidder, often with such sales pitches as: "Missing an eye, but sees well enough to hit his mark": "This girl is only a year old, but she has earned her keep by already producing one litter - now she's got another on the way - a bonus for you"; "This bitch has had 19 pups in a year and a half - just the kind you want"; "Bitch only has three legs - big deal, she won't be passing that on." And on one male dog, who refused to stand on the table because of an injured foot, the auctioneer remarked, "Don't let that bother you, he can still get it on."

Dogs were often held high in the air for all to see, tails lifted to gauge whether they were in heat, mouths probed roughly to check their bites, and abdomens poked and prodded to check for pregnancy because "this one's been running with Jax - could give you a surprise."

My heart stopped, and my eyes welled when I saw the first, and only two females, in my breed brought to the auction table. Their eyes remained downcast, their tails tucked, their bodies postured with fear. The bidding on them often reached feverish levels, the bids coming so fast and furious, I was afraid I could not keep up. I hated bidding; I hated NOT bidding.

When I got the highest bid, the auctioneer said, "Which one do you want?" "I want them both," I replied. "Great," he said, "you're saving me time, little lady." When I got the final bid on the remaining, the last to be auctioned, I breathed a sigh of relief, and said a quiet thank-you to the man upstairs.

While waiting in line to get the dogs, a man approached us. “How many of that breed do you have back home?” “Only three,” was my reply. "Well," he said, "you are certainly in business now." Yes, I told him, I certainly am.

Rescuing just a few is worth the effort, worth the heartache, worth the dirt, stench, and barren desolate miles my husband and I endured. Six are safe, but so many more are not. Rescuing from these sleazy breeders is a necessary evil. It is only a drop in the bucket, I know, but it is SOMETHING.

For the dogs who are saved, it is everything.

Tell everyone you know about the horrors of puppy mills. Educate. Please educate. Relate my auction story, and the stories of other rescuers. We CANNOT stop the suffering bred in puppy mills without education of the public.

Find it in your heart to get involved with rescue, in whatever way you can. Attend an auction, donate your money, foster a rescue, or just encourage and support those battling in the trenches. You won't be sorry. Your heart may break, your eyes may be red-rimmed for days, but I promise you - you, too, will be forever changed.

5th April 2008, 12:17 AM
It is a very grim industry all right.

Also: if you have an Irish cavalier, read this:


This is where a lot of the Irish puppies that go to Irish, UK and US homes comes from (indeed where the MAJORITY come from, dogs like these two).

5th April 2008, 02:54 AM
A few weeks ago I met an older woman walking her very tiny Blenheim Cavalier. As I stopped to talk with her, you could tell that her dog was everything to her. Her dog was only 9 lbs and had difficulty walking. She went on to tell me that her dog was on medications for a bad heart, and that she was only 4 years old. Yes, she had bought her at a pet shop. However, she went on to say that she had read that the Irish lines were free of heart problems, and that she was going to get an imported Irish Cavalier next time, so she would not have to go through more heartbreak.

Needless to say, we had a conversation about the dirty little secret of Irish and U.S. puppy farms, and how she should go about finding a reputable breeder. She thanked me just the same, but said that I was obviously unaware that Irish lines are superior in every way, and much healthier for it. Sadly, I doubt if I had any impact there. Over here (in the U.S.) I hear this alot, and many people think that simply because the dog is from Ireland, it comes from fine lines that are healthier and more beautiful. If only they could see the truth of the matter.....:(

5th April 2008, 11:49 PM
its so heart breaking because its the poor animals and the new owners that suffer while these heartless puppy mill people rake in all the money.

it is about educating people and exposing these awful places and what goes on.i would be very surprised if any genuine animal lover could buy from them after hearing the horrible truth.thats why I'm glad this website is here because it really does educate you about all these kind of things.

hbmamma - you did a really good thing explaining to the lady about considering going to a reputable breeder rather than getting an imported Irish cavy.its really sad that she didn't seem to take the very good advise because she would save herself a lot of heartache in the future.

Joy Mack
10th October 2008, 02:24 AM
I read your account of this horrific experience. on behalf of the souls you rescued, I thank you so, so much. I am humbled my your experience. May God bless you and continue to work through you to make such a beautiful difference for many sweet doggie souls. You are a wonderful human being. I will still be smiling when I lay my head on my pillow tonight. Smiling and grateful that people like you do exist out there. I am out here in spirit...sending you LOVE and LIGHT! Peace... Joy Mack