There were 272 dogs (more or less) consigned at this auction (SW Auction Service, 5/27/00). This is the information, as it was printed in the auction catalog:
#64 -- FE Little Abbie, WP754323/09, 12/96, Morgan Color: Fawn with black mask, LLW (last litter whelped) 12/28/99 (had 12 pups, bred to Joe Shaw 04/00)
#65 -- FE Ashley, WP698319/01, 04/96, Morgan Color: Fawn with black mask, bred to Joe Shaw 04/00
#68 -- FE Duchess, WP534536/04, 01/94, Morgan Color: Fawn with black mask, LLW 10/16/99 (raised 3) bred to Joe Shaw 04/00
#69 -- MA Big Ken, WP930896/02, 07/99, Morgan Color: Fawn with black mask, not proven too young
The consignor of these dogs is Janice Morgan, 10601 S. 530 Rd., Miami, OK 74354-6036. She is not listed in the USDA "List of Licensed Dealers", but there was a USDA number on the paperwork. The number is 73-A-1132, which is held by Charles Fromm, doing business as Amys Kountry Kennels, RR 3, Box 197, Miami, OK 74354. "Big Ken's" breeder is listed as Judy Fromm, and she holds USDA License 73-A-1211, DOB as Kountry Cide Kennel, RR 2, Box 630, Welch, OK 74369.
All four Mastiffs acquired by OEMTF were triple registered, AKC, America's Pet Registry (APR), and American Canine Association, Inc. (ACA). They were current with rabies certificates and tags, and had tested for negative for brucellosis.
The OEMTF wishes to express our most sincere appreciation to all of the wonderful people who contributed to our ability to secure four Mastiffs out of the auction cycle. Two of the people attending the auction submitted their impressions, which we want to share with the public:
Report Number One
Hello, I would like to tell you a little bit about dog auctions. The first thing that hits you, even before the auction starts, is the loud barking noises coming from where they house the dogs. Then, as you walk up to this building, the smell of urine overpowers you. It gets into your mouth, your hair, just every part of your body has that smell and then you see dogs after dogs every where they have cages; up to ten dogs in one. Then they had very small plastic crates with one or two dogs stuffed into them, and I'm talking very small crates like what you would put a pom or some toy breed in. They had dogs that were way too big stuffed into the crates. The look on the faces of the dogs was pretty much hopeless. We can look into the eyes of our pets and know what they are thinking and we can tell by their body language what they want. But puppy millers' kennel dogs have no real personalities. Some do seem happy standing in their urine filled kennels, wagging their tails, until some one enters their kennel then the first thing the dogs do is drop to the ground and quiver in fear of getting beaten or kicked. All this is before the auction of the dogs. It gives the buyer a chance to look over the goods before bidding. I say "goods" because that is all the dogs are to these people at the auction. Now comes the auction. You sit up on the bleachers looking down as they either drag in, or carry in, a dog, two by two. If it's a small dog they put them up on a table, the scared look in their eyes can tell you a lot, their whole body just shakes and their eyes are so big with fear. They look at the crowd of people in front of them, not knowing what or why they are there. I think what the poor dogs want, is back into their safe, dark smelly, crate. They feel safe there. That is all they have ever known. The feeling I got watching this, is I wish I could buy every dog that comes out. Even if it is just to put them down, it would end their pain and suffering. What really hurt was to see my noble breed, the Mastiff, dragged out into the ring and not even have the will to stand... just lie on the floor shaking. It was heart breaking to see them with sores and cuts and the urine stain on their coats and the total fear in their eyes. We need to learn from our experience that day at the auction, I think our hearts were so overwhelmed trying to do the best we could for the Mastiffs there. I am so glad we have a small group of people who are willing to come to this place of dog hell and try and reclaim our breed. No breed of dog should ever be put through this, let alone our beloved Mastiffs. We need more people like the OEMTF to help, if not to go to the dog auctions, then to help in giving time to transport or foster or raise money to support this badly needed group. - From a Mastiff lover who will always be there for them.
Report Number Two
I pulled up in front of the auction house in a gray rain. I'd been told to look for two green barns - and a lot of cars. I found a parking place, looked around to see if I'd left anything "incriminating" in sight (took the dog show and 'I love my mastiff' sticker off of the bumper!), locked the car, grabbed my checkbook and headed inside.
I spotted my contact pretty quickly - we'd planned what to wear and where to meet and found each other almost immediately. She'd already met up with the other volunteer and so we went back to her vehicle to decide who would try and bid on each dog. Each dog was listed in a catalogue of sorts, with date of birth, whether or not they were "aggressive breeders" and if a bitch, LLW- Last Litter Whelped. There were more dogs of other breeds than we'd anticipated- but fewer mastiffs. A pregnant bitch and an older male weren't on site, and there really wasn't much of an explanation. We split up and headed on inside.
