The Foundation and many breed clubs screen the breeders listing their litters on their proprietary web sites. However, there are several internet advertising sites (or marketplaces) for puppies, including the AKC site, where puppy mills hock their wares. Hobby breeders need to be aware that by advertising their well-bred puppies on these other web sites, they are increasing the profits for puppy mills by legitimizing this form of advertising and driving up prices for mass produced Kerries.
Case in point:
I monitored these internet sites, watching the price of KBT puppies drop week after week as the pups were getting older and still not selling. Some fell as low as $350. (This is good because the more the price drops, the higher the likelihood that the miller will get out of breeding Kerries.)
Then a well-respected hobby breeder who has one or two pups left and must have been desperate to place them, puts an ad on one of these sites for $1,500. Almost instantaneously, the prices of the Kerries from the illegitimate breeders, including known Amish mills, goes right back up.
Then the hobby breeder plays around with the price, going even higher. Why not...she may as well see how much she can get for her pups, right? WRONG!
The price of the poorly bred Kerries goes right up along with
hers. Let's face it: the consumer looking on the internet for a puppy doesn't know the difference between a poorly bred mill dog and a well bred dog from a respected hobby breeder, otherwise, why would they be looking for a puppy on the internet?
Obviously there are huge risks when selling pups on-line, including placing them in the wrong hands. This dramatically increases the need for screening
and home checks (difficult to do when the pup is shipped across the country). But the risk to the breed as a whole is far greater by condoning
those ad sites as legitimate places to sell puppies and by increasing the retail price for KBT pups all around, which in turn drives profits, and
so the cycle continues.
The US national club could do more in this area. Right now, their code of ethics says:
"Advertising should not be worded to attract undesirable buyers nor encourage raising dogs for profit."
Seems to me that placing an ad on one of these internet puppymill sites in and of itself, forget what the ad says, attracts undesirable buyers. And
as for encouraging raising dogs for profit, again the facts speak for themselves.
These web sites can be very easily monitored, should the club wish to clarify and enforce its Code of Ethics.
As to the AKC web site breeder listings, couldn't they at least require the advertiser be a member of the national breed club? The AKC has run an ad for one very suspect Kerry "breeder" who lives very close to several Amish puppy mills. All that's required is for the advertiser to be in good standing with the AKC, currently have a registered AKC litter, and agree to provide new owners with AKC papers. No health screens, no bill of sale. Geez, now how pathetic is that?
The bottom line: If you are a responsible Kerry breeder, please be cognizant of the impact of your actions on the breed as a whole and don't use these internet puppy marketplaces to place your litters.