Fundraising With Puppies: A Smart or a Stupid Idea?

A friend recently brought a story to my attention concerning Jesuit High School in Portland, Oregon. The school held their annual fundraising auction earlier this month. Left to their own devices, one of their big-ticket auction items would have been a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. Auctioning puppies (last year a Labradoodle) has proven to be popular and lucrative. This year, in response to public outrage, Jesuit High School officials removed the Berner pup from the list of auction items. I suspect there were voices of protest in years past, but they likely paled in comparison to what Jesuit High School squared off with this time around. Leave it to those Bernese Mountain Dog lovers- they are one well organized, focused, and unified bunch of people.

After “throwing in the towel” on this controversial matter, Jesuit High School Communications Director Erika Tuenge stated:

Jesuit High School has always carefully and thoughtfully considered the choice of breeds and placement of puppies in its annual auction and has provided suitable loving environments for each dog which is placed in the homes of Jesuit families. Certain animal rights protesters, who apparently do not believe a suitable home for a dog can ever be found at an auction event, have criticized JHS for its plan to auction a puppy at an upcoming school auction. We adamantly disagree with the opinions of these protesters (and the means by which they chose to express these opinions), but out of concern for the Jesuit community and the privacy of the responsible dog owners and reputable breeders it has worked with in years past, the school has decided not to include a puppy in this year’s auction, an event which supports need-based financial aid and other vital programs benefiting Jesuit students and families.

Before I weigh in on this topic, I would love to hear what you have to say. Do you agree or disagree with Jesuit High School’s position (by the way, there are plenty of other organizations who auction puppies at their fundraising events)? Please fill me in on your thoughts and I will reciprocate in my next blog post.

Best wishes,

Nancy Kay, DVM

Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Author of Your Dog’s Best Health: A Dozen Reasonable Things to Expect From Your Vet
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health.   There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot and Your Dog’s Best Health are available at www.speakingforspot.com, Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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44 Comments on “Fundraising With Puppies: A Smart or a Stupid Idea?

  1. Auctioning off animals like this is offensive.

    As others have pointed out, no “good breeder” would be involved in this. A good owner will not try to obtain a purebred dog this way.

    That puppy may as well come with a paper listing breed rescue groups for both the new and former owners :(

    There is so much wrong about this that it is hard to know where to begin.

  2. Doesn’t seem like the best idea, eh? I would think such a thing would be destined for disaster as a bidder, who didn’t show up wanting a pup, gets caught up in the moment of bidding.

  3. As a means of funding and supporting “need-based financial aid” – a worthy goal – I can think of few items worse to auction off at a private fundraiser than an animal bred for pet status.
    It is disappointing to someone with deep ties to the independent school community hear in Maine to read the response of the Communications Director at this parochial school. To dismiss any group – whether part of the local Jesuit community or not – in such a high-handed manner is poor communications.
    I am reminded here of the story the late author (and founder of the Fund for Animals) Cleveland Amory related of an argument he had with a friend and member of the clergy. The argument was over whether or not animals went to Heaven when they died. The priest took the side that they did not; that only humans were rewarded with life in the hereafter.
    ‘All the more reason to treat them better in this Life’ was Mr. Amory’s sage reply. Amen to that sentiment.

  4. Puppies are NOT products! How dare anybody in their right mind consider auctioning a puppy or dog to be an acceptable practice? It is insensitive, cruel and heartless. How would any of these organizers like to have any of their friends or family auctioned off, in the name of “fund raising”. Is it not against the law? If not, it should be a felony, punishable by serving time in jail,as an example to deter others.

  5. The Marin Humane Society has addressed this issue with our local schools in past years so this is a topic that has been on my radar and caught my attention when a post about the Jesuit High auction appeared on our Berner list. I emailed the school (which never responded to the email) and then like many posted on their Facebook page. I want to believe that they simply never really thought if through or didn’t really know how to determine if the breeder donation was appropriate but instead were caught up in the dream of a bidding frenzy that would bring in money for the school. The auction this year caught the attention of a large and responsive group of Berner breeders, owners, and club members. In past years however they have auctioned off a goldendoodle, yellow lab, teacup poodle, and designer mixes just to name a few. There is so much that needs to be done to educate the schools and their fundraising planners so they understand why offering puppies as fundraiser and raffle prizes is not okay. And to be most effective this needs to be in a non-judgmental and educational way. It wasn’t until I googled the topic when the post first appeared on our list that I realized how widespread this practice is.

