When I did a lot of rescue work, one particular kennel was well over-represented in terms of how many dogs came in from there. Every year at least half a dozen dogs came into rescue from this place, which is a big portion of the number of dogs the rescue actually handled. The head of rescue was always furious about this and was hoping to find some way to shut this person down. She figured the breeder, to produce so many dogs, must be keeping the dogs in terrible condition, and if only someone could do a visit and find out, perhaps a complaint could be filed.
When I moved to my new house this summer, I was shocked to drive by a big sign on the side of the road with this kennel name. So here it is, just a few minutes away from me! I don’t do rescue anymore (simply no room for any more dogs!) so I did nothing. But today, for some reason, curiosity got the best of me and I decided to stop in and check this place out.
I was expecting a horrible experience, but was surprised to discover that the dogs were in clean quarters and that there were only four of them: two bitches and two dogs. He said he had another bitch out for breeding. He let one pair out for me to meet and they had lovely temperaments and looked to be in good health. Well, as good health as is possible on a crappy diet, for their teeth and coats made it obviously the were eating cheap kibble. I was disturbed by the fact that one of the bitches is 10 years old and is still being bred. I can only imagine how many litters she’s had by now, poor thing. But she seemed happy and had a decent sized yard to run in.
In other words, while I wouldn’t buy a puppy there and support his breeding practices, I found nothing that appeared to be in violation of any kind of laws. Of course there are no laws against breeding a 10 year old bitch. I was expecting much worse, and have seen worse in breeders with supposedly good reputations. I suppose if he breeds three bitches twice a year, that ends up being a lot of puppies, and his prices are below market value. He asked nothing about me, although I mentioned that I had had border collies for years. So I suspect he’d sell to anyone, especially if he’s producing 40 puppies or more a year. This is the essence of the problem. His dogs are decently kept but he simply produces more puppies than he can find appropriate homes for. As such, his dogs end up in rescue in disproportionate numbers. On the bright side, he is quite elderly and hopefully won’t be continuing to breed like this for too much longer.