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2006: April Surprise Rescue


© 2015 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:48:38 PM US/Pacific 

It is a gloomy wet and gray day in MO, but there is sunshine in the hearts of our Rescue Ground Team. Today, these volunteers for Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation pulled 14 muddy Kerries from a dog auction--nearly all of them brood bitches who have supplied the puppy mill trade with puppies for years. No more! Never again will these girls be exploited for profit and bred to death by the mills. Today, these prisoners of greed are free.

As I write this, the dogs--5 puppies, 8 females, and 1 male--are being loaded into a van for a 3-hour trip to Kansas City, where cozy beds, good dinners, and clean water wait for them. There, they will learn the kindness of the human hand, and hear the soft voices of people who care. Arrangements have been made for bathing, grooming, and vetting in the coming days, and their shipment to foster homes across the country.

My recent plea on KB-L for foster homes has brought us 10 families willing to share their house and home with a dog who has none. But we are short! Each of these Kerries needs a home of it's own, where it can experience the real world for the first time, where it will have one-on-one time with someone who cares and understands, and where it can gain confidence and be restored to perfect health. Fostering is truly a labor of love. It can be difficult at times, but it is temporary. And it is always rewarding. There is nothing in this world that compares to watching a shy, frightened Kerry blossom, day by day and week by week, into the dog it was meant to be.

Since last fall, the Kerry Foundation has rescued a staggering of total of 82 mill Kerries--63 of them within the last 2 months. For an uncommon breed like ours, and a small group like ours to have pulled off 4 of the largest rescues in the history of the breed, and done 3 of them in less than 2 months, is an awesome accomplishment. The success of our Rescue program is due to the many volunteers who are working so hard right now, particularly our seasoned Rescue Coordinators who are putting in endless hours to get these dogs fostered and placed. And it is due to the outpouring of generosity from our donors, without whose donations these Rescues would not have been possible. Together, we are making a huge difference in the lives of these Kerries, and the future of our breed.

Janet Joers in Santa Ynez, CA

From: Janet Joers
Date: Tue May 2, 2006 12:12:25 AM US/Pacific
Subject: [KBL] April Surprise Rescue Update

The news tonight from Kansas City is that all our April Surprise Rescues from last Saturday's auction are bathed and groomed, sweet-smelling, and looking like proper little Kerries! They must feel worlds better!

Most of these dogs had probably never seen a comb or scissors in their lives. One girl was corded like a Hungarian Puli, with hair 8 inches long hanging on her. You cannot imagine the amount of work involved in grooming such neglected dogs as these. We were extremely fortunate to have the support of several local Kerry people who put in a long day transforming our Rescue kids. Long-time Kerry breeders Marie Sostman and Fern Rogers helped with grooming and temperament assessment, and we are so grateful! The bulk of the grooming was done by Dale Huntsburger, a professional handler and groomer, who did an extraordinary job--14 Kerries in a single day! Imagine! All the experts were there today, and we acknowledge their selfless contribution to these Kerries in need.

Since Saturday night, our Kerries have been cared for at the Good Shepherd Pet Hotel and Training Facility in Kansas City. Owner/manager Terri Elder has gone above and beyond to make sure our Kerry kids are comfortable in their own indoor/outdoor kennel runs, that they are well fed and watered, and kept clean. She and her staff also provided grooming help today, assembled 14 new crates, assisted with the vetting, handled the paperwork, and did a thousand other things. They will even take our dogs to the airport for their flights tomorrow and Wednesday. Truly, the Kerry community owes them all a huge debt of gratitude for the work they are doing for our breed. They are awesome!

Although I await the complete medical reports tomorrow, our April Surprise Kerries have not suffered as much as our Shelbina Express dogs. Eye infections, ear infections, a skin irritation, and one possibly lacerated eye have been noted, and one ear on one of the puppies has been partially torn off. Overall health looks good. We got them in time.

To those of you who offered to foster, prepare to meet your arrivals! Nine of the 14 dogs are being air-shipped tomorrow, and the remaining 5 on Wednesday to foster homes across the country. Yes, every dog has a place to go thanks to 14 people who said Yes! to foster care. They can expect to meet some of the sweetest Kerries ever. Most are quite shy, and some are frightened by all the changes happening to them, but love and care and time can conquer that.

Perhaps some of you are wondering why this rescue was named the "April Surprise." It is because 2 surprises awaited us at the auction Saturday morning. The first was that there were 17 Kerries up for auction, not the 13 we expected, and most of them were not the dogs advertised. The other surprise was that there were 2 bitches with their litters. One dam had 4-5 puppies approximately 4-5 weeks old. The other mom had whelped 6-7 puppies the day before the auction--the puppies were barely a day old! Our bidder and I quickly put a plan in place, and although we gave it our best shot, these dogs were sold to other mills, along with a stud whose price exceeded our limits.

To the Kerries we lost, we send up our prayers. But to those we saved, we say Godspeed little ones. Your life is just beginning.

Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director

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