Dog Auction - sick, sick, sick

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by judiz, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    An auction house is actually going to hold a dog auction, they are auctioning off over 38 different breeds of dogs, telling bidders it is a great time to get into the pet business. If you are as upset about this as I am, (the dogs will be sold regardless of whether they go to a private home, to a puppy mill or to someone who wants to use them as bait for training fighting dogs), please contact (as I did) the Humane Society and the ASPCA and ask them to step in and take possession of the dogs so they can be adopted by loving families.

    http://www.swkennelauction.com
     
  2. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, but I can't see the outrage.

    First, no crime is being committed. So what would be the basis for taking possession of the dogs?

    Second, the dogs being sold at the auction are probably being sold by people who are in bankruptcy or on the brink of bankruptcy. The dogs could be their most important asset.

    Third, I don't see the concern about people buying dogs as bait for training fighting dogs. Bringing together a bunch of buyers to one location is likely to drive up prices for the dogs. If someone is looking for bait dogs, they could go to any pound and adopt a mixed breed for a lot less than a purebred at an auction. Or they could go on Craigslist and find plenty of unwanted dogs for cheap. The idea they would go to an auction is pretty silly. By your logic, the Humane Society and ASPCA should step in and take possession of every dog at municipal animal shelters. After all, we don't know if the person who is adopting a dog is going to abuse it.

    Fourth, while there is a concern that the buyers might use the dogs for puppy mills, the solution is to police breeders and conditions at kennels, not to stop the sale. The buyers could just as easily be responsible breeders.
     
  3. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    Okay, maybe it's just me, I'm not comfortable with animals being sold to the highest bidder as if they were a table lamp or a storage shed. I'm told it is legal, nothing I can do but vent my feelings.
     
  4. LilJen

    LilJen Well-Known Member

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    Weird. I could see if it were an "auction" to benefit a shelter or rescue organization, but not otherwise.
     
  5. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

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    I don't know a lot about this, but I understand that these auctions are pretty routine. A friend who is heavily into animal rescue often talks about rescue societies going to these to save dogs. It sounds like they are often held by puppy mills that are either going out of business or that are simply trying to rid themselves of unwanted stock. They don't see it as any different from any other livestock auction.
     
  6. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    How is it different than a horse auction? (Most of which are not for big dollars in Lexington.)
     
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I bought a goat at the 4-H auction. We have livestock sales around here all the time. I wouldn't think twice about buying a horse at an auction. Dogs aren't any different except they'd have to be really well-bred to be worth the hassle.
     
  8. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    I had written to the Humane Society about this auction because it was the first time I had ever heard of one for dogs. This is the letter I received today in response. Bold print is mine.

    Thanks for writing to The Humane Society of the United States. Our Puppy Mills Campaign is aware of the SW Kennel Auction and we believe it to be the largest recurring dog auction in the country, as well as a major market for puppy mill operators wishing to buy and sell dogs.
    Please know that any money spent on these auction dogs goes directly back into the pockets of the puppy millers and perpetuates this cruel industry. Because these auctions are a by-product of the puppy mill industry, our campaign focuses its efforts on the root cause, the puppy mills themselves. We take a multimodal approach to stopping puppy mills, including:
    o Investigations: investigations have pulled the curtain back to reveal the true nature of the puppy mill industry, leading in many cases to direct rescues as well as changes in public policy. For example, our exposes of New York and Chicago area pet stores revealed that nearly all pet stores are supplied by puppy mills.
    o Rescues: Since 2006, the HSUS has rescued over 8,000 animals from a life of misery at puppy mills. Efforts have intensified via our online Report a Puppy Mill form and toll free puppy mill tip line (1-877-MILL-TIP).
    o State legislation: With assistance from the HSUS, thirty-two new laws have been enacted in since 2008. In 2012 alone, seven states enacted laws to crack down on puppy mills, including Ohio, which is one of the worst puppy mill states in the country.
    o Federal legislation: Legislation was passed in 2008 to ban the import of puppies for the pet trade, and in 2012, following urging by The HSUS, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced its plan to broaden the enforcement and reach of the federal Animal Welfare Act to include puppy mills that sell over the internet.
    o Litigation: supports legal action against specific sellers and businesses that perpetuate the puppy mill industry, such as online puppy sellers, including Purebred Breeders, LLC.
    o Puppy Friendly Stores initiative: Over 2,000 pet stores have signed our pledge making it their official policy not to sell puppies.
    o Education: Educating consumers about puppy mills and how to avoid them stops the financial support of puppy mills at its source: the consumer. Through websites like humanesociety.org/puppymills, celebrity endorsements, PSAs, and our annual Puppy Mill Awareness Week, we reach millions of potential puppy buyers who might otherwise unwittingly support a puppy mill.
    To learn what you can do to help stop puppy mills, I encourage you to check out both our Advocate’s Guide and our Ordinance Guide: http://www.humanesociety.org/issues/puppy_mills/tips/what_you_can_do_stop_puppy_mills.html
    Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions along the way. Thanks again for your concern and support!
    Sincerely,
    Amanda Gossom
    Research Coordinator, Puppy Mills Campaign
    agossom@humanesociety.org
    t 301-258-3114 f 301-721-6414

    The Humane Society of the United States
    700 Professional Drive Gaithersburg, MD 20879
    humanesociety.org
     
  9. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    You answered your own question. Dogs aren't commodities.

