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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dog's Cross Country Treks A Lesson In Thoughtlessness

This story in yesterday's New York Times  seems to us to be the epitome of humans' thoughtless behavior toward fellow living creatures under the guise of what most consider a typical business transaction. What intrigues us is this: No matter how loudly we claim to love our companion animals these days (which of course, most of us do), they're still treated like they were hundreds, even thousands of years ago-as property with very little, if any, rights under the law.

Photo of Emmi, courtesy of the New York Times

Here's the short version of what happened to Emmi, a five year old German shepherd: a company in Washington state called Kraftwerk K9, breeds, trains and sells German shepherds. A man in Long Island, we'll call him "Clueless", buys Emmi over the Internet for $7,500, ostensibly as a family pet, and the professionally trained dog (according to Kraftwerk K9) makes her first cross country journey. Six days later, Clueless takes Emmi back to the airport and ships her back to Washington because she just didn't work out. He described her as "an aggressive dog who posed a great danger to my family." (So a supposedly trained, intelligent, powerful breed dog is supposed to fit in with an untrained family in six days?)

Here's the kicker: Kraftwerk K9 refused to take back the dog because it was past their 72 hour return policy-so no one was there to pick up Emmi, who then spent the night in a local shelter. The next day, the company's owner, who accused Clueless of abandonment, reluctantly picked up Emmi, but refused to return his $7500. Fighting over payment of the dog continues.

 We have so many beefs with this scenario, but will start with this question:  there is so much information available to humans these days on the proper choosing, care and training of dogs-and we all know how many great dogs are available from shelters and rescues, pretty much for free. So why would a person not avail themselves of any of that information and just pay the big bucks to have an "already trained dog" shipped across country to them? And then not seem to have even the most basic empathy for the dog's situation: flying across country, new home, new people, little time to adjust. And don't get us started on the company, which seemed not to care if the prospective owner was able to handle such a trained dog, as long as they made their exorbitant fee.

Now that you've heard our take, we'd love to know what you think about this story. Have at it!


Random Felines said...

We agree - there are so many stupid people in that story, we don't know where to start. We say the shelter keeps the dog, finds her a great new home and THEY should get the money. :)

Bocci said...

What a great idea-we love it!

Unknown said...

Its hard to comment because I have so many not nice things to say about this situation. Im with Random Felines!!

Asta said...

Wandom Felines has the wight idea
I can't undewstand the stopidity and heawtlessness of some hoomans
smoochie kisses

meowmeowmans said...

Man, that really burns me up! Stupidity on both ends of the story, if you ask me! We love Random Felines idea, too.

Renee DeMartin and Mugs said...

These dogs are specially trained protection dogs, certainly NOT available
from your local animal shelter. They are guard dogs and are trained to
tell friend from foe. The company, Kraftwerk K9 is responsible for educating the family beforehand and thoroughly. They may have done their part and the family is just a pack of idiots or they may not have. There is too much information left out. Of course the dog should not have been left on the return trip to spend the night at a shelter. The families/people buying these dogs need to understand how these dogs are trained and how to introduce them to their new family. It would be hard to believe that Kraftwerk K9 did not give them such info as that would set them up for much litigation.

Renee DeMartin and Mugs said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Two French Bulldogs said...

mom is saying bad words
Benny & Lily

Bocci said...

O.K. my sister Renee, Parental Unit here. The article made it sound like this dog was purchased as a family pet, not as a guard dog for a business, or even as protection for the family necessarily.
If that company really cares about its dogs, they would have done two things:
1. Make sure this "Highly trained" dog was placed with the right owners-even rescue groups appear to go into more detail, including home visits, before they let a dog be adopted.

2. Immediately accepted a return of the dog after the new owner expressed problems with its behavior. There goal should be to make the customer and the dog happy, by ensuring as much as possible a good fit between new owner and dog. if someone is expressing problems within a few days, it clearly isn't a good fit.

Renee DeMartin and Mugs (not highly trained) said...

Ok to you to. Their adult shepherds are trained in both obedience and protection and are FAMILY PETS. The obedience training comes before the protection training. The idea being that many folks want a highly trained dog that will defend the home AND be good with their kids. This is why they charge their "exorbitant" fees. Frankly these dogs are worth every penny, if one has those pennies to spend.
The NY Times said that the initial complaint about the dog had to do with aggression toward the cat. And that was during the 72 hour period
(which I feel is a bit short). No, they don't do home visits as they ship
around the country and world.

Donna @ The House on the Corner said...

I should be speechless, shocked, and amazed but what I'm thinking about is the woman that adopted the little boy from Russia and when things didn't work out the way she expected - took him to the airport and put him on a plane back to Russia. Kraftwerk K9 should be fined out of business, Clueless should be fined for animal cruelty and Emmi will end up better off having not lived a life with Clueless and his family. I mean - who spends $7500 for a dog they have never laid eyes on? REALLY?? That's gotta be just the tip of his stupidity.

I'm done ranting now....at least in writing ;-)

Bocci said...

Please, no apologies for ranting necessary, Donna! I only ask that each comment politely respects other commenters' views.

Bocci's Beefs is happy to provide a platform for intelligent discussion of the many issues facing companion animals today. And I could write a book on this particular scenario!

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