Guest Blogger, Susan Schrade nationalalliancefordogbreedingreform.com)
I belong to many Dog Lover facebook groups. I own a purebred Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a West Highland White Terrier. When I retired on disability due to MS, I fostered dogs and ended up adopting two of them. My disability has progressed so that I use a wheel chair and I spend most of my time on the computer while my husband is at work.
In the few weeks leading up to to November 22, 2014 various rescue volunteers were desperately raising money to buy over 150 Cavaliers of high quality who were to be available at an Auction. Many of us followed the campaign which raised over $500,000 in about 11 days. The fear that puppy mill breeders, or worse would be purchasing these animals heightened our sense of urgency! The dreaded day came, we were getting hour by hour on line reports of number of dogs bought and the price. The price kept rising, the profession bidder was paying over $6000 per dog toward the end of the day. All in all the dogs averaged about $3000 for each dog – unheard of! The rescue group refused to leave any dog behind, and the other puppy mill breeders knew that! So after our first sigh of relief, and taking a big breath – many of us asked ourselves – oh my gosh what have we done!
Ron Sturgeon, a well known dog lover and successful millionaire wrote an article to all of our Facebook groups – “Have we won the battle but lost the war?” – the response was tremendous. Ron article suggests we should go after the root cause of the problem, most likely legislation, rather than succumb to the emotional and financial extortion that occurred with this auction. A conversation of many wonderful people ensued. As a result Ron founded the group now called National Alliance for Dog Breeder Reform.
I started donating my time immediately, documenting the conversation, and now I assist with the social media campaign. I’m involved. I even took another foster dog. I didn’t think I could do that from a wheel chair but I can!
We are just getting started, come learn about us and volunteer to help us. To fully understand our mission I recommend you read the leadership posts, starting with the oldest one first. To see who all had volunteered across the country to be on the board, you can read about us.
Sign up and volunteer on the website – we could use help!
Meet Willow, a mill survivor:
Willow is one of our recent foster dogs. She had some care as she didn’t have worms, no skin problems and she is the correct weight. However she was in intense pain and could barely move. Once we removed her teeth she started walking. She is debarked. She strains to breathe sometimes – we think this is a result of no dental care, being confined to a small cage, and the debarking left scar tissue affecting her breathing. Aside from that who knows what else she suffered. She runs when she sees a broom, she ducks her head down when I reach to pet her, and she is very timid. She is easily startled, and she is terrified of thunder. She won’t walk through a door if a person is standing there. Despite her challenges, Willow will have a happy life now and we foresee adoption soon.
I knew, as a handicapped person that it would be a good thing to volunteer, I just didn’t know how good.
Please visit National Alliance for Dog Breeder Reform on Facebook!
– Susan Schrade, volunteer at National Alliance for Dog Breeder Reform