Marjorie’s Kennel in Harpursviile, NY has bred Keeshonden purebred dogs in high volume for many decades. The Kennel routinely fails state inspections for basic dog care, but little has ever been done to improve the lot of the dogs held there.
In October 2013, this Kennel was purportedly to be closed. The dogs were placed in rescue – the count was put at over 200 dogs. Our cooperation was solicited and we were hopeful, despite concerns, that the situation was as it was represented to us. However it seems to have been a ploy to avoid state scrutiny and compliance issues.
When we got closer to the situation, we were told about fifty of the original Keeshonden dogs had been euthanized, purportedly for illness and possible fear aggression, an assessment we feel is dubious at best. We were also told that approximately fifty of the Kees were sent to auction, a very sad occurrence if true.
The actual closure of the Kennel would be of huge benefit not only the Kees currently held there, but also reputable Keeshond breeders and potential owners. So we have continued to be receptive to participating in the rescue of the dogs offered to us since then, no matter the reasons put forward.
Free the Kees
In November 2013, Keeshond dog rescuers, with me as the liaison and lead, began to accept Keeshonden released from this High-Volume breeder. By Christmas we had pulled more than thirty Kees and placed them into foster care. Thee Keeshond world responded in an astounding fashion, raising $50,000 within a week and many more came forward to transport, foster and care for these dogs. No one could have asked for better support from the worldwide Keeshond community.
By January 2014, we had a virtual army of volunteers transporting dogs, soliciting corporate donations, holding fundraisers, networking, running a website, taking care of dogs, planning, executing plans, and most importantly, praying for all of the dogs and people involved. Keeshond people from around the world were mobilized, energized, and determined.
In early January, we initiated a transitional prep program for dogs that were released from the kennel. In the interest of the health and safety of the dogs and of the foster homes, the dogs were pulled and temporarily placed in a boarding kennel nearby. We made that decision because of the wide range of health issues we encountered. There have been untreated bacterial, yeast and fungal infections probably untreated for years; lameness; parasites of almost every known kind; coccidia; giardia; burns; campylobacter; bite wounds; abscesses; hip dysplasia; demodex and sarcoptic mange; luxating patellae and malformed limbs. And those are just the physical aspects.
The Process of Rescue
Upon entrance, dogs were to be bathed and microchipped; all were to be treated with liquid Panacur and to have a 4 DX SNAP test. All were to have bloodwork done by the Cornell lab, and veterinary advice provided based on the case-by-case results. When clear, dogs were to be altered, with supporting medication and pain relief, and post-operative care. Volunteers would then pick up and transport all dogs to their next homes.
None of this has cost anything to anyone except to our volunteers. We wanted to establish the fact that we can care financially for the dogs, proof that releasing them to us, rather than to a humane society or similar group, is in the best interest of the dogs and of the taxpayers of New York.
As of early May 2014, we have raised approximately $79,000 in donations, with expenses being primarily for the welfare, health, transport and safety of the dogs.
Furever Homes for Kees
To date, we have placed thirty-nine Keeshonden in permanent adoptive homes; twenty Kees are still in foster care or pending adoptive care, and one little girl, Kenzie, sadly has died. She was a happy little Kees, who had an accidental escape from the yard, was immediately hit by a car and killed instantly.
We are continuing taking steps to procure the remaining Keeshonden still with this breeder, a breeder who has proven to be untrustworthy in the care of the dogs and that we feel has slipped into hoarding behaviours. Our plan was the offer to take every dog from her Kennel at one time, which would have immediately eliminated the operation from legal state pressures, and ensured the dog’s futures as companions rather than breeding machines. The breeder has been uncooperative to date: our next step has been to apply pressure to the office of the Governor of NY, and to raise media awareness, to ensure that Charlemagne’s Law is put into use to shut down the Kennel immediately.
For the dogs at Marjorie’s Kennel, we are prepared to go forward, regardless of cooperation from the breeder. Our goal remains to procure, rehabilitate and re-home every Keeshond at this filthy, unhealthy, dilapidated breeder kennel. Our commitment remains strong, and will continue, regardless of obstacles.
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