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Puppy Mills: What they are, ways to work against them
  • After reading about a horrible black Friday auction of dogs for a the puppy mills, I've just felt such terrible despair--what can I do to help these dogs that have such terrible lives? There's probably no answer to that, but one small thing we can all do is to educate others about mills--what they are, how to recognize them, and how not to support them. Like many of you, I really had no idea what a mill was before I joined this forum, and I had actually gone out to a mill (yes, in person!) and bought a Shiba from one, all without really knowing what I was doing! So many of us here have puppy mill dogs because we didn't know any better, and while we love our dogs, I don't think any of us want to support the horrible businesses they came from.

    So I thought it might be useful for us to have a place here on the forum to consolidate a lot of information on mills in one thread. Part of it can be education: what is a mill, how do you spot one, etc. Part of it, I hope, can be action: suggestions from people on how to try to stop the mills or to support groups that either rescue dogs or try to work at closing down mills. I would like to know if there are groups that are trying to work on shutting down mills (groups that are still dog friendly, not like PETA obviously!) or if there ways I can, with limited time and resources, still help a bit. If people have suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

    In the meantime, here are some links that will give people more information. Our own "Spot the Puppy Mill" thread is a great tool for getting educated about the ways in which mills try to hide/disguise themselves:

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/8015/forum-game-spot-the-puppy-mill-the-resurrection#Item_75

    Here is a link to the horrible auction house that auctions off dogs for the mills. Go see what is behind the posed pictures of the puppies on mills webpages: http://www.swkennelauction.com/index_files/Auction2.htm

    Here is a blog post that talks more about Southwest Kennel auction, whose site is listed above. This will give you an idea of what they are really like: http://ibreathebehindthescenes.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-breathe-behind-scenes.html

    Those links were taken from this thread here on the forum, from someone who--like many of us--didn't know she was buying a puppy mill dog. At least Foxy's story has a happy ending as she has a good, loving home:

    http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/7587/giardia/p1

    This is an article linked in another thread about the effects of mills on dogs: http://yourlife.usatoday.com/parenting-family/pets/dogs/story/2011-10-11/Puppy-mills-leave-lasting-emotional-scars-study-finds/50722874/1

    (originally linked this this thread on the forum: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/comment/145680#Comment_145680 )

    This is a link to a thread about the short documentary, Madonna of the Mills, about a woman doing rescue: http://www.shibainuforum.org/forum/discussion/comment/141509#Comment_141509

    There are many of us here that have puppy mill dogs, so this is in no way a judgement--it's education. If you're new to learning about puppy mills, like all of us were at some time, check in with the threads of people who have mill dogs to see what their experiences are. I know in my case, I have ended up with a dog how had no socialization and is extremely fearful. She has a seizure disorder. She had a luxating patella and then a torn ACL. She injured my other Shiba so badly he nearly died. I have spent well over $10,000 on her (or vet bills from other dog from injuries she caused) in the 6 years I've had her. I love her, of course, but I hope that no one else has to go through what I've gone through with Bel.

    Please add other links to information about puppy mills, or share your experiences, and I'd really love to see information about ways we can work for change, whether it is through supporting rescue groups or organizations that are trying to shut down mills. I'm sure I've missed stuff already on the forum, too, so please feel free to add it.

    added 8/14 A check list from the HSUS about puppy mills, which lists names and violations of some puppy mills: http://www.humanesociety.org/assets/pdfs/pets/puppy_mills/101-puppy-mills-report-2014.pdf
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2014-08-04 20:44:19
  • This is a great start Mistress! Thanks for putting this together. I've got it bookmarked and will be doing some further research.
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  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    Thanks a ton Lisa, Puppy mills makes me sick so sad it's allowed.

    Education is best thing to do and direct people to good breeders you know.

    I don't hate pups who are from puppymills things happen and it's great they have a home.

    Pearly my first boxer was from a family who breed their boxer to show their kids miracle of birth or for money not sure, Junior who knows where he came from dad got him without us being here my guess a bad breeder because his nose was really long compared to Pearly and Bella he almost looked like a boxer mixed his fur felt different from Pearly, Bella and other boxers I've met.