    Dogs aren't livestock, nor commodities. It seems to me that auctioning a dog off to the highest bidder just encourages puppy mills and/or the abuse of dogs for profit. There is no opportunity for the buyer of a dog to get to know the dog and see if he/she is right for the owners' household.

    I suppose it is possible that responsible, loving dog owners might buy a dog at an auction. But it seems unlikely to me. I wouldn't get a dog at an auction, nor a horse for that matter.
     
  10. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Well, legally dogs are commodities. They are defined as property under the law, and reckless was addressing the legal aspects of the auction.

    Just curious, but why differentiate dogs from "livestock"? They are all animals subject to purchase and ownership. They can be treated humanely or not. Are some animals more worthy of better treatment than others?
     
  11. sk8pics

    sk8pics Well-Known Member

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    I guess I think that all animals should be treated humanely, but I do put companion animals in a different category in my mind. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, and gradually becoming more vegetarian.
     
  12. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  13. Japanfan

    Japanfan Well-Known Member

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    What Reckless said was:
    Just because puppy mills may be legal doesn't mean that they are ethical. Anyone who loves animals cannot help but be outraged at the cruelty and abuse inflicted on animals by puppy mills.

    However, it is highly questionable whether they are legal. Most of them abuse animals and there are laws protecting the rights of animals - and many puppy mills have been shut down because of them. If the dogs are coming from abusive/cruel conditions, and/or going in to abusive/cruel conditions, that is a crime.

    The criteria of what constitutes 'abuse' does vary according to animal authorities in different places and in some cases are too lax (i.e. abuse excludes backyard dogs that are commonly neglected and abused). Animals advocates such as Wayne Paycelle, the CEO of the American Humane Society, are making substantial efforts to improve animal rights legislation. (Paycelle had considerable success advocating for rescue plans that included animals after Hurricane Katrina.)

    So, even though the law may consider animals 'property', the law also acknowledges that animals are living and feeling beings that are entitled to a standard of care. In the years to come there will likely (and hopefully) be even stricter laws on animals abuse and puppy mills will be totally abolished. Hopefully, there will also be stricter laws about standards of care for backyard dogs.

    All animals are worthy of humane treatment and farm factories and slaughterhouses certainly inflict plenty of abuse on animals.

    But livestock animals are not household pets and cattle farmers have large numbers of cows. If a farmer is going to buy a large number of cattle, the auction system might work, especially if the farmer knew the type of cow being purchased and the source of the animals.

    However, keep in mind that I know nothing about the cattle industry. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that responsible and ethical cattle farmers abhor the auction system and find it to support cruel practices.

    Unfortunately, implementing legislative change in the factory farming industry is a real challenge, because raising livestock humanely costs more money than factory farming, which means the price of meat would increase.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2013
  14. reckless

    reckless Well-Known Member

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    You missed my point. I was not defending puppy mills or saying they are legal, which, of course, depends on the laws of the state where they operation is located and the actual manner in which the owner keeps the dogs. My point is that there is a tremendous leap of logic here that the dogs are from/going to puppy mills. We don't know that. A "puppy mill" is where dogs are overbred and subjected to poor conditions, but how do you know that the buyer isn't a responsible breeder who will breed the dogs only a few times during their lives, will keep them in comfortable homes, and make sure the puppies are healthy and properly socialized? Even reputable breeders sometimes look for new dogs to use as breeding stock. The same with the seller. The seller could be a reputable breeder who fell on hard times and just can't afford to maintain the breeding operation.

    And, yes, I use the term "stock" and may sound like I am treating the dogs like commodities, but for some people, breeding animals is a business -- and that includes plenty of reputable breeders. So I'm all for shutting down puppy mills and throwing the people who operate them in jail for animal cruelty. I've seen plenty of puppy mill dogs, including dogs used as breeding stock, so I am perfectly happy to see them put out of business. But the auction itself is not a crime and I hate this kind of self-righteousness, particularly when its practical effect could easily cause more harm than good.