  6. Dogs should not be auctioned. I am impressed by the eloquence and thoroughness of letters posted and feel there is nothing more to add, except to state I am total agreement.

  7. This practice of using puppies (or any live animal) as items in charity auctions or other fundraisers needs to be stopped! It is prohibited in half of the US, all of the UK and Australia. It is also prohibited by registered animal breed organizations and clubs, the AKC, CKC, ASPCA, RSPCA, SPCA and many others!
    Why participate in a practice that is widely illegal and is frowned upon by all animal protection and welfare organizations!?! Makes the organizations doing this kind of fundraising look pretty bad!

  8. I can’t imagine any way that one can simultaneously do all the screening and home visits necessary to ensure that an animal, rescued or otherwise, is placed in a safe, knowledgeable, and permanent home, while selling that animal to the highest bidder. No financial argument, even the argument used in this case, that the auction brings this group a ton of money, is an excuse for treating an animal like a one-size-fits-all object.

    Somehow I doubt that the auction organizers will come take back the dog at any time, vet him, resocialize him, and find him an appropriate home if things don’t work out at any time, for any reason, for the rest of the dog’s life. I’ve been working in rescue for most of my adult life and this is certainly something we stand by and so, too, should any breeder. When they take on this dog as their responsibility to place, they take on the responsibility for this dog for a lifetime. There’s no way to honor that responsibility and offer an animal as a prize to whoever is waving their money around.

    I agree with someone, above, who suggested they instead offer an “adoption pack” for auction, with a variety of items and services a new dog guardian needs when they decide to bring home a canine (or feline!) family member. They could even include a certificate that covers the adoption fee at a local shelter or rescue (or even perhaps several rescues might be willing to accept it if they ask nicely. :)). If they decide not to get a dog (or cat) from that particular organization, or aren’t a good match for the dogs they’re currently fostering, it’s okay, but it’s nice to have the fee waiver as a place to start looking. If the bidder really wants to show off how nice they can be and they decide they aren’t actually ready for a pet after all, they could donate the whole kit to the next person who does adopt from that rescue or shelter. Everybody wins.

  9. This is the letter that I wrote to the Auction Director. I also wrote one to the Archbishop requesting his intervention. I think you are correct in your assessment that the Bernese community stood up as one in defense of this puppy. I tried to reach out to the Golden and Lab groups as there were other auctions being conducted shortly after, but there was no response.

    Dear Ms. Reilly,
    I am sure that by now you have received many written concerns regarding the auction of a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy in your upcoming fundraiser, and in your previous years fundraisers. I see that all of the concerns have been removed from the Facebook site and that there is no longer an opportunity to express concern. So I am taking my comments directly to you, since you are listed as the Auction Director.

    I believe that the intent of you, and your institution, is to raise the maximum amount of money for your school, and those who receive financial support. Unfortunately, your method of raising this money is an affront to those of us who feel strongly about dog welfare. Well intentioned ignorance, is ignorance just the same.

    The canned response received by some who expressed concern, stated several things that give me more concern. First, the feeling that you are getting puppies “from reputable, conscientious and caring breeders” is false. In the Bernese Mt Dog Club of American and Oregon it is expressly prohibited from auctioning dogs. Since their behavior does not follow the moral and ethical guidelines of the standards for this breed, it leads me to believe that they may be backyard breeders or a puppy mill.

    The second statement I would like to address is that which defends your activity as “legal”. If you are going to use “legality” as a defense, are you going to reconsider your position on abortion? Legality cannot be a defense for this action.

    My hope is that you and the decision makers for your institution will hear our concerns and not conduct any further auctions of animals. It is beneath the dignity of your institution. Please see the attached photo that I took in Italy. I hope it speaks to you.