    Bella is from a backyard breeder dad wanted a dog right now and he looked at kijiji and had to have her. Impulse buys is one reason pet stores is not good..


    I hope for one day this will be stopped and outlawed in all countries.
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    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
    Post edited by Saya at 2011-11-22 16:45:46
  • Thanks for starting this, Lisa. I may have more to say later -- just want to add a few more useful, unorganized links for now.

    Pupquest, (also on the "So You Want to Find a Shiba Inu Breeer" page):
    http://www.pupquest.org

    USDA database of Class A/B Breeder inspection reports:
    https://acissearch.aphis.usda.gov/LPASearch/faces/Warning.jspx
    [EDIT: updated link, since it had moved]

    I think it's often a delicate tightrope act for rescuers who actually work with the millers to release breeding adults. Puppymillers are often only willing to do so under the condition that they won't be badmouthed or publicly shamed. Rescues certainly don't want to make it easy for puppymillers to get rid of their unwanted stock, especially by just buying adults and pups off their hands, but they really want to save those dogs.

    I don't have any experience with how to organize or legislate, but here a couple of state-level groups that can provide a model of how animal welfare advocates organize at a more local level:

    Iowa Voters for Companion Animals:
    http://www.iavotersforcompanionanimals.org/

    New Jersey Consumers Against Pet Shop Abuse:
    http://www.njcapsa.org/
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2014-03-02 13:07:04
  • I often wonder if the best (and only) way to get rid of puppy mills is for someone who has unlimited resources to go into the business, actually pay for genetic tests, socialization, temperament testing, good care for the dogs, etc, and then undercut the puppy-millers that exist. It would be a total loss for anyone to do this; they would have to have another source of income in order to support the "business," etc, but it does seem like the only way, to me, to get rid of these businesses because, well, I lack faith in humanity. I just don't see impulse buys and people who want instant gratification ever going away, no matter how educated they are about where the dogs come from.

    The problem with a model like this, of course, is that it still gets dogs to people who will later abandon them for stupid reasons and I wonder if that would be worth the trade off humanely mass-produced puppies (which I think is possible but exceedingly unlikely due to my above-mentioned lack of faith in humanity) as opposed to the current puppy mill system. After all, if I believe there will always be people who buy from pet stores and whatnot even when they are educated, then the idea that there will always be people who dump their poor dogs at shelters, etc, is a corollary. So I suppose the question is, which problem can we solve and what attainable solutions are better for the dogs?

    I'll make a note here that I'm in favor of tight regulation concerning the breeding of dogs because this simply isn't something I believe the market will solve. The problem is that I also question the ability to regulate in such a way as to fix the problem. Sure, you can demand genetic testing, and more humane living conditions but there's more to that if you want to treat a dog well, as we all know. How can you regulate something like how much time gets spent with a dog in any enforceable way? And mightn't unenforceable laws be worse than none at all?
  • Thanks for posting the links in one place. I certainly don't look down on shibas from puppy mills. It isn't their fault where they were born or that they were born. I have a puppy mill shiba that I adopted from a rescue & I love him the same as my shiba from a reputable breeder. I would never knowingly purchase a shiba from a puppy mill & I suspect/hope most people would not do so. Education is the key. I feel if you want any pure bred dog, then find a reputable breeder. If you think it is too much work to find one or you do not want to wait for a puppy from an reputable breeder, then do the right thing and adopt a dog from your local rescue. There are way too many homeless dogs that need homes.
  • MayamaMayama
    Posts: 267
    Thank you for sharing the information.

    We got Maya from a breeder recommended by a friend, but if it weren't for her, I might have gotten a mill dog myself. We did much research on the breed itself, but didn't find much information on where to get a Shiba. I was googling around, and all the fancy websites that came up are all from puppy mills. Till this day, I felt I was really lucky that I talked to the friend before making the decision.
    Shiba Inu Maya's blog and FB page
  • AraksAraks
    Posts: 399
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm with Rhondabee here in that I'd never look down upon a dog from a puppy mill. Now, the people I look down on are the ones who knowingly go out knowing about the pet stores and puppy mills and still support those places. I understand the first time someone gets a dog and doesn't know any better, but by returning to a place like that for another dog is what gets me extremely irritated. I hope to see puppy mills shut down in my lifetime, but it's going to take a lot of work and educating the public.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    The best way to undercut puppy mills is for people to have a better buying option so mills are put out of business. To me, that points to reputable breeders needing to (responsibly) breed more dogs for pet homes. Current laws and restrictions make it hard to do this and maintain high standards of health testing, care, spay neuter contracts, etc, unless of course you are one of the USDA licensed people, or a mass producer like RPK who cuts corners.

