Auctioning Off Animals...

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by sillysally, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    The thread about the puppy mill auction got me thinking about auctions in general. I have gone to horse auctions for years in Amish country--I'm actually going to a huge one on Friday. I've never purchased a horse for myself from an auction, but have helped pick out trail horses and pony ride ponies when I worked at a barn. The sale auctions tack, ponies, driving horses (mostly for the Amish), riding horses, and kill pen horses. The auction can be upsetting, especially if you let yourself linger too long over the kill horses--many are in very sad shape. In addition, if you go to enough sales you start to recognize the kill buyers who haunt the riding horse sale looking for cheap horses--usually the older or obviously totally unbroken animals. If you are ever wondering if you should breed your mediocre horse or not, I highly recommend going to a kill auction and watching them drive the freaked out, slaughter bound horses into the livestock semis-it's sobering to say the least.

    That having been said you do have normal people buying and selling horses there, and if you know what you are looking for and willing to take a chance, you can often find decent horses, especially at the bigger sales.

    I also attend an exotic livestock sale that happens twice a year. They feature everything from large exotics like bison, alpacas, camels, and emus to smaller exotic animals like birds, monkeys, foxes, and even small alligators. I've bought two of my birds-Yoda and Solo-at this sale.

    Yet after all of the sales I've gone to I would still feel very uncomfortable going to a dog auction. Logically it doesn't make much sense I guess-even medium sized parrots are at least as socially aware (if not more so), and probably more intelligent than a dog-but somehow it's just different to me.

    So how do you feel about selling animals at auction? Do you feel more comfortable with certain species being auctioned off than others? Have you or would you buy an animal at auction?
     
  2. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    I guess for me, dogs are more horrifying because they're not livestock. If someone is producing them in enough quantity to need to auction some off periodically, they're probably not getting the socialization they need to function at a basic level in human society. And they're often not getting adequate care to meet their basic needs either.

    That's different for animals like cattle, goats, sheep, horses, camels, bison, poultry, etc.

    Yes some of those animals do benefit from socialization. Some get more dangerous. None of them require human interaction to be really happy and fulfilled like a dog does as long as their other needs are being met and they have companions of their own kind. I also think it's a lot easier to meet their social and physical needs even in large groups, than it is for large groups of dogs.

    Big parrots I'm torn on. Most people buying them at auction are probably not creepers, but I could be wrong about that. They're really social, but if they're being raised in groups in big aviary barns or something at least they're socializing with their own kind, which isn't horrible considering they're still wild animals.
     
  3. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    I've grown up going to horse and livestock auctions. Never sent a horse to the average weekly or montly auction, but I bought my QH mare (and other past horses) from an auction. I really want to go down to the States and watch some of the big horse sales, like Congress or the NRHA or NCHA Futurity sales. Dispersal and other sorts of breeder sales are very common in the Quarter Horse world - even among top breeders. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I've had a lot of exposure and the word sale or auction doesn't always mean bad quality/conditions/low value to me.

    My mom and I were just talking about selling dogs through auction last week. There is a farm dispersal sale here in a couple of weeks and in addition to sheep and sheep equipment they're auctioning off 2 working BCs and some 7 month old puppies. I wasn't as bothered by it as I thought I'd be. I remembered the working dog rescue in Australia mentioning a rescue of theirs sold for a really high price at a working dog sale, and being very proud. That was the first I'd heard of something like that, but if they have high end working horse sales, why not dogs?

    Obviously I'm not in support of a puppy mill auction, but I wouldn't be in support of any large quality of animal being sold by one person, in bad condition and with serious untreated injuries (like in the article posted in dog talk). However, I don't think I'm against selling ever dogs at auction if it's done in an educated, humane and professional way.
     
  4. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I agree with Romy on the dogs. They just seem to need more interaction and a different setting to do well. They need a lot of basic care. You can walk into a good number of places that house/breed other animals and they look fine/happy. When you look at places that keep a large number of dogs for breeding, the care is obviously lacking in most places. The dogs act horribly. Large scale bird breeding makes me uneasy as well.

    I've been to horse auctions in FL. I don't know that there is too many 'kill buyers'..I don't remember if slaughter was legal when I went, but there were no slaughter facilities, and FL isn't close to the borders. I felt it was a place for horse traders to do their swapping..for better or far worse. The sales I went to weren't a horror show but it wasn't great either.

    I went to a farm auction that did poultry and rabbits mostly. Nothing horrific.

    A lady I knew (oddly enough, a rescue) went to an exotics auction and purchased a kinkajou. And she built a cage, and put it in the cage, and fed it. Eh...why take something that wild and put it through that. Just isn't right.