  10. No “reputable breeder” would ever allow any of their puppies to be auctioned! Shame on the adults of the high school to allow puppies to be auctioned, and, have the gull to complain about how the “animal rights people” protested against the auction! As a society we need to demand that pets, by law, not to be regarded as property. It should passed by those in congress and be made a federal law that all states must abide by. Only then can we put a stop the auctioning of pups. More and more studies have shown that dogs have more similarities to our own species than do monkeys! As a group we must educate the public!

  11. I have to agree with the others that are against using puppies in auctions. Ethical and responsible breeders are very careful who is allowed to buy one of their puppies. It’s not just the buyer choosing a breeder, it works both ways. At an auction, the person with the most money wins the puppy. So, first of all, there is a puppy that is being offered for sale by a breeder/puppy mill? that is not very caring about where their puppy is going or that breeder would not allow the sale of a puppy in an auctions. Secondly, there is no ability of the breeder to interview the prospective owners to see if these people who be the best owners for the particular breed in question, the particular puppy in questions, etc. So, what happens to the puppy who goes to the highest bidder, a person who likely has not researched the breed and is going into the auction without having a chance to talk to a breeder or other owners of the breed to see if the breed is even a good match for the owner’s lifestyle. What happens if the winner has never had a dog and thought it would be fun to have a dog, but then discover that walking the dog and providing vet care and food and vaccines etc. is more expensive than they thought it would be. Take, for example, the Bernese Mtn Dog. Does the auction winner know that the average life span is only 7 years old and that the breed is one of the breeds most known for health problems, particularly cancer. Does the winner know the need for daily brushing or the cost of a groomer? What if the breed is one who barks a lot and the winner lives in an apartment? I don’t think any life deserves to be determined by the winner of an auction. Much more thought goes into owning and caring for a living creature, than is possible at an auction.

  12. Acquiring a pet of any kind requires thoughtful consideration and planning. An auction that is a fund raiser relies on spur of the moment enthusiasm. It’s one thing if you bid on a vase or anything inanimate and decide you don’t want it, it’s quite another to bid on a puppy. This isn’t even the same as when the AERC or regional groups auction young horses off. At least in those cases, the audience is entirely composed of horse people who will refrain from participating if they don’t want the horse or have resources to move the horse to a better home if it doesn’t work out. Auctioning a puppy? A bad bad idea! Just because a home is Jesuit doesn’t mean it’s a good home for a puppy.

  13. oh brother…
    as someone that has worked in rescue for many years, i’m never cease to be amazed at what i read.
    in my opinion the auctioning of puppies ranks right up there with selling puppies in pet stores. you aren’t likely to find a rescue or a responsible breeder that condones this for any reason. unfortunately, not everyone bidding on a pup will necessarily be a good dog owner or familiar with the breed.
    i’m curious what provisions are made if the family finds that they aren’t a suitable home for this breed.

  14. What has placing these puppies in “good Jesuit homes” got to do with this abominable practice? Does the puppy care whether the family is Jesuit or not? Will the Jesuits follow the puppy and the family to make sure that it is a good mix?

    I have worked with too many owners who won such “prizes” and believe me, the common underlying factor was their pride and smugness of having paid sometimes upward of $4000 for a dog, regardless of breed. They just had to out bid the others.

    This is a disgusting practice and indeed, should be stopped, especially by organizations which pride themselves on education. And whether Jesuit or not, compassion should be the factor here. Even the Bible commands us to observe “Tza’ar Ba’alei Chayot”, i.e., remember the sorrow of animals. These puppies face sorrow, rejection and neglect. The ones who are lucky enough to go to good homes are precious few and extremely lucky.

    When will we learn?

  15. I agree with what everyone is saying about this just not being a smart idea. Smart to make money maybe, but not to find a living soul a meaningful home. It’s hard enough anyway without such abandon and thought to place a puppy with owners who really understand what responsibility they are taking on. Puppies have the “aw” factor, so of course the auction would get a lot of responses. Poor dogs—I like the idea of giving them a fee certificate to go maybe adopt a dog if the people bidding really do want a new life in their family and let the shelter help them find a pet that is a match for their personality and lifestyle.