    More and more it seems like the small breeders who do really wonderful jobs and strive for excellence are the ones who get targeted and penalized. Then there is the misconception that breeding more than a few times a year, or owning more than a certain number of dogs means you are a puppy mill. That just isn't so. I firmly believe if more decent breeders offered more puppies and made them more available, it wouldn't be such an uphill battle with the really nasty mills that do such horrible things to dogs.

    Shiba rescue in Oregon is trying to make space for 20 or so Shibas that are being purchased at auction somewhere in the mill belt. The mill is liquidating stock, but still wants to make money if they can by selling the old breeder dogs as that saves them from the cost of shooting them. Lots of them will be sold for $5 as they are spent and no longer young. Sad how these dogs entire lives amount to $5 or less, and many will not be saved.

    The goal for rescue is to save without enabling the mills to make more. So, they will buy as many of the dogs as they can and remove those dogs from breeding, but it doesn't fix the big problem. People buy from petshops and internet mill sites because they cater to impulse buying and are widely available. A step in the right direction, would be for more reputable Shiba breeders to keep websites, and offer more puppies. Easier said then done I realize.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
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  • I agree with you Lindsay, better availability from actual reputable sources would be a huge step in the right direction. It means that people could accidentally stumble onto the RIGHT source instead of the wrong one.
  • AraksAraks
    Posts: 399
    I really believe that the reputable breeders should advertise on websites like nextdaypets.com and whatnot. It would put better options for everyone to see on those websites as we've seen some of those dogs listed on these websites sometimes barely look like shibas, and if the breeders keep screening homes properly as they've been doing, I think it'll be a better way for people to get educated from them as well.
  • http://www.brooklynhillkennels.com/index.html
    I googled the phone number for the 28 females and 6 males listed for auction, and got this website.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    They were only able to save 12 of Shelba Canfields dogs which she sent to the auction block. I guess the prices were too high for rescue to buy more, and lack of foster homes, so 50ish Shibas were sold off to other puppy farmers to live miserable lives. That's all very telling of the increasing popularity of this breed, and the direction I fear the Shiba Inu is heading.

    Another breeder/rescue friend and I pledged $200 towards the dogs, so I hope that makes a difference for at least one of them. Can you believe, with all the "shares" and "likes" on Facebook, that only a handful of people have actually sent money or agreed to foster? What they really need is foster homes and funds. Pam Peterson at Royal Kennels is helping with this case, and can be contacted directly for donations or foster volunteers.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • @Lil_Washu, yeah, we knew they were from the Brooklyn Hills kennels. It's in the other thread.

    @Lindsay, that is utterly heartbreaking, but thanks for keeping us posted. Can you tell us which rescue is handling these dogs, so we can send donations if we're able? I see it's the Oregon rescue...if I find it I'll link it here, but if you see this first, could you?

    I do think that better availability from good sources would help at least some. It's so difficult to find a responsible breeder--first to learn how to identify one, and then to get a response from people! I am beginning to the think that having good breeders on Next day pets, and sites like that as Lindsay and Araks mentions might actually be useful after all, as is more good breeders producing puppies for pet homes.

    I'm just devastated, too, about what is happening to the breed. This kind of popularity can destroy the breed. What's working against Shibas is there size and cute puppy factor. I know that larger dogs end up in mills too--there were, for example, mastiffs for sale in that auction, and I know awhile ago there was a bust of a horrible place that had Akitas stacked in cages--but the smaller dogs certainly are more popular with mills and with impulse purchases. I wish I knew what to do.

    I think, to avoid utter despair which will make me feel utterly helpless, I'm going to work on this in the small ways I can, which is through education, and donations to groups that either do rescue or help with stopping mills. It's also why I wanted to have a thread here, so we could find things that are within our means to help. It feels overwhelming, but I would rather be doing something, even if it is small, rather than nothing.