    Many of the dogs being auctioned are being consigned, so that means the owners are getting a portion of the sale. Since the people attacking the auction assume everyone involved is connected to puppy mills, I'm going to ask you what do you think would happen if: (1) that were true; and (2) there were no auction. What do you think the sellers are going to do with those dogs if they don't have a chance to make money through an auction? It can be expensive to find buyers, so plenty of those dogs will likely wind up in shelters or just abandoned. Given the assumption that they are puppy mill dogs, i.e., the present owners don't care about the dogs, those owners aren't going to go out of their way to find them good homes. Is that really better than the auction?

    And what if the assumption is wrong? What if the seller is a reputable breeder whose stock is being sold at auction under order of a bankruptcy court? As I mentioned before, a large auction is likely to bring more buyers together. If there were no dog auction, those dogs would still be auctioned, but who knows who would turn up for the auction. That could leave the seller getting nothing and the dogs in just as uncertain conditions as they are with this auction. Indeed, because a large auction is likely to bring together more buyers, prices are likely to be higher than at a small, local auction. Higher prices, imo, are more likely to deter puppy mill owners who care only about the bottom line.

    It's funny when I read that dogs should not be auctioned, because the City of Los Angeles animal shelters have a policy that if more than one person wants to adopt an animal on the day it becomes available, they hold a silent auction and the animal goes to the highest bidder. It's not exactly the same as a full-blown auction, but the animal is effectively sold.

    Finally, I'm not going to get into a lengthy debate about factory farming, HSUS and Wayne Paycelle, or organics, because that really is irrelevant to this topic. I will just say that there are organic livestock auctions, because people who raise organic livestock have to make a living too. Five heifers are likely to sell at a higher price at an auction than through advertising in organic livestock newsletters and on Craigslist (and an auction allows the owner to focus on his or her business).
     
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  15. TygerTyger

    TygerTyger Well-Known Member

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    Yes. A shelter is better than these auctions. A million times better - even if they are euthanized, it is better. A reputable breeder would never sell their "breeding stock". Nor would they be taken in a bankruptcy. That is because done humanly and responsibly, breeding dogs is not a revenue generating enterprise.
    Don't go to the auction. Don't traumatized yourself :(
     
  16. Lacey

    Lacey Well-Known Member

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    We once went to an auction that year after year auctioned off one puppy, was a huge moneymaker, but is illegal now in state of PA, USA. I am surprised that a general auction of puppies/dogs is possible.
     
  17. judiz

    judiz Well-Known Member

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    If the dogs are healthy the alternative would be to send them to rescue groups which foster the dogs until forever homes are found.
     
  18. euterpe

    euterpe Well-Known Member

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    Another possible destination of the dogs is to a research center. Research facilities prefer purebred dogs (as opposed to mixes). That's why it is a good idea if you are a pet owner to have a microchip embedded in your pet so that if the pet is lost, it won't end up as a research specimen (labs won't use 'chipped' dogs).
     
  19. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

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    It seems like it would be more effective to focus on shutting down puppy mills, and that there ought to be a lot more direct ways to do that rather than outlawing auctions.

    I've seen people's close relationship with horses, and I'm not sure why a dog auction should be treated any differently than a horse auction. Is there something special about dogs vs. horses?
     
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  20. Clarice

    Clarice Active Member

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    The few breeders I've had contact with would never have a need for an auction. Their litters are spoken for, sometimes even before they're conceived. If puppy mills were shut down, there likely would be very little need for dog auctions.
     
  21. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    The easiest way to shut down puppy mills is for people to STOP BUYING PUPPPIES unless the seller can show you the bitch, the conditions in which she's kept, health records, and ideally the stud dog as well (though with AI and such even with supremely-well-bred animals that's not always possible.) My next-door neighbors got their corgi puppy from a friend-he owned both parents, he kept at least one, he can tell you everything about the dogs' history (including that their puppy has an issue where they should not breed her), and he can demonstrate his dogs are happy and not crammed in cages. People who want purebreds have hundreds of AKC breeders to choose from. People who want a cute puppy have plenty of neighbors with an 'oops' litter or a one-off litter. There is no reason on earth to purchase any dog with CKC papers or which is called a Maltiyorkicockapomawestiekpekeapoodledoo or whatever nasty little toy mix someone threw together from the thirty AKC rejects they assembled in their pole barn.

    Puppy mills exist because stupid people want their designer mongrels and pay top dollar for them. You can't legislate that out by banning one method of selling or another (setting aside how unpleasant the idea is of restrictions on trade is what is ultimately an item of personal property, ain't going to work.) You have to educate the consumer-not guilt them into ZOMG YOU HAVE TO GET A SHELTER DOG, because frankly some people should never, ever get a dog with an even partially unknown history and would be far better suited to getting a puppy from a breeder who can tell them its health history and what to expect from that breed--educate that "that dude advertising Westie-Poos in the classified" is NOT a suitable source for a dog, especially if he's listing about fifteen different crossbreeds.