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Thread: is gracie a puppy mill dog???

  1. #1
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    Default is gracie a puppy mill dog???

    As you know (from my screen name), I have a gorgeous one year old Cavalier named Grace. We got her from a breeder in Virginia who was Irish and goes to Ireland twice a year and brings back a litter of Cavaliers. I just noticed the forum on Irish puppy mills and I'm terrified that Grace may have been bred in a puppy mill. The breeder seemed like a responsible breeder and the puppies looked and acted healthy. The breeder told us a lot about Cavaliers, mentioning a bit of their history, their personality, and health issues. He did specifically say that Cavaliers could have potential heart problems (didn't say MVD, just heart issues). So far, Grace has don't very well and is healthy and happy. She isn't the first Cavalier the vet we go to knows, in fact, I know of one other that goes to the same vet. The vet is well aware of MVD and checks on Grace's heart every time we go for a check up or shots. She says Grace has a strong heart, which is very good.
    I'm not concerned about Grace's health as much as I am concerned that the money we spent to get her may have gone to a puppy mill. I don't think she was born in one because she and her littermates looked very healthy and active, as I said before, and the breeder knew more about Cavaliers than even I did at the time. The issue is that I've decided to try as hard as I can to save the Cavaliers from the very thing I may have accidentally supported!
    What do you suggest that I do to find out for sure? By the way, we have her official papers. Her registered named is Dictionary Gal and she was born on February 1st, 2006. Thanks!

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    oh yeah, I forgot this detail. The breeder told us that she would be a great show dog and a good dog for breeding because of the thumbprint mark on her head.

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    What club is she registered to?

    The American Kennel Club and the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Club are the better ones.

    There is a thread about registrations, legitimate and not.
    If I could "do" a link, I would.....but the registration *might* be a hint.

    I've learned an awful lot since joining this board and yet we've had Cavvies for years!

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    I got online and looked it up. The breeder was actually there with the puppies so we weren't ordering our dog, they were on the breeder's back porch (on a warm April day, so they weren't uncomfortable).

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    Did you get any kind of heath guarantees, and did he say the parents were health tested? If so, did he show you the documentation. I am a first time Cav owner too, and I have learned so much from this board. I'm sure some of the breeders or long time Cav owners will have some answers for you.
    Sharon,
    Mom to Bleinham Cavaliers Lily, 5 years old, and Alfie, 8 year old puppy mill rescue.
    At the Bridge, Chloe, Lhasa Apso.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gracesbigsis
    oh yeah, I forgot this detail. The breeder told us that she would be a great show dog and a good dog for breeding because of the thumbprint mark on her head.

    A reputable breeder wouldn't be encouraging a novice to use a puppy for breeding. It sounds like this dog seller is primarily in it for the business, rather than mainly for the breed. It seems more than doubtful that any reputable breeder would sell a potential show/breeding dog to an inexperienced puppy buyer looking for a pet. It sounds like a sales pitch.

    That doesn't mean the dog seller was working with a puppy mill, if puppy mill is strictly defined as a large farm with bitches in cages, defecating and eating in the same spot, having one litter after another. There are lots of breeders out there who breed cavaliers in a dog friendly home/family environment, to make some extra cash, or, to make a lot of money as a business, people who truly love dogs and treat them well, yet are not reputable in the sense that they do this off the cuff so to speak, they don't seriously spend the lengthy time it takes to become expert in breeding, they don't do an apprenticeship under reputable breeders and become part of the breed culture by attending shows and showing, and they either don't do health checks by board certified experts, or not consistently. The needs of trying to have a successful dog selling business can take priority over the highest quality breeding practices. So these are not reputable breeders in that sense. But the puppies they breed in many cases are born and raised in the breeders' homes, and socialized with their children and families. They are called Backyard Breeders. The puppies may be healthy and happy, but they are not bred carefully for health and for avoiding genetic defects.

    Just as puppy millers use brokers, backyard breeders may use brokers too.

    I got Zack from a broker. Before i knew about all these distinctions, i found an ad on puppyweb.com for what seemed to be a breeder, the webpage implied it was a breeder. I emailed her and she sent me photos of an older puppy she had--i expressed interest in an older puppy. She said she had an AKC puppy and the others were registered with a bogus registry though i didn't know it was bogus at the time. But i knew AKC was supposed to be a purebred designation, and the AKC puppy she had was more expensive than the puppies who had the other registry.

