I have been asked by a number of you why 5 Kerries were not rescued at yesterday's auction. Perhaps, after the Shelbina Express auction where we saved every one of the 34 Kerries there, we were lulled into expecting to always rescue them all. Shelbina was an extraordinary achievement, and was, unfortunately, the exception to the rule. It is far more likely that we will come home with less than all the Kerries, as we did at the Great Escape and the April Surprise. A number of issues prevent a clean sweep.
The great limiting factors are:
- how aggressively we are being bid against
- how high the bidding goes and how much money we have
- how many foster homes we've lined up in advance
Auctions are dynamic events where the selling can go quickly and the unexpected can happen. At Rocky Comfort, we were up against another mill who bid aggressively on some of our Kerries. At some previous auctions, no interest existed for our breed, and our success rate was higher. The 5 Kerries we lost on Saturday went to a mill--a mill who hasn't gotten the word yet that the market has bottomed out for our breed.
We did not run out of money at Rocky Comfort. We set our per-dog price at a level where the mill wouldn't make too much money (we know what the dogs sold for at previous auctions), and where we would not run the risk of artificially inflating the price for our breed. We walk a fine line between our desire to rescue every individual dog and our desire to protect the breed as a whole. By trying to depress prices, we also depress interest in our breed, and that is a good thing. Unfortunately, it means we may not always rescue every single dog there.
We do not rescue more dogs than we have foster homes for. Where would they go? That's why it is so important to have volunteers willing to foster for a
month or two. That's a very short time in the life of a dog (and the foster family), but it can change the next 15 years of the dog's life. It's the
difference between living in a hell hole, abused, sick, and starved, or living in a home as a well loved and cherished family companion. So please volunteer for this important work. Leaving a dog at an auction for lack of a home is the ultimate tragedy.