The following is an email from a concerned Cavalier person; while personal details have been omitted, there is some important information that needed to be shared.
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Hi, There was an ad for a Cavalier in the Seattle Times 3/9/03. Just wanted to bring this sad situation to the attention of COPS, although I'm sure there isn't anything to be done about it.... CAVALIER KING CHARLES SPANIEL 13 weeks old Blenheim female with perfect mask and full breeding rights. Imported from Ireland $2,750 OBO (509)***-6932 I called the number and spoke to a young man from Spokane (didn't get his name) but he was home in the late morning which makes me wonder if he has a job... He seemed friendly but not very confident or knowledgeable. I asked if he could "tell me about the background of the puppy" and this what he said:
1) this girl is one of 4 puppies that arrived about 3 weeks ago. He was apologetic that the puppy was already 13 weeks old instead of 8-9 weeks that everyone wants, but he explained that Cavaliers hold their value even if a bit older. This is the last one available of the three: one was sold to Montana, he shipped one to California, and the 3rd was sold locally in Spokane. They were all approx. 8 weeks when shipped from Ireland but not all litter-mates. He didn't seem to know anything about their origins, but sounded like they came from at least 2 different breeders.
2) this is his "2nd load" of Cavaliers from Ireland. The "first load" was also 4 puppies... "they come 2 to a crate". Apparently he has a partner with connections in Ireland that is rounding them up and sending them over. So far out of 8 puppies only one got sick, he was disappointed that the "vet bills ate into his profits a bit".
3) he feels that there is a market for these puppies here because "the NW Breeders only sell their puppies with limited breeding rights, and if people pay that much they should be able to do whatever they want with the dog". He wasn't sure how they are limited, thought it might be something on the AKC papers... He stumbled thru an awkward explanation that US dogs are inbred.
4) the puppies are registered with the Irish Kennel Club and have not been transferred to his name, but he guarantees that they will be registerable with AKC. I didn't get into any discussion of health guarantees, or basic health screening of the parents...
5) I told him I was mostly interested in show dogs and asked if the dog was show potential. He had no clue what makes a show dog, but he said thought that the Irish breeders (puppy millers?) would most likely only export the non-show potential dogs (read: dumping the less desirable dogs in America to be indiscriminately bred). He didn't know the kennel name of the puppy, but said he would email me the dogs registered name & names of parents & digital photo in a few days. I doubt he will follow up on this.
6) it didn't seem that he was planning to keep or raise Cavaliers himself, this was just a business deal for him. He does own a 1 yr old female Golden Retriever, "hasn't bred her yet"....
I didn't confront him about his unethical practice because I wanted him to speak openly about his business. I realize we're not the dog police, but should the club take any action to discourage this? Any suggestion? Feel free to forward or cross-post this message.