    Thanks for the links here, esp. some of the ones curlytails posted...those help in education.

    @Lindsay....I still can't find out who rescued the Shibas from the auction? could you link some info. for us?
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2011-11-27 14:11:57
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    The dogs are going back to Pam Peterson in Ohio (Royal Kennels). They though they were getting more, so the Oregon rescue had offered to step up and take 20, but the Ohio rescues were actually the ones involved in pulling the dogs.

    Taking donations:
    www.safeharboranimalrescue.org
    www.tristateshiba.org

    Pam Peterson (513) 876-2864
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • emmyemmy
    Posts: 553
    Can someone who is knowledgeable about rescue/fostering maybe start a thread about what to consider before committing to foster a shiba? I would love to see advice and stories from people who have done it. I have thought about fostering, but honestly it's kind of intimidating. There is a ton of great info about adopting a rescue out there, but I haven't found as much about what to expect when fostering. Then I see situations like this where rescues are in need of foster homes, and I feel bad for not learning more before now....
  • Thanks for the info., Lindsay. I'm going to send a donation once I get paid on Weds.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    No problem. 6 of them are going to Oregon to be fostered. Anyone in Oregon or Washingon can also donate to Shibas4life if they wish. They are also a wonderful Shiba rescue.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • PupChowPupChow
    Posts: 100
    "I agree with you Lindsay, better availability from actual reputable sources would be a huge step in the right direction. It means that people could accidentally stumble onto the RIGHT source instead of the wrong one."

    This. I was very lucky to have stumbled onto the right website and even luckier that the great breeder was closer to me than a less than reputable one whom I was also considering. Sad to say, I learned everything I should have learned AFTER I got my Shiba.

  • emmy: Fostering differs a bit from organization to organization as do policies and requirements..... and even the people dynamic. If you are interested in specifically fostering a Shiba talk with the closest group to you listed on shibas.org

    Here is a link on some things that are pertinent and give you an idea (the page is not breed specific) http://fosterdogs.com/

    Speaking from my own experiences, I think the biggest and most important issue for us in fostering has been integration and making sure introductions and interactions among dogs remain smooth. Unlike many other breeds, one most likely will not be able to pour Shibas together and stir expecting them to get along right off the bat. It takes some planning and separation of spaces to really get the best results. Overall house training has been the least of any issues in fostering this breed.

    Please speak with your local Shiba rescue and see if you can find a mentor to help you with the process since it is a lot tougher if you don't have the support. I don't know all the groups available or can speak for them individually....but I do know NYCSR has lots of activities and also Shibas4Life has a wonderful person as its founder.

    Snf
    Post edited by StaticNfuzz at 2011-11-29 11:48:40
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Denise is a really wonderful person. I agree that integration is the most difficult thing with an existing Shiba pack and a foster.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • I sent a donation to tri-state Shiba rescue. I couldn't afford much, but I hope even a little bit is helpful. Looks like they'll have the mill rescues up on the site soon.
  • I sent one too Mistress. Pam checked for me and none of the rescues were Foxy's parents )0:
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  • I'm sorry too....I wish her parents had gotten out. :(
  • Here is another link about puppy mills:

    http://happytailsbooks.com/images/Mill_Dog_Manifesto.pdf

    A few weeks ago I helped to transport to her foster home a 5 year old female shiba given to rescue by a mill. She was as sweet as can be, but she had a severe luxating patella, which will require surgery and glaucoma in one eye that had to be removed because it was caught too late. Think about how many puppies this shiba had, who were sold to unsuspecting people, who ended up with shibas that may suffer from luxating patellas and glaucoma. I don't know who the breeder is, but they probably have a website that tries to fool people into thinking they are reputable. Please do your homework, and I really think that contacting your closest shiba rescue and checking with them about a breeder before purchasing from the breeder is a safe way to avoid a puppy mill. The rescues know who to avoid.
  • Bumping this thread to add a couple more links.

    Forbes magazine has been running a couple lengthier articles on pets. First part on the economics of purchasing a purebred puppy have a lot to do with many topics discussed here about just what you're getting when you pay XXXX dollars for a well-bred pup.