Just inside the door a women took your driver's license and telephone number, in case you wanted a number to bid on a dog. There was a half circle ring of chain link, about 3.5 feet high. Bleachers faced the auction table which was inside the fencing and everything looked clean, new. Two women were selling snacks and coffee from a table near the back and there were also vendors that cater to the puppy mill industry. One man sold a "high grade commercial" dog food - which I had never heard of and another man advertised the "best kennel doors in the business." There was a small door to the left of the auction table, where they would bring the dogs in one at a time.
Four or five young men, teenagers really, would bring the dog that corresponded to the number in the catalog. A vet was on site to inspect each dog before he/she was auctioned. "Missing a tooth but a '97 model" or "look at the color on that bitch - she' s missing an eye but will produce for you" or "there's a hot spot on her shoulder but she was a great mother and due in heat any time." The dogs simply stood there, their eyes flat and even the puppies had no interest in wagging their tails. And the bidding would start.
The bidding went by so quickly - there were two men who would act as spotters and call the bids while a third man - the man who owned the auction house, was on the microphone. "do I hear a hundred a hundred gimme a hundred for this fine"- The dogs stood on the table- not seeing the crowd, unable even to resist.
I had the opportunity to go back into the barn where the dogs were kept, waiting for the auction to begin. Big dogs were 2 in a run, with as many as 6 or 7 of the smaller ones huddled together. The smell was pervasive and thick- equal parts excrement, urine and fear. Smaller crates were stacked four deep on the aisles-and every animal was tagged with the number listed in the catalog. Several times I saw someone reach into a crate and pull out an animal that had soiled itself, only to be hosed down and tossed back inside. Some dogs were obviously blind and others looked matted to the skin. A bulldog bitch gimped across the front of her run- her elbows looked bad and her movement was stilted at best. I don't recall seeing any of the dogs with water or bedding- just a number and a run.
The mastiffs were a pretty apathetic lot. Skinny, undersized, filthy and pregnant- at least 2 of them. There was one young male, huddled on the floor at the back of his run, laying in his own excrement. 10 months old, he looked no older than 4 or 5 months. Every dog was ribby, twitchy- they rolled their eyes and showed little emotion. One older girl was coaxed into wagging her tail but not for long- it seemed to take all their energy just to be there.
The bidding goes on until a price is set and then whoever wins the bid can take one or all of the dogs at that price- 6 Basset Hounds went for $150. The auctioneer said " I'm going to put you in the Basset business." The mastiffs entered the ring two at a time- "look at these 97 models- these girls have been bred and what did Jan get for her last litter?? 6,000?" The bidding was on. An older man who'd been sitting rather quietly for most of the auction started to bid- and did end up with 2 of the girls. Everyone who attended for the mastiffs agreed that one of the girls who got away was probably not pregnant. But it hurt to watch her go.
One of the oddest things about the auction was the people. A woman sat in front of me with her 6 year old son, eating hotdogs and trying to decide what to buy. "My mommy is gonna buy another cocker today!" he told me proudly. Several people had come into the auction house with toy dogs under their arm. They sat next to their owners on the bleachers on pillows or blankets, eating food from their hands and off their plates. I suppose they were the pets, as opposed to the breeding stock. The people looked like farmers- belt buckles, cowboy jean and boots. The auctioneer encouraged everyone to drop by the high school and support the community in a local charity event. There were a couple of people who looked odd- not someone you'd want to met in an alley! But by and large? Regular people. Not monsters, not even recognizably different from you or me. The auction was clearly a social event- everybody took a little time to catch up on what the other was doing between eating the hotdogs and bidding on the misery in the room next door.
We left as soon as we could pay for the dogs and get them loaded- two of the girls followed me to my van and with a little bit of a boost, hopped right in. Of course, giving that little bit of a boost left my clothes covered with whatever they'd been sitting in all day. We re-grouped at a local fast food place with trees before we split up to head our separate ways. A quick hands on exam of the dogs who could take it showed some ticks, foot fungus, dozens of assorted abrasions and scratches, a cut foot that we tried to flush out and of course, the little girl who is blind in one eye. Funny- the auction vet didn't mention THAT.
I drove with the windows open in the van for as long as I could- the smell they carried on them filled my van and I ended up throwing out the shoes I'd worn through the animal barn at the auction. I'd have liked to stay for a bit longer at the auction just to see what everything went for- but make no mistake. Auctioning dogs is big business for these people. From the food supplier to the auctioneer, everyone is taking their cut out of the lives of these animals in cash.