  16. Unfortunately the Jesuit High School that proposed the puppy auction is probably just ignorant, and unfortunately there are others that also think this is an appropriate way to generate income for a charity. They get the money they seek and never follow up on the puppy to see if’s in a good home. Probably, the majority of the auctioned dogs are dumped at shelters and rescues when the thrill of winning diminishes; when the puppy is no longer small and cute; and they have the day to day responsibility and expense of owning a pet. The Animal Rights Activists need to do some innocent puppy a favor and point out that it’s a stupid thing to raffle a puppy since the person with the winning ticket could be mean to the dog. It would be no different than auctioning a member of the family (a toddler)!

  17. Pure Bred Dogs such as a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy are NOT the dogs lacking in getting a good home. Also it takes a specific type of person to be able to handle this breed and what it entails to take care of one.The person who bids on the puppy may not even keep it and will give it to someone else or sell it. This is such a bad idea. Only and only if ahead of time the persons interested in bidding on the puppy, must fill out a detailed application including references that can be verified ahead of time including a vet reference. It should also list prior dogs they have had and what happened to them Only those whose applications are accepted can bid on the puppy.Whoever does get the puppy must sign a contract that the dog cannot be given away and thst the breeder mudt be contacted first.

  18. As a long term responsible breeder and AKC Breeder of Merit, I would no more allow people to auction off my puppies to “good homes” than I would allow them to auction off my first born.
    Can’t express myself any clearer than that!

  19. I have the greatest respect for the Jesuit community, but auctioning of puppies is so wrong in so many ways. But primarily, it is reducing the value of a puppy to that of an object, such as a car or an art print. Puppies should not be auctioned off any more than a person should be. We did that at one time in our history and it is not a good memory. We all should still be hanging our heads in shame for that! Responsible people are trying to insure that each puppy finds a great home, and in an ideal world, all dogs, except those of very reputable breeders, would be spayed and neutered. Then, and only then, can we attempt to have all dogs in loving, permanent homes.

  20. Some days, I just want to bite someone’s leg :-(

    Maybe they could instead, auction off an orphan child? Imagine how much money that would make?? People are always looking to adopt infants, and the older ones can do work around the home.

    There are so many things wrong with this idea, it’s hard to know where to begin.
    How could they possible assure that the highest bidder is a good home?
    Is every bidder screened with a home visit before the auction?
    If the highest bidder wants the pup for reptile food, they have met the rules, and it could be a long legal battle if the winning bidder is denied their prize.
    NO responsible breeder would EVERallow one of their pups to be auctioned off.
    Peddling living beings to make money is about as low as it gets. REVOLTING.
    So many others left great comments here!

  21. Puppies (or any animals) should never be auctioned off. This school has no idea what type of home or care the future owner has available. Reputable breeders spend a lot of time interviewing their puppy buyers as well as a lot of hours educating the future owners. The Jesuit schools are not getting their puppies from reputable breeders and the potential winner of the puppy probably has no idea of health and behavior issues that might result in poor breeding.

  22. I think that the idea of auctioning a puppy is wrong on many levels. I would first suggest that Jesuit H.S. really qualify what they have said in their defensive reply. These dogs are not “placed” anywhere but in the hands of the highest bidder, Jesuit family or not. As others have stated, these dogs would be from puppy mills because no reputable breeder, rescue organization or humane society would put a dog on the auction block to be sent off to a random home, backyard, garage, crate or otherwise to live for any length of time.
    Common Jesuit H.S., be socially responsible. There are many other cute and cuddly things besides a live animal that people will donate big $ for. A dog is not a car, stuffed animal or tickets to Disneyland.

