B&J Kennel Auction

"This is the first hand account from one of the volunteers who went to the auction. It was written just after the auction."

"This kennel dispersal sale today was B & J Kennel in Union Star, MO. The auctioneers were the same as at the Country Rose - Southwest Kennel Auction.

They sold 160 dogs. Previously, this mill sold out by breed lot, or so they said, 150 dogs. These people have been in the business for 20 years. The dogs sold today were almost all young.

Breeds sold were: Silky Terrier, Bichon, Boston Terriers, Soft Coated Wheatens, Lhasa Apsos, Chihuahuas, Dachshunds, White Highland Terriers, Pugs, Boxers, Pekinese, Maltese and Yorkies.

We bought 2 young dachshunds, 1 male smooth, black and tan and one smooth female red.

We also bought 6 Maltese, two with puppies and four other females.

The dogs bought incredibly high prices - anywhere from $250 and $1,600. It was almost impossible to bid on them. In no amount of time the bid was beyond us.

The auctioneer announced that the groomer had worked for a week. When I was wondering around, I saw a mostly burned pile of something by the main gate, I assume that huge pile was the grooming hair. Some defects in the dogs were announced - a scrotal hernia, several other hernias, some missing teeth, some missing eyes. I'm sure a lot more was wrong.

I was horrified at the place. There were several buildings that were not much more than sheds with runs on the sides of them. Most of the dogs were in rows of wooden boxes on legs right out in the sun. They were all tiny, around 4 feet long by 1 1/2 to 2 feet wide. They had metal doors that opened on one side back to their enclosed area. The dogs had to nose through that door, and it usually went shut on their tails. I could see into the back of the little housing and there was nothing there for bedding. It was a roasting hot day even in the shade. The dogs were living in sweat boxes. There couldn't be cheaper housing. And of course they sold it all to the others for it's continued use. I kept thinking, "You cannot keep animals like this." The dogs were so hot. The sun was beating into some of their cage areas, and they had only the little front opening for ventilation. The floors of the cages were uncoated wires. The poor little Chihuahuas had to step carefully. Their feet went through.

The auctioneers kept touting how good the business is, how much the brokers would pay for these pups, how much they would bring on the coasts. They said in spite of the airline embargo, business has been booming. One store sold 40 pups in a day. They predict a big year end and higher prices yet in the spring. They mentioned New York, Maryland, and DC and big selling states.

Somehow the Maltese brought less money than the others which was a surprise to us. One of our little mothers with one only pup was announced to have some mastitis. She just doesn't have "some." Her pup was starving. Kathy fixed it some formula and it drank so fast it almost choked. I suppose the other pups died. Our other mother has two pups. The male of these had the umbilical cord wrapped around one foot, and it shut off the circulation and the foot came off. I was bidding on this mother and the baby group but had quit because the price was too high. Then the older woman who represented the ownership of the place stepped up to comment. She said you could still use him to breed. When I thought about this pup with his three feet spending his life on wires, I bid with a vengeance. Hell is not hot enough for her, those horrible auctioneers, all the helped, and that totally gross crowd of people.

As we were leaving the auction, one more decent looking woman stopped me to ask if I was going to keep the puppy with only three feet. I said yes. I thought she wanted a bargain price. Now I wish I had asked her what her interest was. Maybe she wanted to rescue him. If so, I would have assured her that he will have the bet of everything and would have thanked God that there was one decent person there.

The owner woman spoke pretty frequently - mostly to give her excuses why dogs had had caesareans. She was always out of town or something, or it would have never happened. I suppose if she had been there the mothers would have died before they would have had c-sections. She also came forth to say why litters of puppies had died. They had been "born out on the wires" This was well understood and accepted and excusable to the horrible group there. The puppies cooked on the wires in the sun. There had been a number of litters lost.

We were horrified at the young people there, children actually, helping and attending the sale. The next generation thinks this is the way things should be done. Some of them petted the dogs and made over them and then carried them back to the sweat boxes.

The poor little dogs were so bewildered at being displayed on the little table. Most of them just looked around at the crowd with startled looks on their faces.

The dogs that were faring the worst in their boxes were the Wheatens. They were bigger and had more energy. One of them acted like he was losing his mind. He had no space at all. One dandy human in his cowboy hat stuffed two Wheatens in a #300 carrier in the back of his pickup truck when he was leaving the sale with them.

There was a young female veterinarian there available for health certificates. Boy, has she sold out.

One little Maltese girl who went to Kathy's is having trouble urinating. No telling what all is wrong with these dogs.

One little doll we have at the Shelter was born in 1989. She smiles all the time and her teeth are just terrible. She is so cute.

The young Dachshunds are having a great time running everywhere. The little girl is at Kathy's, and she has run through the house a jillion times.

When we loaded the dogs into the van we had the air conditioner on full blast. They could not believe where they had landed. They explored and played. It was something to watch them. When the workers took them out of the boxes and handed them to us, we grabbed those dogs and cuddled them all the way to the van. They are so precious.

These auctions keep us in touch with the thinking of this obscene industry. They also get us into the mills, and it is for certain that these people are darned suspicious and not too proud of their operations except around others like them. They certainly don't want any information to get out."

These stores donate their profits to help shut down puppy mills.

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