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Rescuing Kerries from Dog Auctions


© 2007 Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation

As you are aware, the Foundation has been proactively rescuing Kerry breeding stock at puppy mill auctions over the last few years. We anticipated that the mills would be dumping Kerries once the Mick phenomenon died out, and that's exactly what transpired. While the Foundation has been working tirelessly to help these Kerries, other Kerry rescue organizations chose to do nothing, speculating that puppy mills were breeding Kerries for the Foundation. Well, as we knew all along, this has proved false, and at the expense of the Kerries these groups chose to ignore.

I want to make sure you are aware of the facts.

  1. The Foundation has rescued close to 100 KBTs in the past 18 months from auctions.
  2. During that same time, the price of breeding stock has dropped dramatically and continues to decline.
  3. There are fewer and fewer Kerries at auction and nowhere near the numbers of this time last year or the year before.

The theory that mills breed Kerries for rescue clearly isn't substantiated by the fads.

  1. If the Foundation's rescue practices were supporting prices, prices would remain flat or increase, not continue to drop.
  2. If millers were breeding for rescue, we'd be seeing more Kerries at auctions, not fewer.

It's interesting to note that on the same day the Foundation extracted 34 Kerries from the breeding system at one auction, there was another auction where 22 Kerries sold for similarly low prices without any Kerry rescue group present. What you may not know is that the Foundation had contacted a national Kerry club well in advance, alerting them that we could not attend the other auction, obviously expecting they would go. With so many Kerries up for sale, they could be had for next to nothing. Sadly, as we now know, they did not attend and several of the dogs ended up dead months later at the Rocky Comfort auction. Their inaction obviously had a devastating consequence for the Kerries they left to rot.

Rocky Comfort #383. Molly's Story
The reason that the Foundation's rescue practices have had no impact on the Kerry "market' despite the large number of rescues: buyers of puppies in pet stores drive demand, not the buyers of breeding stock at dog auctions. Pet stores are the market for which these mills produce. They do not produce Kerries to feed them for a year then sell them as adults at dog auctions. As consumer demand falls off, brokers no longer want the breed because pet stores no longer want to stock it. In turn, demand for the breeding stock dries up and prices at auction fall. This is what's been happening with Kerries, since Mick has been out of the spotlight and consumer awareness and public demand for the 'breed of the moment' has waned.The Kerries rescued at auction have been prime breeding stock and included one bitch that was pregnant and delivered 7 healthy pups in rescue. She was advertised at auction as being bred and she still didn't fetch a high price. Several other bitches had recently whelped sizable litters. Many of these dogs were the studs and dams of recent pet store pup pedigrees. They were in their breeding prime, not culls or nonproductive breeders.

At the auction I attended, when nobody was interested in the Kerries, they were pulled off the auction block at first. Then when the bidders smelled a fire sale, the Kerries were put back up and prices were so low there was "opportunistic' bidding by mills who had no intention of buying Kerries when they first walked in the door. When the prices are $10 and $25, these mills figure: Why not? At those prices, they can throw a bitch and stud in the same pen, barely feed them, and if they get a litter, great!

Rocky Comfort #376. Phoebe's Story
Since these dogs are still very productive breeders) each rescue effort not only saves their lives but also stops the breeding cycle. Extracting the supply from the system slams the brakes on the reproduction wheel, preventing these Kerries from landing in the next mill and throwing off more pups. By opportunistically buying prime breeding stock when demand is down and the prices are low, the Foundation shortens the cycle of misery for the Kerries and their offspring.In an effort to be accountable to the donors who support the Foundation with their wallets and their time, we have been reporting our rescue success stories. Unfortunately, some have misconstrued that as being "self congratulatory". Nothing could be further from the truth. This isn't about glory. This is about Kerries suffering in caged hell. The work isn't easy and it sure isn't fun) but it needs to be done. The Foundation's volunteers and donors have been left to sweep up the Kerries left behind in fvlick's wake. This was not the time to bury our heads in the sand and make excuses. These Kerries deserve better and I hope for the breed's sake itwill be a long time before another Mick comes along. Perhaps by then, the puppy mill industry will be a nightmare of the past. Or the Kerry clubs will realize they have a responsibility to help.
Rocky Comfort #378. Abby's Story

While the Foundation has been proactively helping the Kerries in mills and shelters-those that don't have anybody to look out for themwe also frequently assist dogs bred by Kerry club members. You may not be aware that there have been several instances over the past year when the Foundation was contacted about a Kerry in need. We alerted the appropriate Kerry club contacts of the dogs plight but to no avail (and in many cases, we received no response), so the Foundation worked with the owners to place them in loving homes. We operate in the best interest of the Kerry, with no political motivations despite what others may choose to say or believe.

As I've said before, and I'll say it again.., it's all about the Kerries, it's all about the Kerries, it's all about the Kerries.

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Today is July 21, 2019

In this month in 1938:

The KBTC of America and the USKBTC were merged.

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The Kerry Blue Terrier Foundation is a nonprofit charity dedicated to promoting the welfare of the Kerry Blue Terrier breed in the areas of education, rescue and health & genetics. Learn More.


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