Auction Operators: Anyone who operates an auction at which regulated
animals [dogs, cats, small mammals] are sold must be licensed....Basically, the
Federal animal care standards cover humane handling, housing, space, feeding
and watering, sanitation, ventilation, shelter from extremes of weather,
adequate veterinary care, separation of incompatible animals, transportation,
and handling in transit. Normal farm-type operations ... are exempt by law. --
Licensing and Registration Under the Animal Welfare Act:
Guidelines for Dealers, Exhibitors, Transporters, and Researchers
Click on any photo on this page for larger view.
Prior to September
2006, the Horst Stables Auction Company mainly sold horses, cows, hay, wood,
and farm machinery and supplies. Apparently, they thought that selling dogs and
small animals would be pretty much the same as selling the livestock they were
used to handling. However, the USDA Animal Welfare Act does make the
distinction between livestock and pets. Though normal sale of livestock is
exempt from licensing by the USDA, there are a very specific set of rules for
housing and humane handling of dogs and other animals sold as pets, as set
forth in the
USDA Animal Welfare Reguations.
rules spell out the bare minimums for housing, sanitation, space, vet care,
transport, etc. It would seem, judging from the list of repeat violations, that
the Thorp Dog Auctions had trouble meeting even these inadequate standards. The
following is a history of the Thorp Dog Auctions at Horst Stables, as presented
in the USDA Inspection Reports:
21 September 2006: PreLicense Inspection #1
- No noncompliances identified.
- Record Keeping requirements reviewed.
- Animal ID requirements reviewed.
- Temporary and primary enclosure requirements reviewed.
- License fee received.
14 October 2006 (first dog auction) Non-compliances:
- Minimum age requirements -- six dogs who were under the minimum of 8 weeks.
- Primary enclosures used to transport live dogs and cats: space too small,
affected 21 animals.
- Adult boxers housed two to enclosure could not lie down without curling up
and overlapping one another.
- Adult Dogue de Bordeaux's head and neck pressed up agains the enclosure
front when it tried to lie down, and could not sit up without holding its head
and neck downward.
- Six adult dogs could turn normally while standing, stand or sit erect, or
lie down in a natural position.
- 15 puppies housed in an enclosure that measured 2' x 4' and overlapped each
other when they were lying down.
2 December 2006 (small animal auction) Non-compliances:
- Transport enclosures without adequate ventilation: 39 rabbits were housed
in cardboard boxes that had no ventilation other than the gaps in the tops of
the boxes where the flaps folded together.
- Five pot bellied pigs were housed in cardboard boxes that did not have
- Pot bellied pig in carrier with insufficient space, so that while the
animal was being auctioned, his left foot stuck out of the enclosure.
10 March 2007 Dog Auction Non-compliances (please see:
Thorp Auction Overview):
vet care: 3 dogs who were in need of vet care accepted into consignment:
- Papillon with tongue hanging incessantly from its mouth; examination showed
rotting and decaying teeth. (Note: this dog, Dooley -- shown left) was turned
over to rescue. You can read about him
- Cocker spaniel very thin, with pale mucous membranes, runny eyes, and
excessively matted fur on ears.
- Shih tzu had small ulcerations on each of its eyes.
- Sheltered Housing Facilities: Insufficient light; additional level oflarge
hay bales to provide a barrier betwen auction ring and holding area blocked
much of the light.
- REPEAT: Insufficient space:
- Four 13 week old Shiba Inu Rat Terrier crosses housed in one pet carrier.
- Two Shih Tzus were housed together on one pet carrier.
- Two Dachshunds were housed together in one pet carrier.
- ChowChow housed in pet carrier.
- All of these dogs limited in movement by the size of the enclosure or the
number of dogs in it.
2 June 2007 (Kennel liquidation Dog Auction, please see:
Auction, Another Sad Day). No inspection report.
22 September 2007 (Dog Auction, please see:
Sale at Thorp Dog Auction video) then scoll down the page for videos of the
auction itself): No noncompliances identified in this inspection(!)
Inspection Reports of Horst Stables, 06-07 (pdf)
26 February 2008: Prelicense inspection (?). See 21 September 2006,
15 May 2008: Records only, no animals present. No noncompliances.
24 September 2008 Dog Auction Non-compliances:
- Inadequate veterinary care:
- Boston terrier had bright red, fleshy protrusion in the corner of his left
- Boston terrier had same condition in both eyes.
- Both dogs were subsequently sold during the auction.
- Procurement of Random Source Dogs and Cats: Three individuals presenting a
total of 23 dogs for auction were not required to certify that they did not
need to be USDA licensed [as breeders or brokers].
21 January 2009: Records only, no animals present. No noncompliances.
- 11 March 2009 (LAST Dog Auction?) Non-compliances:
- Failure to maintain the required records
- Cleaning of primary enclosures:
- Primary enclosures used to contain 219 dogs had not been cleaned and
sanatized prior to their use.
- Dried bedding and animal waste seen in some enclosures
- Dust and bird droppings on some enclosures.
- Insufficient space: Four shetland sheep dog puppies housed in one 16"
x 24" pet carrier during the auction; pups were resting their heads on one
another as there wasn't enough space to put their heads on their paws or the
floor of the enclosure.
Inspection Reports of Horst Stables, 08-09 (pdf)
Several reliable sources have told us that there will be NO MORE DOG AUCTIONS
at Horst Stables! Auction organizers have been quoted as saying that running
the auction is too much of a hassle because of the protests and negative
media publicity! We feel that the aggravation of being forced to comply
with existing USDA regulations, along with the promise of much stricter ones
included in the Smith-Krietlow Commercial Dog Breeding Licensure Bill
(AB-250/SB-208), were also major factors in the decision to end the selling
USDA/AWA Inspection Reports of
Auction Protest Some Thoughts
on USDA Inspectors
Paws Rescue: Why We No Longer Buy at Auctions
Best Friends: "When the going gets tough... the auctioneer
Ban Ohio Dog Auctions
Auction Overview "It's All About the
the Boxer: What is Brucellosis?
Dogs The Statistics Thorp
Dog Auction Scrapbook Josie's
Rabies In WI: Why Health Certificates are
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2007, by the Wisconsin Puppy Mill Project. All Rights Reserved. Used with
Auction Photos Copyright 2007,
by the Clark County
Humane Society. All Rights Reserved. Used with permission.
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