  23. Many of us who are very involved with a specific breed – mine is in fact the Bernese Mountain Dog – also are very involved in trying to educate the general public about what exactly IS “Responsible Breeding” and “Responsible Dog Ownership.” Some of us are breeders, some of us are performance competitors, and some of us are “just” pet people who happen to make our dogs a big part of our life.
    I am certain that this particular BMD puppy was destined for a wonderful home. The family who was basically set up to be the highest bidder, had lost their other Berner to old age. But for me, the issue goes to far beyond whether one puppy gets a good home or not.
    The issue is that the AKC does not consider auctioning pups to be an appropriate method of homing puppies. Most parent breed clubs – including the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA) have a Code of Ethics which states that breeders will not allow their pups to be auctioned. So why is this?
    1. It is not guaranteed – unless the auction is rigged – that the puppy will go to the intended home. The puppy will go to the “highest bidder.”
    2. Letting a pup go to the “highest bidder” promotes the concept that all it take to be a Responsible Owner is the ability to pay the purchase price of the puppy. This is wrong.
    3. People bidding on a puppy when they have not necessarily met with the breeder, researched the health clearances of the parents, etc. promotes the concept that is ok to pay as much – or possibly more – for a less responsibly bred puppy than for a responsibly bred pup. Since it is against the BMDCA Code of Conduct to auction a pup, it is highly unlikely that this particular pup was bred by a responsible breeder. JHS has insisted this is a “highly reputable breeder” but I suspect their standards are different than the AKC’s and BMDCA’s standards. To me, all “reputable” means is well-known – it is not the same as “responsible.”
    So, auctioning puppies undermines ALL of our education efforts on what Responsible Breeding means, and undermines our education efforts that potential puppy owners should do extensive research before deciding to buy a pup from a particular breeder. The “screening” goes both ways – the buyer screens the breeder and the breeder screens the buyer. All this effort is for the welfare of not only each individual puppy, but also for the future of the breed.
    We have an online open health database – Berner-Garde – which can be accessed by the general public – so buyers can actually research pedigrees on their own, and verify that the breeder does in fact do health clearances. In a breed with so many genetic health issues, this database has helped many of us make better breeding decisions. It is free to use – no fee to enter data, no fee to create pedigrees, reports, etc. bernergarde.org

  24. There is no need to reinvent the wheel; the American Kennel Club policy statement on dog auctions reflects my own opinion:
    “The American Kennel Club strongly opposes disposing of puppies or livestock of any kind by offering them as prizes or giveaways in auctions, raffles, contests or promotional events. Dogs acquired in this manner may end up in shelters after the novelty of ownership has worn off. The acquisition of a dog should be an informed and educated decision on the part of the owner-to-be, not the chance result of a game.”

  25. Auctioning a ‘LIFE’. Not such a good idea. Funny this article should come to me just now. I am presently working w/ a family who ‘won’ a puppy at a raffle. The pup is a mess, emotionally and physically. The pup is from a puppy mill (because the educated would know that auctioning a puppy isn’t a responsible thing to do) and before the auction stayed in a home with a dog who was aggressive with her and now we have so much undoing to do that the ‘winners’ of the puppy aren’t sure they have what it takes.

    Usually, people who win a puppy aren’t prepared in so many ways that it’s really a set up for failure even if it wasn’t a puppy mill.

    Very sad indeed to exploit a life in this manner.

  26. I agree that auctioning live animals is not a good idea. I went to a local church bazaar many years ago and they had a chocolate lab pup on the docket. I spent time with the pup and saw how nervous it was at this big, scary event. My heart went out to it. I am also a dog trainer and specialize in labrador retriever training. I saw the potential in this pup and decided that I might be able to save it from tragedy. I bid as high as my budget would allow and ended up not being able to take the pup home. I spoke to the “winner” and left him my name and number, with best wishes for a happy life with his pup. Needless to say, I heard from him in about 6 weeks and he said he could not care for such a rambunctious pup. I took her in and turned her into a wonderful working dog and companion. Not all dogs gets that break! I think that people don’t even realize what a scare it is to these pups to be brought into a busy and noisy place and held by hundereds of strangers with no one to feel secure with. I think that the idea of a gift certificate to a local shelter would be a much better idea! I know that it takes away the “awwwww” factor, but all animals deserve a home where they will be cherished until they die of old age!