    I went to the home and it was very nice, very dog friendly, the woman had the older cavalier puppy, about 4 months, and three or four that were about 8 weeks old. The woman was a stay at home mom with three little kids, the oldest was 8. One of the littler ones was frolicking with the dogs while i was there. The family had a couple of cavaliers and a poodle or cockapoo of their own, adults, the husband had a day job and the woman wanted to supplement his income while being able to be home with her kids, she said. It seemed wholesome enough to me at the time. The puppies and dogs seemed so happy and healthy, there was a big spacious backyard with a swingset for the kids, some dog crates with doors open, a couple of cats, a side dog yard. The sliding glass door was open so the dogs ran in and out of the house, into the living room, they jumped up on the sofa while we sat there and talked, cuddling and playing. It was pretty delightful really.

    I went there to visit the older puppy i liked several times, though i had learned about the meaning of 'reputable breeder' and 'broker' and 'backyard breeder.' But i was already sucked in before i learned those things. It was fun going to her house. And my learning was still new and i hadn't appreciated all the implications yet. That first day, i was surprised that she said the puppies had just arrived that day, the young ones, by plane, from the breeder in another state, because i thought (from her website) that she was the breeder. It turned out she worked together with the breeder as the west coast "outlet" for the breeder. I called the breeder, asking the right questions and not getting the right answers (about heart testing, she just took the dogs to the local vet for health checks. She had been to a board certified cardiologist but wasn't doing it yearly. At that time, she just had one bitch and one sire, but think she has built her program much bigger now. Ambitious. She clearly loved cavaliers, in that more casual way, as did the broker. the broker had lots of info on cavaliers on her website, including detailed info about SM and MVD.

    Anyway, it's not exactly black and white, either it's a puppy mill with dogs in deplorable conditions, or it's a reputable breeder. In between those extremes there are dog sellers who breed and raise and sell puppies in nice homey environments, and in certain ways, love dogs and think they are not doing anything wrong, but several things set reputable breeders apart. Obviously, board certified health testing for MVD and other conditions is one of those things, and following health oriented breeding programs is another, and related to that, reputable breeders really just do not come across as being in it for the business, it's clearly a labor of love, love of the breed, and you don't get sales pitches from them. They are trying to find good homes for their puppies, they will screen puppy buyers, they will want to know who you are. They would not be encouraging you to breed one of their puppies!

    Less than reputable breeders, though they may be nice friendly folks who are dog lovers and have pets of their own and show some knowledge of the breed, will not be asking you a lot of questions to make sure your environment is safe and your lifestyle is appropriate for a puppy.

    The woman i got zack from had the goal of becoming a backyard breeder herself. She was converting her garage for that purpose at the time i got Zack. She referred to the breeder in the other state (zack's breeder) as her mentor. She went to breed conventions. I don't think she saw herself as doing anything less than reputable at all. But there are higher standards than those she and her mentor held themselves to, for the good of the breed, even though they would not be considered puppy millers in the usual sense. Your guy may or may not have been a puppy miller, but from what you say, i wouldn't consider him a reputable breeder.

  7. #7
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    What is a puppy mill dog?

    Sorry I don't understand very well this expression!
    Laura Lia Maia

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    A puppy mill or in England a puppy farm is were there are a lot of dog breeding most puppy mills donnot breed just one breed and the dogs are not keep in very good condition they are kept in out buildings I wil try to put a link for this
    Puppy Mills: Dogs Abused for the Pet Trade

    This is a US factsheet. It will be replaced by a UK version when available.

    It can be hard to resist the cute puppies and kittens for sale in “pet” store windows, but a closer look into how these stores obtain animals reveals a system in which the high price that consumers pay for “that doggie in the window” pales in comparison to the cost paid by animals who are sold in pet stores.

