The New Golden Goose

By Susan Dunivant

“Guaranteed lucrative market in rescue groups say puppy millers…”

Selling to rescue organizations is becoming big business for puppy farmers. “A guaranteed market” one said with a wink. Another in the Southeast reported to USKBTC rescue just last week boasted, “I can sell these dogs to breed rescue. I heard they will pay big bucks for them.”

Seed money to buy some other poor breed for his puppy factory? Or maybe even stock his shelves with more Kerry Blues to sell to a rescue organization? Even as this is written he’s smacking his lips over the deal he’s working out to sell these dogs to a rescue group.

Still another puppy factory in the Midwest who advertised a liquidation sale of Kerry Blue Terriers and gleefully watched rescue organizations jump, is said to be mysteriously back in business with more Kerry Blues. And why not? There’s now a guaranteed market. When these shady characters know there’s at least one organization willing to pay handsome prices for this stock, no matter how poor in quality, temperament or health, they don’t hesitate to stock more merchandise.

What do fellow puppy factory breeders see when they come to auction? They see that selling to some rescue organizations will afford them a guaranteed lucrative market when pet stores won’t anymore. They say to themselves, “Why bother with cocker spaniels when I can breed Kerry Blue Terriers, bring them to auction and guarantee making more money off that rescue group.”

Then there’s everyday Joe Blow factory breeder. He SAYS he’s selling his Kerry Blue Terriers and getting “out of the breed” but he might just decide to hold a couple back, safely tucked away in the puppy factory at home. In a few more months he’s back at the auction with another “going out of business” sale! And he does this confidently, knowing there will be at least one breed rescue willing to buy his dogs again at handsome prices.

What does this mean to the future of our Kerry Blue Terriers? It means that our breed is now a pawn being played in a game between the puppy millers/brokers and rescue. It means that these sly dealers in livestock are preying on the pure emotional response dog lovers have when their breed is in distress. This game is a form of “kidnapping” with our breed as the victims including the traditional kidnapper’s expectation of a hefty ransom.

It is the height of foolishness to give in to kidnappers. It only emboldens them to continue their game with other victims. When these dealers/brokers realize they can expect a guaranteed lucrative income from even one rescue organization they will continue to acquire and/or breed our Kerry Blues to take to auction or offer in quantity sales.

So what is the American Kennel Club’s policy as it pertains to national breed rescues?

An excerpt:

The American Kennel Club discourages Parent Club rescue groups from purchasing dogs at auctions. Although Parent Clubs may be doing good things for individual dogs purchased at auctions, it perpetuates the problem and tends to create a seller’s market. Reciprocally, auctioneers seek more dogs of those breeds to offer at auctions. AKC applauds the work of Parent Club rescue groups on many fronts. However, AKC believes that the purchasing of dogs at auctions is not overall in the best interest of purebred dogs.

Currently, the United States Kerry Blue Terrier Club has endeavored to ride down the middle lane, between the AKC’s recommendation and a workable club policy implemented to rescue dogs at auction. USKBTC rescue developed a policy which endeavors to rescue as many Kerry Blues possible, but at the same time deprive dealers/factory breeders from real income from sales. Depriving these cold calculating business people from gaining any profit from selling Kerry Blue Terriers is the ONLY way to drive them away from our breed.

There have been half truths and complete lies told about USKBTC Rescue. USKBTC members have been rescuing Kerry Blue terriers for many years longer than some who spread this false information have even been involved with our breed. For the record, Joanne Schindler began the roots of “organized” rescue for the national club back in the 1970s…that’s over 30 years ago. Kerry breeders were rescuing and placing the occasional dog (rescue dogs were few in those wonderful days) before that time. USKBTC rescue is one of the first organized national breed rescues in the country.

Since the early days, USKBTC rescue has operated with NO fanfare, NO self promotional back thumping, or need for attention. Indeed, it was found efforts to be more effective when these puppy factories and brokers couldn’t identify who was infiltrating their auctions or sales. USKBTC rescue determined that shouting out successes on unrestricted membership e-lists was not wise. Unrestricted e-list membership can include these brokers/puppy millers or more likely, their spies. To allow these “scouts” to go back and report club rescue tactics and the identity of those individuals who work to rescue from these auctions is seen as unwise at best, stupid at worst.

The USKBTC Rescue also determined that there should be a finite amount paid to buy a dog at auction or other sale. Regardless of what other propaganda has been spread, making Kerry Blues a money losing proposition for brokers/millers is the only way to put them out of business. Some may try to convince us that the law of supply and demand does not apply to buying dogs at auction, but nothing is further from the truth.

As difficult as it may be, being “cruel to be kind” may be the only way to take our breed away from these puppy brokers. By standing firm on a protocol designed to starve these brokers/millers out of our breed we will surely benefit the greater good of future Kerry Blues.

To quickly understand the law of supply and demand and the necessity of turning away, if sadly, from a dog at auction when the price goes too high, one offers this simple analogy:

Chocolate cake is flying off the shelf at the store while coconut cake goes stale on the shelf beside it. Which cake will be ordered by the dealer to sell again next week?

Last Updated: 02/27/2006, 11:47 am