Posted on Day 2, Tue March 8, 2006
I am thrilled to report that yesterday, the Foundation rescued 15 Kerries from 2 puppy mills in OH. One mill had already sold off his breeding stock, but we were able to rescue his 4 remaining male puppies, thanks to volunteer Tracy Campanello. At the other mill, Chris Friscone, Tracy, and Joanne Koneval, members of the KBTC of Northern OH, succeeded in rescuing not only all 5 puppies, but the entire breeding stock of 5 brood bitches and 1 stud dog--11 Kerries in all! Together, these 15 dogs represent the largest rescue in the history of the breed.
Our volunteers did a truly outstanding job. This Rescue is nothing short of a coup d'etat--neither mill has a single Kerry left, and we got the breeding stock to prevent future mass-production of puppies. And we did it for the lowest prices we ever paid to rescue a mill Kerry. In fact, one of the mills reduced his price BECAUSE we were Rescue, and gave us one dog for nothing. Since our Great Escape Rescue last fall, prices on mill Kerries have continued to drop, and with so many mills eliminating their entire inventory of Kerries, we expect prices to continue falling.
What's Going On?
Puppy mills are currently divesting themselves of Kerry puppies and breeding stock in unheard of numbers. In all, there were 78 mill Kerries on the market at the same time from mills getting out of the breed. This is unprecedented! Today, thanks to the OH team, that number is down to 63.
While mind-blowing for those of us in Rescue, the current situation couldn't be better for the future of the breed. One of the largest suppliers of pet store Kerries is selling off his breeding stock, which means there is no market for Kerries in that retail outlet. Indeed, the number of pet store Kerries the Foundation has monitored has fallen off dramatically, and those pups that sold were sold for a fraction of their original asking price. The puppy mills who sell mostly to the public through newspaper and internet ads have told us that they cannot sell their Kerry puppies. The breed is now unprofitable for them and they want out.
We attribute the current situation in part to our very successful newspaper counter ad program. By placing a Foundation ad side by side with the mill ads, we had the opportunity to educate the public about buying from responsible breeders. Through our volunteers and web site, people learned to identify puppy mills and avoid them. Tom Sawyer has done an excellent job managing this program.
Our breed is now at a crossroads. We lived through the popularity of Mick, that introduced our breed to the mills. We watched in horror as Kerries began appearing in dog auctions, selling for up to $3500, and in pet stores from coast to coast. The Foundation tracked over 80 puppy mills producing Kerries, we diligently placed ads in newspapers to counter the mill ads, monitored puppies in pet stores, and attended auctions, saving those we could. Today, the market for mill Kerries has hit bottom, and the mills are dumping the breed--not just unsold puppies, but their older breeding stock as well. In fact, most of the remaining 63 Kerries are 2 years old and up.
What happens to them now? If we as a breed are not there to save them, these older dogs "used up" as producers will be inhumanely disposed of. Some of these dogs were the puppies we watched being sold at those early auctions 4 and 5 years ago. Do we abandon them now, when victory over the mills is so close?
When the history of our breed is written, will ours be the story of a small uncommon breed winning the war against exploitation of our breed in the mills? Will it be one where compassion trumps greed, where effort and determination saves every last Kerry from dying in misery? Will it be one where the Kerry community bans together to do the right thing? Or will it be one of complacency, resistance, and nit-picking, where we fail to do the humane thing?
With the market flooded with Kerry breeding stock, the Foundation remains resolute in rescuing as many Kerries as possible. But we need foster homes, adopters, and volunteers to make that happen. And we need donations to continue our work. To volunteer, please contact one of our Rescue Coordinators listed at: http://www.kerrybues.info/RESCUE/RESCOOR.HTML
To make a donation, see:
Collectively, we can make a huge difference. Collectively, we can bring every Kerry home.
Jan in Santa Ynez, CA
Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation, Rescue Director
The photos below is how the dogs came into our rescue program. Tracy Campanello, Chris Friscone, and Joanne Koneval worked hard to get the Kerreis cleaned up before they wentt to their foster family of adoptors. Some day all these Kerries will look like any normal Kerry.
#12, Hank, a 5-month old male.
#7, BG, 7-month old puppy
#5, Tobby, 7-month old male
#2, 7-month old male
#11, Lacey, 7-month old bitch
#6, 7-month old bitch
(Photos of 3 male puppies missing.)
#4, Sierra, 2-year old bitch
#9, Halley, 2-year old bitch.
#1, Sheila, a 2-year old bitch.
#10, Rocky, 2-year old male.
#8, Bridget, 5-year old bitch
#8, Bridget's first bath.
None of these Kerries have permanent medical problems. The pictures below show the extreme neglect of puppy mills dogs. These pictures aren't for the faint of hart.
#3, Sonja with a eye infection.
#6, 7-month old bitch with eye infection.
#9, Halley, 2-year old bitch.
Halley got into a fight with another dog or with another animal.
Her whole fall was clawed out.
Rocky's wound on his front leg.