This Action Alert posted by the North Penn Puppy Mill Watch:
Pennsylvania animal advocates recently learned of an upcoming dog auction that’s scheduled to take place on October 07 at the notorious Buckeye Dog Auction in Holmes County, Ohio – the only dog auction east of the Mississippi – that is known to fetch high prices on breeder dogs.
In reaction to newly passed PA laws that are slated to be enacted in the near future, many commercial dog breeders believe that lowering their dog complement might prevent the need to implement more humane conditions at the kennels but the law is not based upon how many dogs are owned – it is based upon how many dogs are sold. Any kennel selling more than 60 dogs in a 12 month period or the sale of even one dog to a pet shop or pet shop broker would cause the kennel to be classified as a commercial breeding operation and mandate improved kennel conditions.
Approximately 400 breeder dogs are slated to hit the auction block on October 07 and animal advocates are being asked NOT to purchase any of them.
“To do so will only encourage future auctions,” said Carol Araneo-Mayer, co-founder of Puppy Mill Awareness Day, and vice president of Adopt A Pet.
Helen Ebersole, co-founder and board president of United Against Puppy Mills, agreed and noted that specific breed rescues have found that not bidding on dogs actually drives prices downward and helps discourage future auctions.
Instead, advocates who are intent on travelling to Ohio are encouraged to wait in the parking lot and offer to take – free of charge – any dogs that did not sell since many breeders do not want to take unsold dogs back to their kennels.
Mary O’Connor-Shaver of Columbus Top Dogs and the Coalition to Ban Ohio Dog Auctions reiterated her request to Pennsylvania officials for an all out boycott at the October 7 auction:
“Dog auctions are a tragic embarrassment to Ohio and it’s humane-minded citizens. We have been asked if people should “buy” or “rescue” these dogs. We are asking for an all-out boycott of this event. Buying at the auction will simply mean that it will be profitable. If it is profitable, it will continue and more dogs will be bred for sale at future Ohio Dog Auctions. That said, we do understand compassion for the dogs being sold on October 7 and know that there will be some who will buy. We understand both sides of the situation, and hope that in the long run, not buying will produce the best outcome to end these auctions altogether.”
Officials at the Pennsylvania Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement have known for months of the possibility that commercial breeders might seek to divest themselves of large amounts of breeding stock yet took no action over the summer months for planning purposes to handle such an event.
A closed door meeting was held on Wednesday, September 30, for the purpose of discussing how to help the dogs slated to go to auction although the advocacy community was not invited and is still being kept in the dark as to any potential plans for the October 7 auction or how they might actually help these dogs.
The plight of the Pennsylvania breeder dogs is not a private matter – it affects every individual who cares about dogs and, more importantly, every Pennsylvania resident who regularly donates money or time to help educate the public or care for animals who are no longer wanted and in need of shelter and, ultimately, a new home.
Advocates are asked to do the following:
1) DO NOT BUY DOGS at the October 7 auction or pay breeders in advance of the auction for their unwanted breeding stock;
2) Contact Jessie L. Smith, Special Deputy Secretary of the Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement, and ask why she excluded the advocacy community and the majority of the rescue community from the planning meeting when it’s obvious that the Bureau needs all the help it can get.
Jessie L. Smith, Special Deputy Secretary
Dog Law Enforcement, PA Dept. of Agriculture
2301 N. Cameron St, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: 717-214-3447, Fax: 717-346-3301