    That adorable little scamp in the store probably came from a “puppy mill,” a breeding kennel that raises dogs in cramped, crude, filthy conditions. The majority of these facilities are in the Midwest, but kennels can be found throughout the country, and some dealers even import puppies from other countries.(1) Constant confinement and a lack of adequate veterinary care and socialization often result in animals who are unhealthy and difficult to socialize. As a result, many are abandoned within weeks or months of their adoption by frustrated buyers—further exacerbating the tragic companion animal overpopulation crisis.

    Cages, Filth, and Neglect
    Puppy mill kennels can consist of small cages made of wood and wire mesh, tractor-trailer cabs, or simple tethers attached to trees. One Arkansas facility had “cages hanging from the ceiling of an unheated cinder-block building …”.(2) Female dogs are bred twice a year and are usually destroyed when they are no longer able to produce puppies.(3) Mothers and their litters often suffer from malnutrition, exposure, and a lack of adequate veterinary care.

    Puppies are taken from their mothers and sold to brokers who pack them into crates for transport and resale to pet stores. Puppies who are shipped from mill to broker to pet store can travel hundreds of miles in pickup trucks, tractor trailers, and/or airplanes, often without adequate food, water, ventilation, or shelter. Two men faced charges after 38 puppies were found to be confined in a feces-filled van without food, water, or space to exercise. The men were transporting the animals from Oklahoma to Florida when a passerby noticed the dogs’ distressed barking and the foul stench of the van, which was parked at a Daytona Beach motel.(4) In Tennessee, 150 overheated puppies, who were traveling from a Missouri puppy mill to pet stores on the East Coast, were found in a cargo truck without air conditioning; four died. Even if a store claims that it doesn’t buy from puppy mills, there is a good chance that it buys from a broker who does.(5,6)

    Young puppies who survive the unsanitary conditions at puppy mills and grueling transport to pet stores rarely get the kind of loving human contact that is necessary for them to become suitable companions. By not spending money for proper food, housing, or veterinary care, breeders, brokers, and pet stores ensure maximum profits.

    Conditions don’t improve much when puppies reach pet stores. Dogs who are kept in small cages without exercise, love, or human contact tend to develop undesirable behaviors and may bark excessively or become destructive and unsociable. Unlike humane societies and shelters, pet stores do not screen buyers or inspect the future homes of the dogs they sell. Poor enforcement of humane laws allows shops to continue selling sick animals, although humane societies and police departments sometimes succeed in closing down stores where severe abuse is uncovered.

    Farms and Brokers Do Big Business
    In 1999, PETA conducted an undercover investigation at Nielsen Farms, a Kansas puppy mill. The dogs at Nielsen Farms had no bedding or protection from cold or heat. Some were suffering from untreated wounds, ear infections, and abscessed feet, and confinement and loneliness had caused some mother dogs to go mad. PETA’s investigator witnessed one inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), during which the officer glanced at the cages but did not examine the dogs. Our investigation led to the Kansas facility’s closing and a $20,000 fine from the USDA. The Nielsens are also “permanently disqualified from being licensed” by the USDA.(7)

    There are thousands of breeders and dealers across the country—in Missouri alone there are an estimated 3,000 dog-breeding operations that generate $2 billion a year.( The nation’s largest puppy broker is the Hunte Corporation in Missouri, which also exports dogs overseas.(9) The company has been linked to numerous negligent pet stores and breeders and has sponsored American Kennel Club (AKC) meetings.(10) The USDA has loaned the company more than $4 million for expansion and upgrades in the last three years—taxpayer money used to bring more misery to dogs and puppies.(11)

    The Plight of Purebreds
    Some people impulsively obtain purebred dogs, even though they may not be educated about the breed or ready for the commitment that animal companions require. Movies such as 101 Dalmatians and Beethoven, TV shows like Frasier, and commercials such as those for Taco Bell have caused a jump in the popularity of certain breeds, and yet, very few potential dog caretakers take the time to investigate the traits and needs of the breed that they are considering. “Every time Hollywood makes a dog movie, the breed goes to hell,” says one caretaker of Bouvier des Flandres dogs. A Dalmatian fancier concludes that “… the unscrupulous breeders will see there’s a profit margin there.”(12) When there is a surge in demand for a particular breed, puppy mills try to meet that demand, but when Jack Russell Terriers don’t turn out to be just like Frasier’s Eddie or St. Bernards don’t act just like “Beethoven,” rescue groups and shelters become flooded with these breeds.