    I've been to bird...shows...which is more of a buy and sell thing with birds. There are some good people, some good birds, some sick birds, some bad people. One vendor had like 20 cockatiels shoved into a small cage, and they were all hanging onto the sides of the cage with their eyes closed..so so stressed. It kind of breaks my heart.

    I don't agree with very large birds being popular pets. Most people don't have a clue. There are some people that are very good to their birds..most aren't. Most aren't good to even a simple parakeet.
     
  5. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    That's a good point, the high quality sales I have no problem with. It's the backyard sort of auctions that I have a problem with..seems to draw out the filth.
     
  6. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    This is worth mentioning again.

    In the horse world, there are several top breeders who get their mares (several dozen) in foal to the top producing, top earning studs currently in their discipline. And then, once a year, they hold a giant auction and sell of the babies to top payers.

    Is it wrong? Well, someone who is paying several thousand dollars per top-quality prospect isn't necessarily likely to abuse or neglect, but the possibility always remains.

    In dogs, we put far more pressure on breeders (even top quality, top earning breeders who create dogs with a job) to choose THE perfect home for EVERY puppy and never to breed more than X amount of times a year.

    What's the difference? Both species obviously have a saturated market and plenty of BYBers, mills, and rescue organizations that say there's plenty of animals and no more need to be bred.

    The argument livestock vs pet could be made, I guess, but plenty of people make the argument that some dogs are purely working/hunting/sport animals and others make the argument that horses ARE pets and valued just as highly.

    So honestly, what's the difference, when things are done for quality, rather than a shoddy breeding practice? Is auctioning off BYB horses more acceptable than auctioning off BYB dogs? Top quality horses that are going to top show/work homes vs top quality dogs that are going to top show/work homes? Or just an auction where anyone and their brother can sell off a dog or horse to the meat buyer or puppy mill?

    It one of those slippery slopes. It's hard to figure out where it begins and where it ends. Quality vs Species or something.
     
  7. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    For me personally, livestock means an animal you wouldn't mind eating. I wouldn't mind eating a horse. A lot of places in the world horses are a normal food. But a lot of people do mind eating horses.

    There's a big disconnect though, between the few pet/hobby horse homes and a huge surplus of old/untrained/dangerous horses. Horses are expensive to house and it's so depressing to go on craigslist and see "beloved" older horses that are too broke down to ride listed for free, but absolutely can't be killed. What do they think is going to happen to them? They think people want to house and feed their old unridable animals at great expense for years? If someone really loved their animal, they'd keep them their whole life.

    Just like we have a huge surplus of untrained 8-18 month old medium to large dark mutts.

    Both surplus populations end up euthanized. The reason kill buyers don't exist for dogs is because their dead bodies don't have any commercial value. If they did you'd see people taking their unruly BYB adolescent dogs and old dogs to auctions vs. paying a fee to dump them at a shelter or rescue.
     
  8. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    There are always tons of large parrots at that exotic sale. There is one seller that has been there every time I've gone that always has large species- various cockatoos, macaws, and Amazons.
     
  9. Lyzelle

    Lyzelle New Member

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    The same can be said for either species. "If you really loved them..."

    Yet how many dogs do we see constantly dumped because someone is moving, someone had a kid, they decided it wasn't worth it anymore, got a new rug and the dog hair doesn't match, wanted a new younger dog instead, etc, etc, etc.

    The exact same expectations apply to both species and their owners. Pets/hobby breeders, sport breeders, show breeders, BYB'ers, forever homes and business homes, breeding for conformation, temperament, purpose, and personal use, Other countries eat dogs. Other countries eat guinea pigs. And rats. And large fowl. And other little furry/fuzzy/feathered things we call pets that we are "really supposed to love...".

    The only difference is our emotional attachment to the animal. Nothing else. We've applied our "one life is better than other" logic to animals as well, and the markets and how they are managed reflect that. Dogs, in some way or another, deserve better than other animals, despite the fact that horses can give us just as much emotional support, time, energy, and love as dogs do, and other animals as well.
     
  10. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    I'm fine with eating horses (not personally but..whatever). I'm not fine with factory farming or the conditions horses are kept in surrounding the chain to slaughter. Horses can injure themselves on bubble wrap...they aren't the best animal to be mass transported and housed for slaughter. Same thing with dogs...they just don't do well under less than ideal conditions. I'm not fine with cows or pigs or poultry kept in poor conditions either, but for whatever reason they seem to fare better. I don't like how poultry is kept and I intend to buy local meats when I can control what comes into my house.

    The bird situation may get better in time. The ban on importation of wild birds has taken a chunk of the market out. The breeder birds are starting to get older and pass on from when it was legal, and that cold snap in FL some years back killed a LOT of birds that were producing for the pet market. There isn't many birds to be had and the prices are going up.
     