    This second article is more directly relevant to this thread: "Where not to buy a dog: the pet store connection and the business of puppy mills. It's an interview with Andrew Nibley, the director of Madonna of the Mills.

    At any rate, it's nice to see a mainstream media outlet dedicate this much space to the issue.
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    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • BrewSterBrewSter
    Posts: 193
    the petstore we got brewster from was finally shut down by the akc and went out of business...we got him as they were "clearancing theyre inventory" and what that meant was "buy the animals cuz if you dont they will be put down" we got no real discount on the lil furball but we are happy to know we saved him from death that he didnt deserve..i want it known thart we DO NOT support mills ,we did know he was from a mill but we couldnt let him be put down
  • My company in Columbus, OH helped gain some of the initial signatures for a petition to end puppy mills in Ohio. Hoping we will get a contract so we can gather the rest of the signatures. Then we can make sure they get all they need...then it can get on the ballot and the people would be able to vote to end them!
  • @BrewSter: I personally think it's a lot different to get a pet store pup when they're being shut down and clearing out their inventory. You're not adding to the puppy mill demand, then, as the store is being shut down. Instead, I think that in your particular situation is much more like rescuing an animal. Glad to know both that you're giving a puppy mill dog a good life and that you managed to do it in a responsible way.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Thought I'd add this link from Dogster with more more information on puppy mills. It does contain pics of dogs rescued from mills, and some puppy mill pics, so be aware of that. More reasons to make sure you don't support mills--it's not just the risk of getting an unhealthy dog, but I don't think any of us want to support businesses that treat animals with such a lack of care:

    http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/puppy-mill-dogs
  • KitsuKitsu
    Posts: 765
    Poor poodles :( They look MUCH MUCH happier now that they're out of there.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Here's a link to a undercover video about dog auctions. This was on Shibaholic's FB page:



    Also, TriState Shiba Rescue are going into an auction on the 30th. Not sure what dogs they will be able to get, but here is the link to their page. They are trying to save a few Shibas, including a pregnant one. :( I know some people think rescues shouldn't spend any money at the auctions, and it is a complicated situation, but I do think that sometimes if they can afford it and it saves a few dogs.....I'm sure they will be in need of donations. Here's their page.

    http://www.tristateshiba.org/
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-06-27 14:44:34
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Isn't there worry that if rescues start doing this, dogs millers that used to let "used up" dogs go for free will now charge money for them? I feel like it defeats the purpose of not buying from petstores, especially since this is direct money which will be used to buy more dogs :(

    Its a really complicated situation, but I rather see that money go into funding legislation against mills, instead of possibly creating a new much bigger problem. I can't see how that wont backfire. Imagine them not letting go of old or sick animals without a crazy fee.....
    Post edited by Inoushi at 2012-06-27 18:21:05
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Well, it is controversial, but you know the mills don't let the dogs go anyway--they charge for them. or they kill them. It's not like they're letting the dogs go after they are "used up." They are just auctioning these dogs off and don't really care where they go.

    Some people do feel like you do, though, and will want to make sure that their money doesn't go to buying dogs at auctions, and that's fine. I just personally am ok with rescues getting a few dogs if they can pay low prices for them, because at least those dogs are saved. But not everyone agrees.
    Post edited by shibamistress at 2012-06-27 22:19:28
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    I know, I have mixed feelings too about rescues spending money on auction dogs...

    Some rescues have tried to address this ethical quandary in the following ways --

    1) Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate first. If rescues can strike a deal with the breeder so that they can take any "unwanted" dogs for free or a very low cost in exchange for a "privacy" agreement (they will not reveal the identity of the breeder), they would rather get the dog out. It's a delicate situation though, and many "puppy mill" breeders ARE opposed to working with rescue because they do not see it working any favors for them. When word gets out about where the dogs came from, these breeders are usually lambasted, so they do not find it a good experience.

    2) Rescues step in when it's a known "closeout" sale. That is, a breeder is getting rid of ALL their dogs, or ALL of certain breeds. I do not know how often breeders renege on their promise to get out -- but unfortunately, that happens, too.

