According to the Humane Society of the United States, Missouri has the most dog auctions than any other state. And the HSUS says that these auctions are inhumane because dogs are housed in cages for extended periods of time, sometimes without food and water.
Stephanie Stain, the society’s director of outreach for companion animals, said, “The animals are literally sold like cars in used auto auctions. Cars are probably treated better than these dogs.”
People that support dog auctions said that they are not cruel and state and federal inspectors closely regulate the auctions.
Betty Dwiggins, who participates in dog auctions, said, “We try our very best to make it humane for the dogs. Without these auctions the dogs would all be mongrels.”
Shain said that even though dog auctions are legal, they cause problems because they serve puppy mills and not reputable breeders. She added that many of the dogs bought from auctions may not be true purebreds and could have genetic diseases or other problems.
According to the Missouri Alliance for Animal Legislation, the number of dog auctions in the state is rapidly increasing. In 1995, there were ten auctions, and in 2005, there were 67. In 2007, auctions have greatly expanded and the number of dogs being auctioned is most likely to exceed 18,000.
Missouri has more commercial breeders licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture than any other state and many of them use dog auctions.
Jerry Eber, the head of Missouri’s kennel inspection program said inspectors check to see if dogs are handled properly, have enough space in their cages, and are not in extreme weather. He added that since auctions are open to the public, people can openly tell if something is wrong or if dogs are treated inhumanely.
Eber stated, “Whether you like it or not, dogs are essentially a consumer product.”
Source: Kansas City Star