  27. Despite what many may think, a dog is not a thing to be auctioned off!! Home and background checks need to be made to assure that the animal is truly placed in a proper, responsible, loving environment. In this world of selfishness, greed, apathy and animal torturing, you have got to be kidding that any kind of auctioning off of an animal is safe or considerate of the precious being awaiting his sorrowful fate.

    “A righteous man regards the life of animals” – PROVERBS 12:10; “If you have men who will exclude any of God’s creatures from the shelter of compassion & pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men” – ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI; “I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs…(They) are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no rights to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty….” – JAMES HARRIOT; “The greatness of a nation & its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated” – MAHATMA GANDHI

  28. As breeder and lover of Doberman Pinschers, I feel strongly this iss a bad idea. My breedings are thought out carefully for longevity, health and temperament. My placements to forever homes are involve a legal document, family history and references. This too takes time showing commitment and knowledge of breed. If a raffle winner knows nothing if the lifespan of a Berners, what a shock, if they nothing of hip problems,etc. in the breed will they be able to afford it? What happens if the winner changes it’s mind 6 months down the road, when you no longer have a cute snugly pup? Does it go to the pound, get put down or worse still stuck in someone’s back yard to freeze in winter and get heatstroke in summer?

  29. We have a local organization that has done this (against my recommendations) for the past four years. “But it is our BIGGEST draw and they expect us to do it! It makes the most money!!” :(

    This year, the winning bidder took the puppy home and the puppy wasn’t wanted by the entire family. There were extensive medical bills required shortly after the puppy was “won” and the entire situation exemplifies why the bringing of a puppy into a home is a family decision and should not be undertaken during the excitement of a bidding war. The entire practice should not be condoned, either by organizations or the breeders.

    Sadly, it’s a very popular approach to fund raising and I expect we will be seeing more, not less of such activities.

  30. Before I knew better, I was involved in a charity auction that auctioned a puppy. The puppy was very cute and the bidding high. The poor puppy was not a good match with the somewhat drunken high bidder. The puppy was passed from home to home and luckily settled in a good place. I will not be involved in a puppy auction again!!!

  31. While auctioning a puppy might be a tremendous fundraising idea for a good cause, it’s not an appropriate idea for any number of reasons. First, a responsible breeder would never want a puppy sold to the highest bidder, but would instead work to ensure that the puppy and family are a good match. Even within the same litter there will be puppies suitable for a high activity home, and those that are more suitable for the low activity homes and owners. Second, while a donor for the auction might sincerely want a puppy, more thought should be given to a bit of research on the pedigree, health issues, temperament issues, and whether the breeder will be supportive in the event of future questions or concerns. The auction acts as a broker in this case, and it separates the very important connection that should exist between the puppy’s new home and the breeder.

    I would challenge the dog community to find items to donate to the school for future fundraisers that would show that we care about a school trying to educate students, but allow them to raise those funds in a more appropriate manner. A quilt from a different breed each year perhaps?

  32. I do not believe the auctioning of puppies is a good idea. Quite frankly I find it to be reckless at best, and at worst, irresponsible. Auctioning a living breathing animal to a group of people who may get “caught up in the moment” is not in the animals best interest. Responsible people do their homework before adopting an animal. Showcasing a cute puppy at an auction, may temporarily tug at some well meaning persons heartstrings, but later on after the moment has passed, reality can then set in. The reality of housebreaking, training etc. and the one who would suffer is the animal. Aren’t there enough perfectly great animals sitting in shelters in need of good homes, without contributing to animal overpopulation? Bake a cake or find another way of raising money. In my opinion, auctioning animals is not any good way to raise money.

  33. I hate the idea of auctioning off a puppy. It objectifies a living sentient animal into a “prize.” I would also worry that the bidders might be doing so on impulse, without really considering whether they can offer what it takes to provide a loving home to a animal and ensure all of its needs are met.

  34. I am also wondering how they can guarantee a good, loving home for a dog won at auction…. A better auction item might be a gift certificate from a dog rescue organization which would then place the responsibility of checking out the “loving” home with the rescue organization and not with a third party.

