Northwest NEWS

August 2, 1999


Charity auction puppies

   With the popularity of Golden Retrievers and the discovery of possible financial gains by charity auction organizations, Golden Retriever puppies have become a very hot item at local charity auctions.

   This is a very disturbing situation to Golden Retriever fanciers and should be of concern to fanciers of all breeds. Golden Retriever Rescue groups around the country are finding auctioned puppies entering their programs at an alarming rate. Auctioning live animals is a disservice to both the dogs and their purchasers.

   At an auction, the puppy goes to the highest bidder, which by no means insures that the puppy will be well cared for, be in a fenced yard, and neutered. Many are purchased on impulse. Only later does the buyer realize they are not prepared for this responsibility.

   Many of the families come to terms with the fact that purchasing the auction puppy was a wrong decision, and the puppy ends up in a rescue situation or in a local animal shelter. That is a painful decision and a traumatic move for both the dog and the family.

   Instead of buying on impulse at an auction, a purchaser should research which breed would be best for them and seriously evaluate the impact a new puppy or dog will make on their family situation. They should decide whether they can handle the rigors of a young puppy or if they would be better off adopting an older dog from a Rescue or shelter. They need to make certain that their home and yard are ready for a new pet.

   Before purchasing, the buyer should research local breeders and choose one that is reputable. The process of choosing a breeder should include visiting the breeder in advance, seeing the parents of the puppies, making certain that the breeder's dogs are historically free from genetic disorder, insuring that the puppies have been appropriately vaccinated, and thoroughly studying the breeder's contract and other paperwork.

   Reputable breeders want their puppies to go only to responsible homes where the puppy will be well cared for. Selling a puppy at an auction gives the breeder no control over where the puppy goes or what happens to him once in his new home. A reputable breeder will want to get to know the family so that they can help in choosing a puppy whose temperament will best suit that family and will request that the family notify them if they are unable to keep the dog.

   For everyone's sake, buy from a reputable breeder, not a charity auction.

Carole Johnson, Lynnwood