    Ultimately, I know that rescues do and WILL get those dogs, whether they buy them with their own money or whether they end up picking them up at the shelter, on the streets, etc. So I don't really have any ethical qualms about where my money "goes" when I donate to specific rescues who also happen to attend auctions.

    I used to have more faith in legislation to put a stop to the most flagrant practices. Now that I learn how easily laws get bogged down in politics, I'm not so sure... Education is an extremely slow process, and breed rescue alone cannot get us out of the mess. But I think these are the sides that I am most comfortable throwing my limited resources into, for now.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    I am against giving any money to the mills.

    Buying up dogs from mills in the name of rescue just gives them more financial resources to get new stocks. You may have saved the dogs you get from the mills, but these people turn around and use the money that they get from you to buy more dogs - these are supposed younger dogs that can be bred more times than the ones the mills get rid of through auctions.

    Buying dogs from mills shows the mills that there is a market for the dogs they don't want. Your purchase helps them bring a few more fresh bitches to make 30, 40 or 50 more puppies. You may save the one or the 13 in front of you through this awful auctions, but you are creating more mill puppies.

    Education and public policy may be a slow process, but it is the right way to go.
  • SayaSaya
    Posts: 6675
    I agree with Sandrat it's sad thing that this happens, but giving them money isn't good either.

    One question if these dogs can't be bred due to old age or whatever why are they auctioning them off? Or can they be bred they just don't want them?
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    Nicole, 5year old Bella(Boxer), and 4year old Saya(Shiba inu)
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    @Saya

    I believe the Shibas that are being auctioned off can still be bred. It is just the said miller wanted to get out of either the mill business altogether or want to get out of the breeds that he currently has. He is liquidating his stock, so other millers can keep breeding these dogs.
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    I respect those who want to take a hard line against giving the mills any money. It makes sense. But for me, I think that if Tristate wants to try and purchase some of these dogs and this liquidation auction and get them out, well, it will certainly make a difference in the lives of the dogs they are able to rescue. I certainly don't think that much rescue money should be spent on this--rescues operate with too little money as it is and they need to help the Shibas already in rescue--but I also support their efforts in this case. I'm not willing to turn my back on these individual dogs if there is a way to get them out that will not totally deplete the finances of the rescue.

    and I believe, from checking in with Shibaholics, a number of people like me have donated particularly for this cause, so I think they're using dollars particularly earmarked for this.

    I hope they're able to get at least a few dogs out.

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    I agree with Sandra and I can see how millers may exploit rescue resources this way. I dont think it is the ultimate solution. We both have been helping with rescue when called to, and I am all for helping the dogs once they are in safe hands and doing what it takes to get them into a good home, but I do have difficulty seeing how this alone will affect the bigger picture.

    I think buying the pregnant and other breedable bitches and paying to spay them is a happy medium in an all around disagreeable situation. Something to keep in mind is they can't all be saved, and as this problem is soo complicated, a multi-disciplinary approach is needed, i.e. legislation, rescue, protests, buyer education, etc.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    The catch is that the pregnant and breedable bitches are the very ones that go for the highest prices at auctions...

    Anyway, my observation is that the debate and controversy exists because it's not such a black and white issue. And no, it's definitely not the best solution. I agree that in an ideal world, puppy mills are NEVER economically rewarded for their actions. Ever. And the market (or lack thereof) will eventually take care of the problem once and for all.

    We do not live in such a rationalized world.

    I think about Kiyomi's story, the six-year-old Shiba who was "breedable" by auction standards (female, intact), but not by biological reality because she was sick. As the story goes, nobody was willing to bid on her because she might have been barren. The auctioneer announced that the first bidder to offer $25 on the spot would get her -- so a rescue in attendance swooped her up.

    Of course, it cost the rescue much more than $25 to get her vetted, as it turns out she had pyometra and that's why she never produced a litter for the miller. To be perfectly honest, I'm fine with the rescue putting twenty-five bucks in the hands of some scummy breeder to get her out of the system, because I doubt any puppy miller sees a sick, used-up bitch going for $25 as a tempting "market" to milk.

