What a disgrace! As someone who lives in Missouri, I am shamed by the fact I live in the same state as these people.
Of course there is no overt abuse AT an auction. Can you say “big DUH?” The sellers are trying to make others think the dogs are in top condition and the auction itself wants to put a good face on this atrocity. As for Inspector Eber, what is his background? Does he come out of the very industry he is supposed to oversee? What does he really know about dogs and quality dog breeding? My suspician is that he hasn’t spent a lot of time with the best breeders.
I hope many of my fellow Missourians read this article and remember to ask their state representatives and senators (not mention potential Attorney Generals) where they stand on strengthening and enforcing laws on puppy mills.
Please be aware that there is some disturbing information in this article.
Thanks to KansasCity.com for this enlightening article.
Dog auctions in Missouri incite passions for and against
By STEVE ROCK
The Kansas City Star
JACKSONVILLE, Mo. | The wire fox terrier trembled as she stood at the front of the room.
A woman steadied the dog, stood the animal on her hind legs and awkwardly showed the dogs belly to the crowd. The dog was pregnant, due at any moment, and wore a collar that identified her as No. 145.
This dog is going to have pups right away,” the auctioneer said. Aint nothin but money in the bank.”
Thus began a recent dog auction about 50 miles north of Columbia.
More than 250 dogs were bought and sold to breeders from throughout Missouri. Some went for as little as $12.50, while others fetched hundreds of dollars. Still others went unsold despite the auctioneer pleading, Anybody want that dog for a $10 bill?”
No state has more dog auctions than Missouri, according to the Humane Society of the United States. And those auctions, the society says, are cruel because dogs are housed in metal cages for hours and sometimes denied food and water.
The animals are literally sold like cars in used auto auctions,” said Stephanie Shain, the societys director of outreach for companion animals. Cars are probably treated better than these dogs.”
Supporters counter that the auctions, while perhaps jarring to the frightened animals, are not abusive and are closely regulated by state and federal inspectors.
We try our very best to make it humane for the dogs,” said Betty Dwiggins, who with her husband put on the Jacksonville auction.
Besides, Dwiggins said, the auctions serve reputable breeders from Missouri and elsewhere and are simply the byproduct of a market that Joe Public supports every time he buys a purebred dog.
Without these auctions the dogs would all be mongrels,” she said.
Not true, said Shain and others. They said that the auctions, while legal, are problematic because they serve not reputable breeders but puppy mills, or large commercial facilities where dogs are bred to produce as many puppies as possible in conditions ranging from unsanitary to inhumane.
Puppy mills then sell those puppies to pet stores, to brokers or directly to families.
The public has no idea,” Shain said.
A growing trend
The number of dog auctions in Missouri is exploding, according to the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation.
According to the organizations data, there were 10 auctions in 1995. That jumped to 28 in 2000 and 67 in 2005. This year the number promises to grow, and the number of dogs changing hands is likely to exceed 18,000.
Missouri is the dog auction capital of the world,” said John Coffman, the alliances legislative director.
Why? Its simple, Coffman and others say.
Missouri has more commercial breeders licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture than any other state, and many of them utilize dog auctions.
Shain said that reputable breeders avoid auctions, dealing instead with other reputable breeders to buy and sell dogs. She said that dogs purchased at auctions might not be true purebreds, typically dont have complete medical records and could have genetic diseases, skin conditions or other problems.
Linda Kalmar, a veterinarian at Parkway Animal Hospital in Lenexa, said that some dogs coming out of puppy mills and auctions arent house-trained, socialized or used to people, and dont make for good pets. And the spread of disease or other problems, like fleas, can be an issue because the dogs are kept for hours close to one another.