    The AKC, which opposes mandatory spay/neuter programs for purebred dogs, receives millions of dollars from breeders who pay AKC registration fees.(13) The AKC registered more than 421,000 puppies in 2005, some of whom will join the millions of animals who end up in shelters every year.(14) Buyers may be swayed by talk of “papers” and “AKC registration,” but these papers cannot ensure good temperament or good health. Says one veterinarian, “The best use of pedigree papers is for housebreaking your dog. They don’t mean a damn thing.”(15) The AKC has minimum care standards for “high-volume breeding” facilities, but with 14 inspectors and an operating budget that is directed toward registration and dog shows, they can only manage to inspect their registered kennels once every two years.(16) By their own admission, some of the more problematic kennels have simply sought registration services (such as Dog Registry of America, Sporting Dog Registry, American Hunting Dog Registry, All American Dog Registry, to name a few) that don’t perform inspections.(17)

    At puppy mills, dogs are bred for quantity, not quality, so unmonitored genetic defects and personality disorders that are passed on from generation to generation are common. This situation results in high veterinary bills for people who buy these dogs and the possibility that unsociable or maladjusted dogs will be disposed of by their unprepared “owners.” “There is virtually no consideration of temperament,” says one dog trainer. “I wish legislators could sit in my office and watch ... people sobbing in extreme emotional pain over having to decide whether to euthanize their dog because of some serious behavioral problem.”(1

    Inadequate Inspections
    The USDA is supposed to monitor and inspect kennels to ensure that they are not violating the housing standards of the Animal Welfare Act, but kennel inspections are a low priority. In 2001, with a staff of 82 officers, the USDA conducted more than 4,700 inspections of dealers—defined as any person who sells or buys animals for experimentation, exhibition, or companionship but not those who sell to private individuals—of which 42 percent did not meet standards.(19) Even when violations are found, kennel operators are rarely fined, much less shut down. Persistent offenders may refuse to grant the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) personnel access to their facilities to conduct inspections; APHIS reported that inspectors were denied entry to 705 facilities in 2001.(20)

    Puppy mills are rarely monitored by state governments, and existing regulations vary from state to state. In Missouri, for instance, each of the 2,100 facilities is supposed to be inspected once a year, but there are only 12 inspectors employed to handle the task.(21) With an estimated 1,300 puppy mills in Wisconsin, voluntary inspections are expected of breeders who sell at least 50 dogs and cats, but there is no funding for enforcement of these regulations.(22,23)

    Dealers who want to avoid U.S. laws—what few exist—look elsewhere to continue doing business. Says one Canadian lawyer, “[P]uppy mill operators in the States buy from us. And crossing the border isn’t a problem either. They cross them all the time.”(24) A New Hampshire breeder, who was arrested for cruelty to animals when dozens of dogs and cats were found living in filth, was selling puppies from Russia for as much as $1,900 each on the Internet.(25)

    Some states have enacted “puppy lemon” laws that give caretakers the right to return sick or dead puppies for replacement or offer the option to have veterinary expenses paid by the seller. Unfortunately, depending on the state, the law may not clearly say who it applies to, or it may affect only pet stores or breeders that sell a certain number of animals each year. Check with your state’s attorney’s office to find out about your state’s laws.

    Searching for a Canine Companion …
    With millions of unwanted dogs and cats (including purebreds) dying every year in animal shelters, there is simply no reason for animals to be bred and sold for the pet shop trade. Without these stores, the financial incentive for puppy mills would disappear, and the suffering of these dogs would end. The best place to find an animal companion is through an animal shelter or rescue group.
    If this should not be here please remove

    ----Aileen and the gang (Jazzie---Barney----Sam)
    cavaliers at the bridge Mattie and Rocky & Sam & Jake
    Better to light a candle for one lost dog than to curse the darkness of man's indifference. Saving just one dog won't change the world but it surely will change the world for that one dog.