    When other bidders in attendance f*ck with rescuers and jack up the prices on "used up" dogs, knowing that they're willing to pay, I'd say it's as much about the money as the moral antagonism. The puppy millers hate the "AR fanatics" and vice versa. This is why rescues who enter auction should probably keep a low profile; I'm already concerned about how this specific auction is getting plastered all over the rescue networks -- and THEY all know that rescue is coming to save the day! It does no good to go into the auctions guns a-blazin', because that will ultimately backfire.

    Where does one draw the line? How much is too much to pay for an auction dog, even if it's to keep one dog out of the "wrong" hands? I don't have the heart to say $0, even as I DON'T want millers to profit.

    I'm going to backpedal a bit and say this in favor of legislation... I can think of how it has worked on a state level. A while back, another forum user mentioned how Pennsylvania was cracking down on puppy mills. At least one breed rescue was able to negotiate the release of all 16 dogs and puppies of one breed in the hands of one puppy miller under the first situation I mentioned above. The breeder HAD to downsize, he knew this, but he "cared" enough about his dogs that he didn't want them to go to another puppy mill breeder, knowing the conditions of some of the kennels in his state. So he voluntarily surrendered his dogs to rescue, under the condition that nobody would be told where the dogs came from in order to protect his privacy.

    But that's just one example, an "ideal" solution. I don't know how other kennels downsized, and I fear to imagine.

    I have heard that Missouri's recent efforts to tighten up its game has also resulted in nearby states experiencing an influx of dogs and breeders as kennels in MO close or downsize. Problem is these laws just pack the buck along, and often run the danger of being ineffective at best, detrimental or intrusive to ethical breeding practices at worst.

    And to answer @Saku's question about laws, legislations, and petitions asked in the other dog auction thread, and highlight another state-level effort:
    http://www.banohiodogauctions.com/
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-06-29 02:45:17
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    My biggest complaint about this logic of saving these dogs, is that its the same logic people get crucified for if they purchase a puppy in a pet store. How is it any different?
  • curlytailscurlytails
    Posts: 2779
    Reread above, this same thread. I don't think anybody here "crucified" Brewster for example for buying a puppy at a pet store that was going out of business. The consumers who are buying pets from a pet store are also qualitatively different from breeders who are shopping at a dog auction, and I find the comparison somewhat misleading.

    I guess I'm saying that I, on a personal level, can't make a blanket statement that it's never okay to buy dogs at auctions though I hope it's clear that I hope it's done as a very careful, tactical maneuver. Or, if a well-organized rescue can establish a hardline rule about NEVER purchasing dogs, I do respect that, too.

    But I also want to consider things on a case-by-case basis. Purchasing a young male stud at market value just to get him out of the system? Really, really bad idea, as heartbreaking as it is to just let him go. Offering, say, a flat $200 for two middle-aged females and a male that have known nothing but a small wire kennel for their whole lives, if this is the ENTIRETY of a breeder's "stock" of a specific breed? I have contributed money towards springing such a trio and given the same situation, I would probably do it again.
    image
    Bowdu 寶肚 (Shiba) and Bowpi 寶媲 (Basenji) with M.C.
    Post edited by curlytails at 2012-06-29 06:24:19
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @curlytails, I don't mean on this site, but rescues all say not to purchase puppies from petshops, yet its ok for them to hand money directly into the hands of a miller? Yes some millers are shutting down, but what about the ones rotating stocks? Yea your saving shibas, but what about the new breeds that will be subjected to the same treatment? $25 here and there may not seem like anything, but coupled with subsides it'll add up. Its just like a petshop that puts the old puppies on sale (or the sick ones).

    My main point is, there is no difference. By saving these dogs, your condeming others. Im not against the morality of it, but I think saying its different is just a way to be more comfortable with it. I also feel there are a lot of shibas who don't get a chance in a rescue due to lack of space or funds. Why turn these dogs down yet pay for dogs at an auction? Why not save money for emergencies (such as a mill being forcibly shut down due to neglect), or just medical problems?

  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    Like I said, you can't save them all. Imo, it isn't the same as buying a puppy in a store, as buying an adult breeding dog at auction directly pulls that dog out from the reproduction chain. I understand the desire to save them all, but I am fairly certain the funds for this won't be coming out of any Shibas mouths. Shiba rescue in the US is generally well funded. Many times when you see and hear of the really desperate Shibas in shelters and such, it is because the shelters don't want to relinquish a purebred to rescue that they can "sell" for more money. Once the dogs are with the rescues like Shibas4Life, they want for nothing and get everything.