  35. If the history of success for the adopter and adoptee is positive—good dogs, good homes—then this is a great idea. If the school receives much need funds, if the dog becomes part of the community, if adopters can afford to care for a BIG dog—excellent idea!

    Maybe students in the school can partner with the adopter—scheduled visits several times a year, with a written report shared with the school and town community.
    Posters for the next scheduled dog event, etc.

  36. And by the way, on the Jesuit’s comments about “animal rights” people…there is a huge difference between animal rights and animal welfare. The people who objected to this auction should be classified as “animal welfare”, not “animal rights”. Big, big difference.

  37. As a breeder of Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, I am appalled that ANY breeder would offer one of their puppies for another organization to “raffle” off. NO ONE places my puppies in their new homes but me. It is also against the ethical guidelines of any national breed club to allow second parties to place their puppies. We would be booted out of our national club on ethics charges if we did so. As a reputable breeder, our ultimate responsibility is to place our puppies in homes where they have the absolute best chance for a happy and healthy life. A reputable breeder would never, under any circumstances, allow their puppies to be raffled off like a “thing”. Puppies are not “things” to be raffled off to the highest bidder…

  38. I too was appalled when this was brought to my attention. I own two Bernese Mountain Dogs but I did my homework before selecting this breed to spend my life with. I was one of the many letter writers suggesting a better way in which to raise money for this high school. It is truly amazing the way the Berner community rose up when help was needed. In the past we have joined together to fight other auctions with puppies involved not just Berners. If our group can do this other breed clubs can and should step up to the plate to stop this stupidity of puppies at auctions.

  39. Don’t you have to be federally licensed to auction dogs, even if it’s for charity? Better check with USDA/APHIS.

  40. I agree. Stupid idea. The animal protection profession has been fighting puppy auctions for decades. What part of that don’t they get?

  41. I too think this is a bad idea. If they wanted a “prize” that would appeal to dog lovers, it would have been better for them to work with local veterinarians, groomers, and dog stores to put to together prize packs with things dog owners need: heartworm, flea and tick preventatives, nail trims, treats and toys.

    If they wanted to get people’s oxytocin flowing (I know that cooing over cute puppies makes you feel good, so maybe it does make people more generous too), they could have worked with a local animal shelter to promote dogs and puppies in the area that are in need of home.

    A puppy is a 10-15 year commitment and one that should not be made on the spur of the moment at a charity event. Even if the school had announced in advance that a puppy would be auctioned off (thus presumably giving interested parties time to plan in advance) it is still not an appropriate “prize” for an auction or fundraiser.

  42. I think the auction is a very bad idea. So unfortunate that the Jesuits do not understand why, but delighted they chose to pull the auction.

  43. “. . . has provided suitable loving environments for each dog which is placed in the homes of Jesuit families.” I’d be curious to know they ensure the dogs who are “won” in the auction end up in loving, suitable homes. Just because someone pays the highest bid for the puppy doesn’t mean they are capable of providing a suitable home. I think it’s atrocious for any organization to auction a puppy or other living animal as if it’s a piece of property. And I find it hard to believe that any reputable breeder would allow his/her puppies to be sold at an auction. There are for better ways for organizations to raise money than to irresponsibly auction animals.

  44. I was only one of the close to 1000 people who strongly opposed the auctioning puppies to raise money for charity. Please go to our FB page Stop Auctioning Puppies for Charity to see how we went about it.
    Life, any life, should not be auctioned off to the highest bidder, period. In this one case it was a Bernese Mountain Dog puppy. This is a breed that would not suit all owners, just like a Jack Russell Terrier would not.
    If someone wants a puppy they should do their homework and pick the right one for their life style. They should not get caught up in the heat of an auction to obtain a dog.
    That aside, NO reputable breeder would have their puppies treated in this way. The Jesuit schools have auctioned off other breeds and mixed breeds in the past and if those of us who oppose this practice have anything to say about it, they will not continue.
    As no reputable breeder would condone this practice, we can surmise these puppies come from puppy mills. To support puppy mills in this way is despicable.