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    Judy.....I felt like I was reliving my experience through your story when I went to see Lily, with the exception of Lily's parents were the breeders pets, and the puppies were their puppies. All lived in the lady's home. She was truly a BYB. I think she said that was the first litter she had breed with them. She didn't look like she needed the money. They lived in a beautiful home on acres and acres of land. Husband owned his business as a contractor, and had many expensive cars in a huge garage that he collected. So I'm not sure why she decided to breed. I thought I was doing the right thing too. Oh well you live and learn, but I wouldn't trade Lily for anything, and we love and adore her.
    Sharon,
    Mom to Bleinham Cavaliers Lily, 5 years old, and Alfie, 8 year old puppy mill rescue.
    At the Bridge, Chloe, Lhasa Apso.

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    There is a section at the very bottom of this board on puppy farms and two items on Irish puppy farms, including a story on this that I wrote for the Irish Times:

    http://www.cavaliertalk.com/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=31.

    I will be blunt here. But please note what I say doesnt mean Grace isn't wonderful dog, to be loved and cherished -- though please have her cardiac tested, not vet tested for her heart. Vets miss most murmurs til dogs get ipast 5-6 and murmurs get louder. Only a cardiac specialist can reliably test hearts. There are low cost clinic for doping this offered regularly thru the US and Cnadian and UK clubs.

    Now:

    This is not a breeder, but a broker, who sells other people's litters. These are either backyard bred dogs or puppy mill dogs sold by a broker who at least is more honest than most about the breed health issues, but still ignorant (anyone recommending that a dog is good for breeding on the basis of a cosmetic mark on the coat -- the thumbprint -- which is NOT necessarily inheritable by puppies and at any rate is absolutely the least important aspect of whether a dog is good for breeding and also pretty irrelevant to judges in making up champions at shows -- shows either incredible ignorance or an intention to encourage even more backyard breeding. If the 'spot' is supposed to make a dog a good show dog -- well, that too is the least important element of whether a dog is worth showing and if it WAS worth showing, it wouldn't be available through a broker. No good breeder sells show or breeding-quality dogs in this way, allowing them to be sold on by some third party. This just sounds like a way to make you feel the puppy was 'worth' what they were charging -- not least because it is probably at least 20-30 times what the same dog would go for directly from the breeder in Ireland. There are HUGE profits made by brokers as they fly in entire litters in boxes of 25 puppies -- several of which typically die en route -- at a cost of only $100 or so -- $5 per puppy for transport for puppies that cost anywhere from $25-100 from a BYB or puppy farmer. Even a puppy from a good breeder in Ireland is a third of the cost you'd typically pay for a puppy in the US -- they are just not a pricy dog over here. Jaspar and leo cost me about $400 on the exchange rate at the time -- both from the more recognised Irish kennels. So even selling these dogs abroad would provide a nice profit!

    Sadly this is very typical for brokers. Good breeders breed their own dogs and track all the health and genetic issues. Very few Irish breeders, including the otherwise reputable ones, do any health testing. If you are lucky the dogs come from long-established breeders who at lest mtch pedigrees properly and know the heart etc history of the dogs even if they don't test. It is also perfectly acceptable for 'heart cleared' in the UK and Ireland to mean a vet cleared the dog -- even though it is well estblsihed that vets miss most murmurs until dogs are BEYONFD breeding age -- hence early onset dogs are probably bred quite regularly.

    The name or IKC registration of a dog is generally pretty irrelevant -- you need to know the breeding practices of the particular breeder and you can only verify that be sking to see crdiac clearances and knowing wht they look like, and talking to the breeder directly.

    Lots of brokers and BYBs plop the puppies onto their porch or in the house for visitors, take cute pics of them in gardens and flower baskets, being hugged by children, etc. Lots of reputable breeders manage their dogs in clean heated kennels. So being in a house means nothing excpet that is how they wantedyou to see the puppy displayed for selling purposes. Few brokers, BYBs or puppy farmers are stupid enough to let buyers see how the dogs are actually kept. A few that were, we have managed to close down in Ireland but there are dozens more cranking out hundreds -- probably thousands -- of cavalier puppies for export every year.

    Such places exist in the US and UK as well but there's a huge export business from Ireland as there are so few controls.
    Karlin
    Cavaliers: Jaspar Lily Tansy Libby Mindy
    In memory: Lucy Leo
    Cavalier SM Information site:www.smcavaliers.com

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