    There were 3 sister Shibas, all seniors when they were rescued from the Burns puppy mill. They all required extensive medical care and they are all dead now, 2 of them within months of being pulled after having lots of surgery and medications. Those dogs wanted for nothing. Would anybody involved in their lives have left them in the mill knowing that they would require thousands in care only to live maybe 2 or 3 months? Heck no, that money was for them, the desperate cases, and these mill dogs are also desperate cases (at direct risk of death and cruelty). That's why rescue is pulling them. The clean little puppies in the pet stores are at risk of being sold into shitty homes possibly, but most of them will live as pets in someone's house.

    The people who are pulling these dogs are using their own funds in addition to donations and it's basically their time, their resources and their funds to use, so it's their call. They would be criticized if they didn't go.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • shibamistressshibamistress
    Posts: 5171
    Thanks, M.C. for such a reasoned response. You've covered all the points I would have.

    Like so many things, the issue of buying dogs at auction is not black and white. I think M.C. outlined pretty well circumstances in which I would find it to be ok. And Lindsay makes the point I would make: the pet store situation and buying a dog at mill liquidation auction is not the same. The pet store puppy is not a good buy but the dogs will live ok lives--the mill auction dogs will either go into another mill or die. To my mind, if a few can be saved, occasionally, in this way, that is still worth it. And of course think what a difference it makes in the lives for those few dogs, like the seniors Lindsay mentioned above. For me, if the rescue is there with the money to do so on these occasions, to NOT do so is the immoral choice, because to me, not saving their lives when it is possible to do so to support a bigger principle (being against giving money to the mills) is wrong. It puts a principle above a life. For me, that's just not right--a life is more important than upholding an abstract principle.

    But I also know the rescues can't save them all, and I wouldn't want them to be churning a lot of money all the time into these auctions, as heartbroken as I am by the fact that all these dogs cannot be saved. But when they can do it, and save a few, I'm all for it.

    I do have some concerns about this particular auction, I must admit, some of the same ones that M.C. has. The only way this works if the rescues who go are in are quiet, low key, and bid and get their dogs and get out. I'm worried that this has been made too public. Drama and grandstanding will not save these dogs, and it's not the place for it (unless a group had planned a protest or something). It won't do help the dogs. Not that I'm saying this group intends to do that--it's just the rhetoric on FB about this has shown a marked lack of understanding of what goes on at the auctions and been too much about human outrage and not about a business like attitude that will get in, get the dogs, and get out.
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    Maybe its different for me due to my area. I live in nyc, and I saw the struggles nyc shiba rescue went through. Money always seems to be an issue here. I also know of one petshop where puppies are kept in basements, and others where old puppies vanish (employees have told me some of the dissapearences were of a violent nature). I've seen sick shibas shaking in cages, where they received no treatment. Reporting does nothing. I just see so many dogs abused in all sorts of situations, that it bothers me handing money to the source of problem.
  • lindsaytlindsayt
    Posts: 4784
    That's why there are specific people going who are very experienced. They will get in and get out and not make a scene.
    "Common sense isn't so common"
    photo c5d87957-61b6-48af-a440-4187cbfc861b_zps88ccdf88.jpg
  • InoushiInoushi
    Posts: 555
    @shibamistress That's my biggest concern, I don't think rescues should make their attendence public. If millers catch wind of this, they will purposely raise prices. I can see bids being driven up to get them out there as fast as possible.
  • sandrat888sandrat888
    Posts: 576
    Buying an adult breeding dog at auction directly pulls that dog out from the production chain, but the purchase price gives the miller to buy YOUNGER breeding stock that can create more puppies to sell.

    I understand the logic of pulling mill dogs in certain circumstances when the purchase price is cheap and you want to save a life, but where do you draw the line? Is $20 ok? What about $50? Is $100 too much? What about $400 or more? How much is too much to give to the miller?
    Post edited by sandrat888 at 2012-06-29 10:42:39

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