  11. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    This last time they actually had a breeding pair of hawk headed parrots, a species I've only ever seen in BirdTalk before. They were a no sale because the seller wanted at least $800 could the pair and couldn't get it. I don't think I will get another sale bird. Though it will be years from now, the next bird I get well hopefully be a crimson bellied conure, and I will be buying from a smaller scale breeder.

    Some of the things people will buy are just crazy though-- you couldn't pay me enough to take a monkey home....
     
  12. crazedACD

    crazedACD Active Member

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    Interesting..the bird place in NJ has one for $2300.

    I probably wouldn't buy from auctions..I would rather pay more and be able to make sure the animal was as described and from a good source.

    I do think I will end up with a toucanette at some point down the road...but it definitely won't be from an auction.
     
  13. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Well, they had plucked the heck out of each other, so that may have had something to do with the price. It is rare for any bird sold there to go over $2000, and if it is going that high it's usually a large bird that is sold with a large cage that the seller has taken out and handled during the bidding.

    As far as the two I've bought, Yoda is a great little bugger, and Solo is a work in progress (he is whistling, clicking, and grunting at me as I post-lol), but definitely coming along. It would just be nice to have a better idea of how a bird has been raised, etc. It's unlikely I would have bought Solo if his owner had not been a friend of a friend that I had a chance to talk to before bidding.
     
  14. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    I can see doing this... in the sense of if you know what the animal needs, and it's a "strange" animal like that, and you can care for it, I'd rather them buy it and take care of it how it needs to then somebody buying it on a whim. Not all animals can just be returned to the wild and survive.
     
  15. Romy

    Romy Taxiderpy

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    Oh yeah, people totally do the same thing to dogs. You see the same type of ads on craigslist all the time about how wonderful fido was with their kids for the past 14 years and they love him so much, but he's got to go! And in most cases the animal ends up dead, either at a shelter or through kill buyers at an auction depending on the species.

    Overall though, I think that dogs being a social carnivore are a lot more prone to mental health issues and have much bigger problems adjusting to living among people if they were raised in seclusion than any herbivore does. The herbivores are scared of us, so we get their trust. The carnivore might be scared, or it might see us as prey, etc.

    I've seen people have a lot more success taming and turning BLM wild mustangs into good solid trail horses that are rented to the general public for rides than I have with people capturing adult feral dogs and turning them into a well adjusted household pet, must less something comparable to a therapy dog.
     
  16. sillysally

    sillysally Obey the Toad.

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    Actually, taking an adult mustang and turning it into a public trail horse is pretty rare. The majority of successful adopted mustangs are gotten as young animals. Having dealt with under socialized horses i can tell you that it's not always as simple as just getting the animal to trust people. No, a horse is not going to consider a human prey, but if a 1200 lb animal suddenly decides that fight is the better option than flight, you've got a serious problem.
     
  17. Shai

    Shai & the Muttly Crew

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    The only animal auctions I've ever been to were for tropical freshwater fish. And it was a club auction so the sellers were known to the club and were selling off fish and plants they bred/raised themselves, not wild caught specimens (legit or otherwise). I had and have no issue with that sort of fish auction. Not really the same thing as auctioning off animals with higher order mental and social needs in addition to the physical needs.
     
  18. Sit Stay

    Sit Stay Not a Border Collie

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    I agree, Silly Sally. I think the success stories that are so common are horses under 3. Much different than working with a mature, middle aged horse around 10 or over. I remember reading online about someone who adopted two teenaged stallions and after hiring trainers and giving these horses lots of chances, they just weren't progressing and they ended up releasing both of them back into the "wild" (mustang sanctuary).

    The problem with designating livestock or not status by asking yourself if you would eat them is that it would vary so much from person to person. I'm undecided myself as far as what to call horses - livestock is my first instinct, but horses are not commercially farmed and what other animal do we have three different Olympic disciplines built around? On the other hand, there are backyard horses and backyard cows, and 400k horses and 400k cows. Just because there is a high caliber does not mean they, as a species, are not considered livestock. I'm torn!
     
  19. Kat09Tails

    Kat09Tails *Now with Snark*

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    I've been to many, many livestock auctions over the years- both as the buyer and the seller when we had the goat dairy and rabbitry . Personally I never saw dogs do much at livestock auctions on this coast - although years ago they were allowed. Usually they went home with no buyer. Why? Let's be honest puppies to most buyers who are bunchers are a commodity with a serious shelf life issue or a serious risk to the bottom line if they come down with some disease like parvo or distemper.

    I'm not sure with all the diseases around for birds I'd be willing to pick them up at an auction but maybe bird lovers know something I don't, but I kind of view most auction animals like that. Something I will live with for a long time probably would be purchased from a buyer who stakes their reputation on the product they are producing - where the slaughter ready chicken is less of a personal investment.
     

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